FedEx Follows Suit with COVID-19-Related Peak Surcharges for Shippers

| Mike O'Brien

It took FedEx less than a week to react to UPS’s new COVID-19-related peak surcharges by rolling out its own new fee schedule to cover additional volume-related costs, with a couple wrinkles separating the two plans and no end date specified, again impacting large-volume shippers. The new charges went into effect June 8, with no end date.

UPS Adds Surcharges to Address COVID-Related Peak Season

| Mike O'Brien

UPS, facing massive volumes akin to the holiday season due to COVID-19’s impact on ecommerce, is imposing surcharges on larger-volume shippers and those sending bulkier items as of May 31 to offset its costs, impacting companies already reeling from the crisis. Experts agree they expect to see FedEx follow suit shortly.

Amazon in Talks to Acquire Autonomous Vehicle Startup Zoox

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon is in advanced talks to acquire self-driving car startup Zoox as it looks to expand its autonomous vehicle capabilities to address massive delivery costs, according to the Wall Street Journal. It has already invested heavily in autonomous technology, contributing to funding rounds for Aurora Innovation and Rivian Automotive LLC.

FedEx, Microsoft Strike Technology Partnership in Shot at Amazon

| Mike O'Brien

Now that it’s detached itself from Amazon, FedEx has entered into a multiyear agreement with Amazon’s cloud computing rival Microsoft, with the first offering using the latter’s real-time intelligence capabilities to provide FedEx shippers with greater visibility into transit time issues. Other solutions will be announced later this year.

Last Mile Tech Drives the DTC Customer Experience During COVID-19

| May Walter

When DTC brands are able to understand and implement last mile technology providing greater visibility and transparency, they put themselves in a position where they can control the customers’ experience from start to finish, ultimately enhancing it in every way possible. Here are three ways to boost the last-mile experience.

Free Here Technologies App Optimizes Ecommerce Delivery for SMBs

| Mike O'Brien

Here Technologies, a provider of location and mapping solutions for companies worldwide including UPS and FedEx, has created a free navigation app to help SMBs flipping to ecommerce optimize delivery routes by providing turn-by-turn navigation for multiple stop routes. The app has been tested by restaurants in Australia.

Political Battle Over USPS Future, Fed Bailout Continues as Mail Declines

| Mike O'Brien

While the USPS gets tossed around like a political football and threatens insolvency without more federal aid, the agency continues to report poor results as already lower mail rates have fallen through the floor due to coronavirus. Meantime, Trump ally, donor and fundraiser Louis DeJoy will be the new Postmaster General.

Deliv driver

Target Looks to Acquire Tech Assets of Deliv as Startup Unwinds Operations

| Mike O'Brien

On the same day it was announced Deliv was winding down its operations this summer, it came out that Target is in talks to snap up some of Deliv’s technology assets to bolster its local ecommerce fulfillment and bring founding CEO Daphne Carmelli onboard, NBC reported. Others had reportedly been looking at Deliv, including grocers.

Kendra Scott’s Fast Rollout of New Omnichannel Tactics Amid COVID-19

| Mike O'Brien

A decision by the leadership team at jewelry retailer Kendra Scott to invest in an order management system ahead of last year’s peak season was a critical element enabling the company to quickly turn its fleet of stores into fulfillment centers and initiate curbside pickup, after shutting them down to the public due to COVID-19.