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.

SEKO Acquires Freight Forwarder Air-City to Expand Its Services in China

| Mike O'Brien

SEKO Logistics has acquired New York-based freight forwarder and cross-border ecommerce firm Air-City, Inc. for an undisclosed sum as it looks to expand its shipping capabilities into China and add resources and infrastructure in the critical New York area. A year ago, SEKO acquired GoodShip International Inc. in Chicago.

California Judge Exempts Truckers from AB5 Contractor Law

| Mike O'Brien

A state court judge in California ruled in favor of truckers seeking an exemption from AB5, which broadly restricted use of contractors by requiring reclassification as employees. On Dec. 31, a federal judge issued a similar ruling temporarily exempting truck drivers from the Jan. 1 implementation of AB5; it was extended on Jan. 13.

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?

Target, Walmart Turn Up Heat on Last-Minute Holiday Ordering

| Douglas P. Clement

Target’s new last-minute delivery deals and deadlines for holiday gifts has it going head-to-head with Walmart over whose fulfillment is faster and more accommodating for shoppers. Both retail giants offer free two-day shipping, but Walmart has the edge in guaranteed delivery by Christmas for ultra-last-minute shoppers.

Amazon Tells 3P Sellers: No FedEx Ground; Complains of Service Issues

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon is telling 3P sellers they can’t use FedEx Ground for Prime deliveries this holiday season, citing performance issues, according to the Wall Street Journal, saying the policy will remain until there are improvements. UPS and other carriers stand to benefit in the short term if they can find room in their networks.

Assessing the Impact of 2020 Rate Increases from UPS

| Matt Bohn

Effective Dec. 29, UPS ground, air and international rates will increase by an average of 4.9%. Keep in mind that there is often a discrepancy between the announced increase and the effect on individual shippers. The team at Shipware provided a breakdown of some areas that will likely provide the most impact for merchant shippers.

Greening Up Your Ecommerce Operations During the Holiday Sprint

| Ann Starodaj

In 2019, over half of shoppers say they’re conscious of the environmental practices of retailers they shop with. At the same time, they love overnight shipping and free returns, which impact the environment. Retailers, striving to please consumers and be sustainable, are caught in the middle. Here are some ways to address the dilemma.