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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.