Roadie Partners with Delta Cargo for Same-Day Delivery Across the Country

| Mike O'Brien

On-the-way delivery app Roadie has partnered with Delta Cargo to enable the first cross-country, same-day delivery service for critical items such as medical devices and machine parts using air cargo and last-mile drivers in tandem. While critical-need items are the most natural use case, ecommerce deliveries are not far behind.

New California Law Upends Economics of Using Independent Contractors

| Mike O'Brien

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a new measure that will require many companies using independent contractors to hire them as employees and provide benefits, dramatically changing the economics of the gig economy in ecommerce delivery. Deliv got ahead of the law in June by hiring its California workers.

Omnichannel Merchants Shift Closer to the Customer

| Ken Fleming

As consumer behavior shifts and omnichannel retailing grows, retailers are getting closer to customers to improve service and help ensure profitability. Increasingly, they look to four key areas where shifts can make fulfillment more efficient: Retail footprint; manufacturer direct shipping; 3D print & ship; and pickup sites.

Pilot Program for Automated Lockers Seeing Success in Seattle

| Daniela Forte

The use of automated lockers for ecommerce deliveries is moving beyond BOPIS applications, with adoption growing in apartment buildings, public transportation areas and even mobile tests. To that end, a shared locker pilot program by the University of Washington’s Urban Freight Lab and Seattle DOT will be expanding next year.

USPS Sees Parcel Volume Decline for the First Time in Nine Years

| Mike O'Brien

The U.S. Postal Service reported a drop in its parcel volume for the first time in nine years during its third quarter, as major customers like Amazon continue to shift business away from the USPS and take on some of the deliveries themselves. However parcel revenue was up thanks to rate increases and a DIM adjustment this year.

FedEx Expands Pickup Network with Dollar General Partnership

| Mike O'Brien

FedEx has partnered with discount retailer Dollar General, offering dropoff and pickup services at 8,000 Dollar General stores by the end of 2020, giving it rural penetration it lacked. Along with its own stores and partnerships that also include Walgreens, Kroger and Albertsons, FedEx now has a network of 62,000 locations.

FedEx Will Go to Seven-Day Delivery Year-Round in 2020

| Mike O'Brien

Starting in January, FedEx will make deliveries seven days a week to meet increasing demand from ecommerce shippers, while diverting about 2 million packages per year from the U.S. Postal Service’s last-mile service to build necessary density and shave costs.

SCOTUS Declines to Hear UPS Case on USPS Pricing

| Mike O'Brien

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling, which denied UPS’s legal claim that the U.S. Postal Service’s pricing model gave it an unfair advantage over parcel shipping competitors. In 2018, a U.S. Appellate Court in Washington, DC upheld the pricing methodology. Amazon backed the USPS in the case.

With the Next Salvo, Walmart Offers Free Next-Day Delivery

| Mike O'Brien

Firing back at Amazon’s move less than three weeks ago, Walmart is now offering free next-day delivery to customers in Phoenix and Las Vegas, with plans to expand to Southern California within days and 75% of the U.S. population by the end of the year. Walmart’s deal is mostly free: There’s a $35 order value threshold to qualify.

LSO Adds Enhanced Tracking, Route Optimization with Bringg Partnership

| Mike O'Brien

Adding a weapon in its competition with FedEx and UPS in eight Southern states, Texas-based regional carrier LSO has added route optimization and enhanced tracking and visibility through a partnership with software provider Bringg. See what capabilities this brings as well as enhanced productivity and efficiency for LSO.