UPS: No Peak Season Residential Surcharge, But Others Apply

| Mike O'Brien

UPS will not add a residential delivery surcharge this holiday peak season, unlike the past two years, but will add surcharges for larger packages and those requiring additional handling. The company expects to exceed record volume of 800 million packages set last year, with 75% of it handled by automated sortation systems.

USPS Sees Parcel Volume Decline for the First Time in Nine Years

| Mike O'Brien

The U.S. Postal Service reported a drop in its parcel volume for the first time in nine years during its third quarter, as major customers like Amazon continue to shift business away from the USPS and take on some of the deliveries themselves. However parcel revenue was up thanks to rate increases and a DIM adjustment this year.

FedEx Cutting Out Amazon on Ground Deliveries

| Mike O'Brien

Two months after deciding not to renew its contract with Amazon for air freight service, FedEx is now parting ways with the ecommerce giant on the ground as well. FedEx will not renew its ground contract with Amazon when it expires at the end of August, effectively severing the long-term relationship as Amazon grows its own capabilities.

UPS Adds Sunday Delivery, Doubles Pickup Locations with Retail Partners

| Mike O'Brien

Through new partnerships with Michael’s, CVS and Advance Auto, UPS is more than doubling its network of U.S. Access Point locations and adding Sunday pickup and delivery in January for business and residential customers as it engages in an arms race with FedEx. This gives UPS 63,000 U.S. locations, compared to 62,000 for FedEx.

FedEx Cites Amazon Competition for the First Time in 10k

| Mike O'Brien

Despite public pronouncements from FedEx Chairman and CEO Fred Smith that he is unconcerned about Amazon as a logistics competitor, the company used that term in its recently released annual report for the first time in connection with the ecommerce giant. Further actions by Amazon will “reduce our revenue” FedEx stated.

FedEx Reportedly Slashing Prices on Express Service

| Mike O'Brien

Close on the heels of its decision earlier this month to cut ties between Amazon and its Express air delivery unit, FedEx is reportedly offering big discounts on the service to draw in more ecommerce business and take it away from rival UPS, according to the Wall Street Journal.

FedEx Expands Pickup Network with Dollar General Partnership

| Mike O'Brien

FedEx has partnered with discount retailer Dollar General, offering dropoff and pickup services at 8,000 Dollar General stores by the end of 2020, giving it rural penetration it lacked. Along with its own stores and partnerships that also include Walgreens, Kroger and Albertsons, FedEx now has a network of 62,000 locations.

USPS DIM Changes Set to Go into Effect on June 23

| Mike O'Brien

Five months after it was initially scheduled to go into effect, the U.S. Postal Service will change how it calculates dimensional weight pricing while expanding DIM pricing to all zones across its Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail and Parcel Select products. The USPS is also lowering its DIM divisor from 194 to 166, increasing the cost.

FedEx Express Decides Not to Renew Amazon Contract

| Mike O'Brien

FedEx has decided not to renew its air shipping contract with Amazon, which expires June 30, in a seeming reaction to Amazon’s growing delivery prowess, including construction of a new air hub outside Cincinnati. Amazon’s ground and international business with the carrier remains intact for now.

Amazon Unveils New Robotic Hybrid Drone-Plane

| Mike O'Brien

You just knew Amazon wasn’t going to get shut out of a DOT sanctioned drone delivery pilot program a year ago that let in Google, a FedEx/General Electric/Intel team and Uber, and take it lying down. The ecommerce giant unveiled a bold new delivery system that’s part drone, part aircraft and part robot that uses sensors, AI and ML.