A small group of drivers for an Amazon delivery contractor in California has joined the Teamsters union, the first fruits of a concerted effort by the country’s most powerful union to organize workers at the massive ecommerce company both inside and outside its warehouses. Amazon said the DSP employing them had been terminated some time before the Teamsters announcement for performance reasons.
It was quite a week in the ever-expanding universe of generative AI, as the arms race among tech titans escalates, new solutions proliferate and more retailers jump in with both feet. From Elon Musk to Google, Amazon, Walmart and Levi Strauss, more companies are moving beyond the experimentation stage and planting a flag as a wide range of applications hit the market.
Amazon is inviting other retailers to join an anti-counterfeiting cooperative, begun as a pilot program in 2021 to help stem the flood of illegitimate goods on its marketplace and across the industry, two weeks after filing three separate lawsuits against counterfeiters. The Anti-Counterfeiting Exchange (ACX) grew out of a 20211 pilot by a division of the Department of Homeland Security.
Ryder System Inc. plans to purchase 4,000 light-duty electric vans for its rental, leasing and dedicated fleets from General Motors-owned BrightDrop by 2025, with its first order of 200 vehicles going into service this year, as it looks to meet customer EV demand and keep up with various state mandates.
In a first, Amazon has filed three separate lawsuits against multiple parties it claims submitted thousands of false copyright infringement claims against legitimate sellers, seeking to have their products removed from the marketplace. It has also joined WWE and Cartier in other legal actions against counterfeiters.
FedEx saw the biggest U.S. parcel volume falloff in 2022, Pitney Bowes reported, and while overall volume last year was down by 2.2%, the pandemic bump in ecommerce helped it outpace the 2019 projection, hitting the target a year early. The CAGR for parcel volume growth from 2023-2028 is projected to be halved, from 10.8% to 5%.
The pain from pullbacks in retail and ecommerce spending is being felt across the board in logistics, delivery and shipping operations, both internal and external, with layoffs announced at a number of companies resizing in line with lowered demand. From Walmart to 3PLs, trucking, supply chain and robotics, reports continue to pour in.
Two Boxes, a software startup promising to make the dispositioning of ecommerce returns more efficient for brands and 3PLs, has launched with a $4.5 million seed round and advisors from Amazon, Shopify, Whiplash, Loop Returns and Rent the Runway. Funding was led by Vinyl Capital, with Matchstick Ventures and Range Ventures.
Boxed, the once high-flying online answer to price clubs like Costco, BJ’s Wholesale and Sam’s Club, is considering a bankruptcy filing if it can’t find a buyer as its struggles continue 15 months after going public in a much-anticipated SPAC deal. At the same time, Boxed said it plans to lay off about 25% of its 136 employees.
Society Brands, an Ohio-based acquirer with a small-but-growing portfolio, asks its founders to stick around as brand directors, incenting them with an equity stake from a future liquidity event or IPO over the next few years as the company accelerates its pace of acquisition. The company’s six brands were all acquired in 2022.