UPS tandem truck feature

UPS Beats on Profit Even as U.S. Volume Drops

| Mike O'Brien

UPS reported higher-than-expected first-quarter earnings, even as domestic volume declined for the second consecutive quarter, as its pricing strategy and focus on profitable business over volume continues to pay lucrative dividends during the ongoing ecommerce boom. SMB and B2B growth continue to be strong.

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Smith Out, Subramaniam In As Head of FedEx

| Mike O'Brien

Fred Smith, who started what became FedEx in the early 1970s and built it into a global shipping and logistics powerhouse, is stepping down as CEO, to be replaced by president and COO Raj Subramaniam, with Smith staying on as executive chairman. Industry observers expect a status quo transition, but wonder if that’s good enough.

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Narvar Offers Ecommerce Returns Home Pickup

| Mike O'Brien

Narvar is letting retailers offer customers the convenience of home pickup of returns within one to 10 days for a convenience fee, a service that was piloted at 70 companies in Q4. The home pickup service is currently offered in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston, with plans to expand to about 100 more markets.

UPS Sees Record Profit, Peak Volume Inches Up

| Mike O'Brien

UPS saw package volume increase by a below-projection 0.2% in Q4, higher in the beginning and lighter at the end, as the Omicron surge, the pull-forward of shopper activity and retail inventory challenges weighed on the key metric, the company said in its fourth quarter call. Amazon represented 11.7% of its business in 2021.

UPS van in snow holiday peak season feature

Carriers Come Through for Christmas

| Mike O'Brien

After a hairy 2020 peak season, with capacity at a premium and late parcel orders piling up, on-time performance by the big three carriers was strong, helped by a lot of early shopping from consumers based on earlier promotions, as well as improved levels of in-store activity.

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Cyber Monday Online Sales Dip 1.4%

| Mike O'Brien

Like its holiday twin Black Friday, Cyber Monday in the U.S. saw ecommerce sales reverse course for the first time in memory, according to Adobe Digital Insights, dropping 1.4% from 2020. Consumers en masse have heeded warnings about stock-outs on digital shelves amid supply chain-fueled inventory shortages by shopping earlier.

walmart fulfillment center

Walmart Q3 Ecommerce Sales Up 8%, Says Holiday Prep in Good Place

| Mike O'Brien

Walmart reported its ecommerce sales in the U.S. increased 8% in the third quarter, and have gained a total of 87% since the same period in 2019, an incredible jump since pre-pandemic days as the retail giant continues to expand digitally, while declaring itself ready for the holidays.

UPS van in snow holiday peak season feature

Narvar Partners With UPS on Real-Time Data Tool

| Mike O'Brien

Narvar, provider of post-purchase experience solutions, is now pulling in real-time shipping data from UPS into a new dashboard product called Monitor to give shippers greater visibility into packages in transit across the supply chain, anticipating and proactively addressing issues.

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LaserShip Acquires OnTrac for $1.3B, Looks Nationally

| Mike O'Brien

Regional carrier LaserShip is acquiring competitor OnTrac for $1.3 billion deal, in one fell swoop changing the equation in last-mile parcel delivery by giving the combined entity coverage of three-quarters of the continental U.S. as ecommerce demand continues to soar.

USPS letter carrier

USPS Delays Parcel Service Slowdown

| Mike O'Brien

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has decided to temporarily suspend a planned reduction in service level standards for First Class package delivery until after the peak holiday season, a week after the Postal Regulatory Commission which oversees it said the plan “lacked demonstrable evidence.”