Improving the Last Mile with Process, Technology

| Don White

While you have little control over an order once it’s out for delivery, your operations team is still a crucial cog in the last mile experience. You need the right processes and technology to get products to the customer as efficiently and accurately as possible for a smoother delivery and a better experience.

Kroger Finds Its Voice … Ordering

| Mike O'Brien

Grocery giant Kroger is adding voice ordering to its online arsenal, interestingly hitching its wagon to the Google Assistant voice app and not to Amazon’s Echo, at six of its associated brands, the company announced. See what else Kroger is up to as well as other tech skirmishes in the escalating online grocery wars.

Amazon Expands Free Shipping for the Holidays, Hires More Drivers

| Mike O'Brien

Pouring more water into its moat, Amazon has totally eliminated shipping charges this holiday season, removing the $25 threshold for non-Prime members on items ordered in time for Christmas delivery. Amazon is also hiring and managing thousands of seasonal delivery drivers to handle the holiday crush.

Warehouse-as-a-Service Providers Address Ecommerce Fulfillment Niche

| Mike O'Brien

The growth in online sales, the scarcity of ecommerce fulfillment space and increasing customer demands have all merged to drive interest in a particular kind of offering: Warehouse-as-a-Service (WaaS). Find out what’s behind the trend and what some startups and traditional 3PLs are doing to meet the need.

Target Blows Out Free Two-Day Delivery Ahead of the Holidays

| Mike O'Brien

In the never-ending pursuit of Amazon and seeking separation from other foes like Walmart, Target has announced the availability of same-day delivery in 46 states ahead of the peak holiday season from Thanksgiving through Christmas, while also eliminating its $35 order threshold for free two-day shipping as of Nov. 1.

Amazon Research Project Reportedly Testing Robotic Picking Arms

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon is reportedly experimenting with robotic arms that can visually identify items on a conveyor, pick them up using a compressed air vacuum gripper and place them on a table or shelf. At the same time the company says publicly the state of the art isn’t there yet to handle the wide variety of products it stores and sells.

What You Need to Know When Changing 3PL Providers

| Jeff Jones

The decision to change your third-party logistics provider should not be taken lightly, but sometimes it can be the most effective way to move your business forward. Thinking about making a change? The following guidelines may be helpful in considering why, when and how to switch your 3PL provider.

Kroger and Walgreens Join Forces in Cincinnati-Area Pilot

| Mike O'Brien

In the continuing saga of strange bedfellows teaming up to combat the threat of Amazon, a Kroger/Walgreens pilot in northern Kentucky outside Cincinnati allows shoppers to pick up Kroger orders at 13 select Walgreens and purchase Kroger products while there.

When Does an Urban Fulfillment Center Model Make Sense?

| Brendan Heegan

While Amazon can spend $21.7 billion on shipping to meet growing customer expectations, everyone else can’t and ecommerce entrepreneurs need to develop a well-thought-out strategy to address evolving demands. You need to consider these four factors before investing in the urban fulfillment center trend.