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Pitney Bowes Gains 4 of 5 Hestia-Backed Directors

| Mike O'Brien

Pitney Bowes shareholders voted to add four new directors from a slate of five proposed by activist firm Hestia Capital Management to join the nine-member board, backing a group of investors looking for wholesale changes to reverse the fortunes of the postal consolidation and cross-border ecommerce firm. Both sides pledged to work together for the betterment of the company. The market boosted the stock.

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UPS: Most of Volume Decline Unrelated to Negotiations

| Mike O'Brien

UPS continues to see volume declines impacting results, as it steps up automation and finds other ways to drive greater efficiency in order to offset the decline, which helped boost revenue per piece in the first quarter even with the volume falloff. The company also remains confident of a Teamsters settlement, while working overtime to retain business and keeping a contingency plan at hand.

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Teamsters to UPS: No National Negotiations Until Supplementals Settled

| Mike O'Brien

The Teamsters union stepped up its rhetoric ahead of the formal start of bargaining Monday for a new contract with UPS, accusing the major carrier of stalling and refusing to negotiate in good faith, while threatening to hold up the process until supplemental issues are settled. But there appears to be difference between the parties on the agreed-upon timetable for addressing them.

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FedEx to Join Ground, Express Units

| Mike O'Brien

FedEx provided details on its plan to consolidate its Ground, Express and Service units by 2024, announced last year, with its less-than-truckload Freight unit remaining separate, projecting cost savings of $4 billion by 2025 and an additional $2 billion in network efficiencies by 2027. The consolidation, undoing the legacy of founder and executive chairman Fred Smith, will cost an estimated $2 billion, FedEx said.

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Parcel Volume in U.S. Hits Projection a Year Ahead

| Mike O'Brien

FedEx saw the biggest U.S. parcel volume falloff in 2022, Pitney Bowes reported, and while overall volume last year was down by 2.2%, the pandemic bump in ecommerce helped it outpace the 2019 projection, hitting the target a year early. The CAGR for parcel volume growth from 2023-2028 is projected to be halved, from 10.8% to 5%.

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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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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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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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Amazon, UPS In Full-On Labor Battles

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon lost another skirmish in its ongoing multi-front labor war, as a federal regulator ruled Wednesday against its petition to have a successful union vote in Staten Island, NY vacated. At the same time, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters is heating up rhetoric ahead of the expiration of its contract with UPS on July 31.

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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.