beans.ai product image feature

Beans.ai Raises $17M to Help Optimize the Final Foot

| Mike O'Brien

Beans.ai, a routing optimization provider that enables FedEx Ground and others to direct drivers to exact locations like apartment units, and provides other details like parking locations and delivery rules, has come out of stealth mode with a $17 million investment.

Amazon Flex driver in trunk feature

Amazon Flex Creates Rewards Program to Incent Drivers

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon is adding perks for its legion of thousands of crowdsourced delivery drivers through the Flex program, creating a rewards program that includes things like a cash-back debit card and the ability to earn access to more desirable routes and slots.

holiday packages at the door feature

3 Strategies to Help Retailers Avoid Super Peak Holiday Issues

| Erik Morton

This holiday season retailers will not only have to contend with decreased carrier capacity due to the pandemic but also the anticipated influx of mail-in election ballots – all of which could result in a “super peak” holiday nightmare for retailers. Now is the time to implement strategies to ensure they can keep up with demand.

Wayfair+2: The Impact of Marketplace Facilitator Laws Gone Wild

| Megan Higgins

Moving forward, one thing is certain: Marketplace facilitator laws will continue to evolve. We’re already seeing some changes in the U.S., with Louisiana going after high-volume 3P sellers during COVID-19. But states are also going to great lengths to pursue lodging and communications platforms and even food delivery services.

Postmates Weighing Either IPO or Being Acquired, Possibly by Uber

| Mike O'Brien

Postmates is considering either an IPO or an acquisition by Uber to augment the latter’s own Uber Eats delivery services as its core ride hailing suffers during the pandemic, according to several media reports. The fourth largest U.S. food delivery service has also received a second offer from a special purpose acquisition company.

Amazon in Talks to Acquire Autonomous Vehicle Startup Zoox

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon is in advanced talks to acquire self-driving car startup Zoox as it looks to expand its autonomous vehicle capabilities to address massive delivery costs, according to the Wall Street Journal. It has already invested heavily in autonomous technology, contributing to funding rounds for Aurora Innovation and Rivian Automotive LLC.

Judge’s Order Stays Imposition of AB5 on Contract Truckers in California

| Mike O'Brien

A federal court judge issued a restraining order on New Year’s Eve that temporarily exempts 70,000 truck drivers from the Jan. 1 implementation of California’s new gig worker law AB5, after a legal challenge from a trucking group. The group contends AB5 was preempted by a 1994 federal statute; a hearing is scheduled for Jan. 13.

New California Law Upends Economics of Using Independent Contractors

| Mike O'Brien

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a new measure that will require many companies using independent contractors to hire them as employees and provide benefits, dramatically changing the economics of the gig economy in ecommerce delivery. Deliv got ahead of the law in June by hiring its California workers.

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.