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USPS Rolls Out Plans to Handle 2021 Peak Season Surge

| Mike O'Brien

The USPS announced a number of measures aimed at addressing peak season surges later this year, after it got buried in a deluge of holiday parcels in November and December, many of them handed off from UPS and FedEx. This includes 138 new pieces of sortation equipment and replacing mail sorting equipment at 18 facilities.

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Amazon Key Garage Delivery Expands Nationwide

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon is expanding its Amazon Key program, which lets its delivery drivers access a Prime customer’s garage to drop off orders, to more than 5,000 U.S. cities and towns, wherever its grocery delivery services are available from Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods Market. The program, free to Prime members, was first tested three years ago.

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Walmart, Target Stepping Up Last-Mile Fulfillment

| Mike O'Brien

Walmart and Target both announced plans Thursday to improve last-mile fulfillment and delivery from their stores, taking alternate routes via an investment in self-driving car project Cruise, and a new sortation facility powered by acquired technologies from Grand Junction and Deliv, respectively.

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AxleHire Raises $20 Million, Aspires to National Network

| Mike O'Brien

AxleHire, a last-mile solutions company powering delivery for HelloFresh, Deliverr, Freshly and Pet Food Express, has closed a $20M funding round aimed at increasing its sortation capabilities, expanding its network and moving more into general ecommerce. It also hopes to create a national network to compete with regional carriers.

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DynoSafe, Smart Porch Safe, Wins “Shark Tank” Deal

| Mike O'Brien

The founders DynoSafe, maker of a patented refrigerated smart safe for home grocery delivery to the porch won a deal on “Shark Tank,” with shark Robert Herjavec taking a 25% stake in the company for $150,000, with Mark Cuban also on the board. The husband-and-wife team are looking for deals themselves with major grocery chains.

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Amazon Wrongly Fired Workers For Speaking Out, NLRB Says

| Mike O'Brien

The National Labor Relations Board has accused Amazon of illegally firing two tech workers last year who spoke out publicly about its treatment of fulfillment workers and its sustainability policies, and upheld a complaint by a worker who led a Queens, NY walkout in 2020. Amazon also apologized for a tweet attacking a political critic.

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Opinion: Will There Be DeJoy in USPS-Ville?

| Mike O'Brien

It’s an open question whether Louis DeJoy will survive in his highly politicized position as Postmaster General long enough to see the wide-ranging reforms he wants to enact realized, or at least started. Considering the critical importance of the USPS, with its every-ZIP-every-door-every-day mandate, a lot hangs in the balance.

MCM CommerceChat podcast

Amazon Logistics: Ready for Prime Time?

| Mike O'Brien

Last week Amazon spent $131 billion for a 19.5% share in ATSG, which operates aircraft it leases. And many believe Amazon Logistics is looking to restart delivering non-Amazon volume from its shippers. So what is up with all this activity and investment? We talk with Kiri Masters of Bobsled Marketing about the pieces that are in place.

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Approaching Shipping Delays During the Pandemic

| Jan Bednar

Shipping delays and supply chain disruptions are nothing new in ecommerce, but this past year has definitely been a challenge. Yet on-time delivery has become a staple of ecommerce. Although not all aspects of the logistics side of things are within your control, you can take steps to ensure satisfaction on every order.

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Dick’s Sporting Goods Doubles Ecommerce Sales in 2020

| Mike O'Brien

Dick’s Sporting Goods, like Target and Walmart before it, is seeing strong results in the pandemic era, increasing overall sales 19.8% in the fourth quarter, while ecommerce was up 57% and same-store sales increased 19.3% as its omnichannel execution excelled.