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.
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.
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.
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.
The impacts of the coronavirus spread are being felt everywhere across retail and ecommerce, with first stores and now ecommerce operations shut down to comply with government orders, and warehouse workers and drivers testing positive, forcing facilities to close so they can be scrubbed and restarted.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.