Deliverr Raises $40M to Fuel Two-Day Delivery For Ecommerce Sellers

| Mike O'Brien

Deliverr, a startup that uses data and a network of warehouse partners to strategically position inventory and enable fast ecommerce deliveries, has raised $40 million in a new funding round, bringing its total raised to $70 million. The funding round was led by Activant Capital and included 8VC, GLP and Flexport founder Ryan Petersen.

OnTrac Updates to Master Contractor Model in Wake of AB5 in California

| Mike O'Brien

The effects of California’s AB5 law are widespread, requiring thousands of gig workers and independent contractors to be reclassified as employees. This means delivery firms doing business in California are updating their operating models to adhere to the law. One such firm is OnTrac, going to a master contractor model.

UPS In Autonomous Vehicle Pilot with Waymo in Phoenix

| Mike O'Brien

UPS and self-driving technology company Waymo are running a pilot program for autonomous vehicle package pickup in the Phoenix area, using Waymo’s minivans to shuttle packages from UPS stores to a UPS sorting facility. Last year, UPS took a minority stake in TuSimple, an autonomous trucking company.

Same-Day Delivery Not Seen as a Threat to USPS, Says IG in Report

| Mike O'Brien

The Office of Inspector General at the USPS found the USPS isn’t threatened by the rise of same-day delivery, determining it is a niche, costly model appealing mostly to urban millennials and only represented 2% of all parcel deliveries in 2018. The IG report also recommended the USPS continue to focus on next-day delivery services.

Post Peak, Amazon Removes Ban on FedEx Ground, Home for 3P Sellers

| Mike O'Brien

A month after prohibiting third-party sellers from using FedEx Ground and FedEx Home for Prime orders due to alleged on-time performance issues, Amazon is now saying they’re back on the nice list. Amazon said the performance issues have been resolved to its satisfaction, allowing 3P sellers to use the services again.

Walmart Expands Use of Scanning Robots, Launches MFC for Grocery

| Mike O'Brien

Walmart is expanding its fleet of shelf-scanning robots, adding 650 this year for a total of 1,000 as it looks to address nettlesome grocery out-of-stock issues and battle competitors with the technology like Ahold Delhaize’s Stop & Shop, Giant Eagle and Schnuck’s. It has also launched a micro fulfillment center at a New Hampshire store.

Judge’s Order Stays Imposition of AB5 on Contract Truckers in California

| Mike O'Brien

A federal court judge issued a restraining order on New Year’s Eve that temporarily exempts 70,000 truck drivers from the Jan. 1 implementation of California’s new gig worker law AB5, after a legal challenge from a trucking group. The group contends AB5 was preempted by a 1994 federal statute; a hearing is scheduled for Jan. 13.

The Most Amazing Anti-Amazon Strategy … That Will Never Happen

| Richard Metzler

It is the synthesis of things Amazon does so well that makes it seemingly invulnerable. To me, trying to beat Amazon on just logistics without a symbiotic combination of brand, merchandising, marketing, technology and a financial war chest is just pure, unadulterated sophistry. Is there such a thing as an effective anti-Amazon strategy?