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A Peek into 2020 Peak: Fulfilling the Promise of Omnichannel

| Zach Thomann

Coming after a year of economic contraction and retail disruption, the 2020 peak holiday season threatened to be brutal on retailers. While some retailers had exceptional results, operational challenges limited opportunities. See what a recent study revealed about the impact of pre-peak investments on reducing capability gaps.

Omnichannel operations are the future of brick-and-mortar and DTC retail.

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Walmart Removes $35 Minimum for Same-Day Delivery

| Mike O'Brien

In a move surprising no one except for the timing, Walmart announced it’s dropping the $35 minimum order threshold for shoppers to qualify for same-day delivery with its Walmart Express service, just months after doing the same for members of its Walmart+ subscription program. Walmart’s ecommerce growth “fell” to 69% in Q4.

Walgreens Instacart feature

Walgreens Partners with Instacart

| Mike O'Brien

Walgreens is launching same-day delivery with partner Instacart, starting in Illinois and rolling out to its 8,000 stores nationwide by the spring, beginning with express stops in Southeast Florida, Dallas, Atlanta, Washington D.C. and New York. Through the partnership, tens of thousands of items can arrive in as little as an hour.

With Rising Parcel Costs, You Need Better Data

| Megan Rudolph

With the new year underway, you may be feeling the burden of the latest round of carrier rate and surcharge increases hitting parcel costs. In order to understand and mitigate their business impact, you need to arm yourself with information. How can you measure the net impact of these changes? It all starts with good, accurate data.

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Amazon Ups Surveillance of Contract Drivers

| Mike O'Brien

First it was AI-equipped onboard cameras watching Amazon’s contract drivers along their routes. Now an app called Mentor monitors driver performance, which can interpret legitimate activities as risky ones, resulting in lower scores and sometimes termination. The company has reportedly been using Mentor for years.

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USPS Posts in the Black, Promises to Address Problems

| Mike O'Brien

The U.S. Postal Service had a very rare quarter in the black, and the Postmaster General promised to implement a bold 10-year plan to address shortfalls in service, infrastructure and the workforce, saying the disastrous delivery performance over the holidays was unacceptable.

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Congress Seeks to Cut USPS Prefunding

| Mike O'Brien

Yet another effort is underway in Congress to eliminate the costly prefunding of retiree healthcare benefits that have been an albatross for the U.S. Postal Service since a 2006 reform measure, and this time appears to have some more bipartisan momentum.

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Instacart Powers Same-Day Delivery for Family Dollar

| Mike O'Brien

Discount retail chain Family Dollar is jumping on the same-day delivery bandwagon through a national partnership with last mile leader Instacart, covering 6,000 of its stores in the U.S., the companies announced. They ran a successful pilot program in late 2020 at 275 Family Dollar stores and are now expanding it nationally.

Amazon FC exterior

Amazon Files Objection to Alabama Union Vote

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon has filed a motion with the National Labor Relations Board seeking to postpone a planned union vote next month at its fulfillment center in Bessemer, AL, which if successful would create its first union shop, an outcome the ecommerce giant has vigorously opposed at every turn. The vote is scheduled from Feb. 8-March 29.

FedEx Adds Peak Residential Surcharge

| Mike O'Brien

FedEx has added on yet another surcharge, this time a 30 cent per package peak residential delivery charge for shippers who hand off an average of 30,000 packages weekly between Jan. 4-31 between FedEx Express, Ground and SmartPost, effective Feb. 15 and again until further notice. They apply to Ground and Express shipments.