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Transportation Insight Acquires Spend Management Experts

| Mike O'Brien

Transportation Insight, a logistics technology and services provider based in Hickory, NC, has acquired Spend Management Experts, a leading parcel spend management consultancy, to augment its expansion into the ecommerce and small parcel space as it continues to grow rapidly. The deal closed at the end of December.

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USPS Suffered Most in Holiday Package Deluge

| Mike O'Brien

The U.S. Post Office suffered most in terms of on-time performance and complaints this peak holiday season, experts agreed, with FedEx also having issues but not to the same extent and UPS doing better. Carriers of all stripes were buried by a cataclysmic holiday package deluge from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

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UPS, FedEx Diverge on Last-Mile Surcharges

| Mike O'Brien

UPS has extended shipping surcharges into 2021, with some similarities and some differences FedEx. Most notable was a steeper price drop for the surcharge on UPS’s SurePost last-mile service, used by many smaller ecommerce shippers, as FedEx may be covering the cost of shifting volume from the USPS into its own ground network.

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International Parcel Shipping Provider Passport Raises $12M

| Mike O'Brien

Passport, a provider of international parcel shipping services, has raised $12 million in a Series A round to build out its parcel supply chain network for ecommerce and DTC brands. Funding for the round was secured by M13 and included participation from Resolute Ventures, Precursor, Kleiner Perkins, RiverPark and Republic.

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Multichannel Merchant Releases Top 3PL List

| Mike O'Brien

Multichannel Merchant has published its sixth annual MCM Top 3PL listing for 2021, a searchable directory of leading third-party logistics (3PL) providers in ecommerce and direct-to-customer operations. Each of the 60+ profiles includes data on key capabilities, top merchandise categories, facilities, B2B/B2C split and more.

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FedEx Extends Peak Surcharges Into 2021

| Mike O'Brien

FedEx announced this week it is extending peak surcharges beyond the holiday season, while lowering them from higher holiday levels, citing the expectation of ongoing heavy volume and associated costs, although some observers question that rationale amid strong financial results. UPS is expected to follow its duopoly partner.

UPS van in snow holiday peak season feature

Heavy Volume, Weather Compounding Holiday Peak Strain

| Mike O'Brien

Heading in the home stretch of the holiday peak season in an extraordinary year, and past the cutoffs for Christmas delivery by ground at major parcel carriers, transit time performance is holding up well even though expected delays reports are popping up. Vaccine delivery and heavy weather are compounding matters.

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ShopRunner to be Acquired By FedEx

| Mike O'Brien

FedEx is acquiring ecommerce platform ShopRunner, which offers subscribers guaranteed two-day delivery for $79 a year, looking to bolster its ecommerce offerings and bulk up in the battle against ex-partner Amazon, which is expected to restart 3P fulfillment in 2021. ShopRunner, based in Chicago, will be operated as a subsidiary.

FedEx Ground driver

Amazon Restricts FedEx for Seller Fulfilled Prime

| Mike O'Brien

A decline in delivery performance in certain lanes has led Amazon to restrict use of FedEx Ground and Home Delivery for Seller Fulfilled Prime orders, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Overall on-time performance of carriers is already being challenged even ahead of the traditional start of peak season.

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ShipMatrix Service Aims to Address Carrier Capacity Gap

| Mike O'Brien

ShipMatrix, a provider of software and services for parcel shippers, has created a new offering that aims to address the massive problem of a shortfall in major carrier capacity this holiday season by making it more attractive for shippers to use the U.S. Postal Service for lightweight items.