Coronavirus: Amazon, Whole Foods, Instacart Walkouts, Workers Sick

| Mike O'Brien

While ecommerce was initially thought to be a boon during the coronavirus crisis, with stores and malls in lockdown, execution is proving to be anything but as a growing chorus of drivers and facility associates complain about the danger of exposure. Workers at Amazon, Instacart and Whole Foods staged protest walkouts.

UPS Names Former Home Depot CFO as New CEO

| Mike O'Brien

Carol Tomé, who has been CFO of Home Depot for 18 years and helped manage its strong growth, will be the new CEO of UPS. She succeeds David Abney, who will stay on as executive chairman until retiring from the board in September and acting as a transitional consultant through the end of 2020.

Amazon Cutting Out Delivery Contractors It Says Don’t Pass Muster

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon is severing delivery contracts in five states, affecting about 1,300 drivers, eliminating partners it says aren’t meeting delivery standards, according to Bloomberg and other reports. Two years ago, Amazon began a program to help entrepreneurs start up delivery businesses, creating less of a need for the existing contractors.

FedEx Diverting Some Express Packages into Ground Network

| Mike O'Brien

FedEx is diverting some Express deliveries into its less expensive Ground network to drive efficiency and build ecommerce package density after parting ways with Amazon in 2019, according an internal memo obtained by the WSJ. FedEx will redirect residential Express packages to Ground as they get close to their destination.

UPS In Autonomous Vehicle Pilot with Waymo in Phoenix

| Mike O'Brien

UPS and self-driving technology company Waymo are running a pilot program for autonomous vehicle package pickup in the Phoenix area, using Waymo’s minivans to shuttle packages from UPS stores to a UPS sorting facility. Last year, UPS took a minority stake in TuSimple, an autonomous trucking company.

The Most Amazing Anti-Amazon Strategy … That Will Never Happen

| Richard Metzler

It is the synthesis of things Amazon does so well that makes it seemingly invulnerable. To me, trying to beat Amazon on just logistics without a symbiotic combination of brand, merchandising, marketing, technology and a financial war chest is just pure, unadulterated sophistry. Is there such a thing as an effective anti-Amazon strategy?

Amazon Tells 3P Sellers: No FedEx Ground; Complains of Service Issues

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon is telling 3P sellers they can’t use FedEx Ground for Prime deliveries this holiday season, citing performance issues, according to the Wall Street Journal, saying the policy will remain until there are improvements. UPS and other carriers stand to benefit in the short term if they can find room in their networks.