FedEx, Microsoft Strike Technology Partnership in Shot at Amazon

| Mike O'Brien

Now that it’s detached itself from Amazon, FedEx has entered into a multiyear agreement with Amazon’s cloud computing rival Microsoft, with the first offering using the latter’s real-time intelligence capabilities to provide FedEx shippers with greater visibility into transit time issues. Other solutions will be announced later this year.

Political Battle Over USPS Future, Fed Bailout Continues as Mail Declines

| Mike O'Brien

While the USPS gets tossed around like a political football and threatens insolvency without more federal aid, the agency continues to report poor results as already lower mail rates have fallen through the floor due to coronavirus. Meantime, Trump ally, donor and fundraiser Louis DeJoy will be the new Postmaster General.

USPS delivery vans

USPS Asking Congress for $75 Billion to Avoid Liquidity Crisis

| Mike O'Brien

The USPS is asking Congress for $75B to avoid a liquidity crisis this fall, including $25 billion each for a cash infusion, for upgrades and modernization and for unrestricted borrowing authority, according to Government Executive. The USPS had already been in a bad position before the crisis, with even parcel growth falling off.

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.

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.

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?

Flat-Rate Shipping Wars Rage On as Carriers Court More SMB Business

| Mike O'Brien

In an effort to attract more business from SMB ecommerce shippers, UPS and FedEx continue to expand their competitive offerings in flat-rate shipping, offering more options, customization and economy. Such programs aren’t as economically attractive to large enterprise shippers with their volume-based discounts.

USPS letter carrier

USPS Net Loss More Than Doubles for 2019, Package Volume Up Slightly

| Mike O'Brien

The USPS saw a slight increase in package volume for fiscal 2019, after its first quarterly decline in years during Q3, as the agency is being challenged by Amazon and FedEx rerouting packages to their own networks. Total mail and package volume declined by 3.8 billion pieces or 2.6%, and the net loss more than doubled to $8.8 billion.

USPS truck in snow feature

USPS Expecting 800 Million Holiday Packages, Down from Past Years

| Mike O'Brien

The U.S. Postal Service is projecting it will handle 800 million packages between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, a drop from both 2018 and 2017. Sunday delivery will be expanded beginning Nov. 24 to high-volume urban locations, with projections of over 8 million package deliveries on Sundays in December.