Target Expands Curbside Pickup to 1,550 Stores for Back to School

| Mike O'Brien

Target is expanding its free curbside pickup program, Drive Up, ahead of the busy back-to-school season, making it available at 1,550 stores and adding coverage in the Northeast, the company reported in a blog post. Several markets are being added in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, with expansion in others.

CommonSense Robotics Goes Underground with Grocery Fulfillment

| Mike O'Brien

Israeli firm CommonSense Robotics is building what it says is the world’s first underground automated fulfillment operation for grocery delivery, anticipating a future where facilities like this will occupy abandoned urban spaces above and below ground to fulfill one-hour deliveries for city dwellers.

Shopify Launches Fulfillment Network for SMB Merchants

| Mike O'Brien

Shooting across Amazon’s bow with its FBA program, Shopify is going all-in on ecommerce fulfillment, tapping 3PL partners to provide two-day delivery across the U.S. for merchants on its ecommerce platform, many with physical stores, while letting them keep customer data and a branded packaging experience.

Amazon Unveils New Robotic Hybrid Drone-Plane

| Mike O'Brien

You just knew Amazon wasn’t going to get shut out of a DOT sanctioned drone delivery pilot program a year ago that let in Google, a FedEx/General Electric/Intel team and Uber, and take it lying down. The ecommerce giant unveiled a bold new delivery system that’s part drone, part aircraft and part robot that uses sensors, AI and ML.

Kroger Selects Orlando Area for Second Automated Fulfillment Center

| Mike O'Brien

Kroger plans to build the second of 20 automated distribution centers in partnership with UK grocer Ocado for fulfilling ecommerce orders in Groveland, FL. The state-of-the-art FCs, built by Kroger and powered by Ocado’s automation technology, are just part of Kroger’s innovation push including driverless and same-day delivery.

Parcel Delivery Jobs Slashed in February, But Overall Trend is Up

| Mike O'Brien

Parcel delivery companies saw some post-peak falloff, eliminating 9,700 positions in February even as jobs grew in other sectors while hiring overall cooled, according to the Department of Labor, the Wall Street Journal reported. Overall 53,000 parcel delivery jobs were added in the past 12 months, and warehouse hiring also remains strong.

Walmart, Deliv Part Ways, Retailer Signs Four New Partnerships

| Mike O'Brien

Walmart and Deliv have decided to part ways, and the major retailer is still working with seven other delivery services to get grocery orders to customers, Reuters and others are reporting. Walmart has signed on four new delivery partners since January, including Deliv competitors Doordash and Postmates.