Ecommerce Operations Summit 2020 Set to Rock Orlando

| Mike O'Brien

There’s a little bit of everything on tap at Ecommerce Operations Summit 2020, to be held April 14-16 in wonderful Orlando, FL. From keynotes by executives at Neiman Marcus and REI to new e-grocery and robotics tracks, preconference workshops and lots of great networking, it’s a not-to-be-missed event for industry pros.

Amazon to Buy 100,000 Electric Delivery Vans

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the company plans to purchase 100,000 electric-powered vans from Detroit startup Rivian Automotive, as it seeks to accomplish two goals in one stroke: Decreasing its carbon footprint and increasing its delivery capabilities.

A Breakdown of the 2020 Rate Increases from FedEx

| Matt Bohn

FedEx announced its annual general rate increase (GRI) for 2020. Effective Jan. 6, FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery will increase an average of 4.9%, while FedEx Freight will increase rates by an average of 5.9%. How will this affect individual shippers? Here’s a breakdown of the areas likely to have the greatest impact.

New California Law Upends Economics of Using Independent Contractors

| Mike O'Brien

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a new measure that will require many companies using independent contractors to hire them as employees and provide benefits, dramatically changing the economics of the gig economy in ecommerce delivery. Deliv got ahead of the law in June by hiring its California workers.

Walmart Expands Prime-Like Grocery Delivery Program Nationwide

| Mike O'Brien

Walmart’s answer to Amazon Prime on the grocery side, Delivery Unlimited, is expanding nationwide, the company said, reaching 1,400 U.S. stores now and 1,600 by the end of the year. The program had been piloted in Houston, Miami, Salt Lake City and Tampa, and will now be in all 200 markets where grocery delivery is available.

Package Lockers See Strong Adoption in Europe and Asia

| Daniela Forte

While automated package lockers are being used by some major retailers here, they’ve seen greater adoption in other countries, having solved space and retail delivery issues for several years. Here is a look at how they’re being used in some European countries and Japan as a last-mile solution for retailers and a convenience for consumers.

Uncertainty the Watchword Heading Into UPU Congress

| Mike O'Brien

With a showdown looming over international postal rates at a Sept. 24 congress of the Universal Postal Union, uncertainty reigns in terms of the United States’ continued participation in the organization, leaving merchants wondering about parcel shipping rates heading into peak season. Consolidators are making contingency plans.

Amazon, Walmart Will Dominate E-Grocery Food Sales Through 2024

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon and Walmart will continue to slug it out atop the world of global e-grocery food sales, with the ecommerce giant projected to pass the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer by 2024 with revenues of $15 billion, compared to $14 billion, according to a new report from research firm Edge by Ascential. The projected CAGR through 2024 is 13%.

Walmart Expands Same-Day Delivery in Mexico

| Mike O'Brien

Walmart is offering three-hour delivery for certain home goods and technology products in Mexico, as it battles Amazon in the major Latin American market, according to Reuters. The new service covers 12,000 items including laptops, cell phones, televisions and clothing irons and is supported by two new ecommerce fulfillment centers.