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Shopify Offloads Logistics Assets to Flexport, Ocado

| Mike O'Brien

Shopify has pulled the plug on its ambitious in-house logistics business built up in recent years, selling Deliverr to global supply chain provider Flexport and warehouse robotics firm 6 River Systems to UK-based fulfillment automation firm Ocado. “We are changing the shape of Shopify significantly today to pay unshared attention to our mission,” said Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke in a letter to employees.

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USPS Now Looks to June 2024 for EV Delivery

| Mike O'Brien

The USPS won’t receive EVs from Oshkosh until June 2024, nine months behind schedule, which was revealed in a court document related to lawsuits against the USPS and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. A raft of attorneys general and environmental groups threaten to seek removal of a litigation stay if any more gas-powered vehicles are purchased before an environmental review is completed.

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USPS Touts Deficit Cuts, But Service Complaints Persist

| Mike O'Brien

The USPS said its projected loss by 2030 has been cut from $160 billion to $70 billion, adding it still expects to reach break-even by then, even factoring in $3 billion in inflationary costs. It also touted a number of other milestones two years into its overhaul plan. At the same time, APWU union leadership called for a series of protests across the nation over USPS service issues and increasing workforce turnover.

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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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Amazon Drivers Join Teamsters in California

| Mike O'Brien

A small group of drivers for an Amazon delivery contractor in California has joined the Teamsters union, the first fruits of a concerted effort by the country’s most powerful union to organize workers at the massive ecommerce company both inside and outside its warehouses. Amazon said the DSP employing them had been terminated some time before the Teamsters announcement for performance reasons.

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PRC Orders Review of USPS Overhaul Plan

| Mike O'Brien

The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has ordered a public review of various aspects of the U.S. Postal Service’s ten-year overhaul plan, including consolidating sort and delivery operations into regional centers, opening up public input on the impact of the changes. The PRC will issue information requests to the USPS about proposed network changes as part of the Delivering for America plan.

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Sustainable Packaging Q&A: A Retailer’s Quest for a New Solution

| Ian McRae

Omoda, a Dutch-based retailer of premium shoes, wanted to reduce its CO2 footprint and demonstrate a commitment to the environment. Its preexisting process often resulted shipping up to 50% air, which caused a substantial impact on both sustainability and shipping costs. In this Q&A case study, Omoda talks about how Ranpak’s solution helped the retailer achieve its goals.

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Amazon CEO Remains Upbeat as Headwinds Blow

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy kept a positive tone while running down ways that Amazon has had to scale back its business to accommodate shifting conditions in his second annual shareholder letter, including reducing and reconfiguring its fulfillment network and dealing with a slowdown in cloud computing. The company is also trying to figure out a physical grocery model that works, Jassy said.

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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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Ecommerce Packaging Waste: The Issue and What’s Being Done

| Mike O'Brien

No one questions the fact that ecommerce packaging waste is a major problem, clogging the planet with yet more plastic and cardboard. The twofold question then becomes, what is being done about it, and what more can be done? This Multichannel Merchant special feature discusses the scope of the issue, and steps that are being taken by retailers, suppliers and governments to reduce the amount of waste.