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Layoffs Proliferate Across Operations Units

| Mike O'Brien

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.

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FedEx Raises 2023 Forecast as Volume Declines Moderate

| Mike O'Brien

FedEx on Thursday released its third-quarter earnings report, upping its full-year earnings forecast as cost-cutting measures like major layoffs and air freight cutbacks take hold, even as shipping volumes globally remain challenged, boosting its stock more than 9% in after-hours trading.

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FedEx Worker Case Passed Over By Supreme Court

| Mike O'Brien

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a case involving FedEx which had the potential to set precedent by giving workers the right to join “collective action” lawsuits when they live outside the state where the issue arose. The worker classification issue has been heating up in recent years, including California’s controversial AB5 law.

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UPS Exceeds Q4 Income Goal, Falls Short on Revenue

| Mike O'Brien

UPS reported fourth-quarter revenue that fell short of expectations but earnings ahead of the consensus, while the outlook for 2023 appears challenged and the company is in margin protection mode against falling volumes and other volatility. And CEO Carol Tome optimistically predicted a “win, win, win” outcome with the Teamsters.

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Shippo First with FedEx Master Platform Account

| Mike O'Brien

Shipping software provider Shippo has become the first company of its kind to have a direct platform account with FedEx through a new agreement, meaning shippers can access discounted FedEx rates directly through Shippo for two of the carrier’s economy offerings.

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FedEx Ground Cuts Back Sunday Delivery

| Mike O'Brien

FedEx Ground plans to cut back Sunday delivery from 80% U.S. coverage to 50% starting in March, as it faces lower volume and the high cost of service on a light day. The company initially cut back Ground service on Sunday to 50% coverage from 95% in August, citing a focus on “improving efficiency and reducing costs,”

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Major Parcel Carriers Perform Well During Peak

| Mike O'Brien

The three major parcel carriers had a decent peak holiday season in terms of on-time performance, with service levels comparable to 2019, according to ShipMatrix, not surprising as volumes were lighter even though holiday sales increased, as many shoppers returned to stores. FedEx saw a significant improvement over its 2021 showing.

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UPS Will Not Sunset Residential Peak Surcharges

| Mike O'Brien

UPS for the first time is extending its peak surcharges for residential delivery beyond the usual mid-January cutoff, referring to them as by the new designation of “demand surcharges” which will be in place until further notice, while FedEx is not following suit but letting them lapse.

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Cyber Week, Here We Come

| Mike O'Brien

Sales expectations are somewhat muted based on a welter of surveys and experts, as well as most retail earnings, but Cyber Week is still kind of a big deal, extended season and early deals notwithstanding. There are, of course, no lack of consumer jitters due to nagging inflation, with study after study indicating some degree of hesitancy.

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One FedEx Ground Contractor Group Disbands, Another Forms

| Mike O'Brien

After making a lot of noise this year with a list of grievances including poor management practices and bad peak season forecasting leading to the brink of insolvency for many, an association of FedEx Ground contractors has disbanded, taking a shot at the founder on the way out the door.