DHL eCommerce Solutions, addressing growing demand for its USPS consolidator business, has transferred operations from St. Louis to Kansas City, MO, as part of a national expansion plan. By the time the $330 million project is completed in mid-2024, DHL eCommerce will have a 19-node, 2.3 million-square-foot U.S. network.
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.
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.
Global parcel volume increased 21% in 2021 to 159 billion pieces, according to an annual Pitney Bowes shipping index that tracks activity in 13 markets, but revenue increased at a slightly lower rate of 17% as declines in per-piece yield in China acted as a check on that growth.
DHL eCommerce, the U.S. unit of logistics giant Deutsche Post, is investing more than $300 million in facilities and automation over the next five years, increasing its square footage here by 70%, automating distribution centers and upgrading IT systems. This includes dedicated export gateways in New Jersey, Illinois and California.
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.
This month, FedEx Express installed four robotic arms inside a sortation hub in its hometown of Memphis, in response to demands placed on its services in the midst of the massive pandemic-influenced surge in ecommerce orders. Yaskawa America supplied the robotic arms and Plus One provided the software system.
Locus Robotics, makers of autonomous mobile robots for carriers and 3PLs like UPS, DHL, Ceva Logistics, Taylored Services and ShipMonk, has raised more than $40 million in a Series D funding led Zebra Ventures, along with existing investors like Scale Venture Partners.
Amazon Air is projected to have 200 cargo jets in its fleet by 2027 or 2028, bringing it close to parity with UPS if the latter doesn’t expand significantly, according to a study from DePaul University. The study said Amazon Air has grown to 42 planes since its launch in 2016, with plans to expand to 70 by 2021, putting it on par with DHL.
While the USPS gets tossed around like a political football and threatens insolvency without more federal aid, the agency continues to report poor results as already lower mail rates have fallen through the floor due to coronavirus. Meantime, Trump ally, donor and fundraiser Louis DeJoy will be the new Postmaster General.