FedEx Leveraging Automation to Handle Peak Volumes

| Mike O'Brien

FedEx is testing the use of autonomous tugs to transport items within its sortation and distribution facilities in an effort to handle the growing volume of bulky ecommerce orders more efficiently. See what other types of automation the carrier is using to optimize the massive flow of packages through its network at peak.

10 Ways to Analyze Your Peak Season Fulfillment

| Brian Barry

If you haven’t formally evaluated your peak season fulfillment, make this the year you do so. From your analysis of ecommerce operations successes and failures, you can develop a plan to make improvements using a multi-faceted approach. Here are 10 ways to analyze your performance and develop a plan for improvement.

Thanksgiving Ecommerce Sales Hit Record $3.7B, Up 28% from 2017

| Mike O'Brien

Online sales on Thanksgiving Day were a record $3.7 billion, according to Adobe Analytics, up 28% from 2017, making it the fastest growing retail day in ecommerce history. It was also a very mobile-friendly holiday, with orders from smartphones representing 36.7% of all sales and driving 54.4% of site traffic, Adobe reported.

Holiday Season Ecommerce Sales Hit $31.9B to Date, Up 16.7%

| Mike O'Brien

Even before Thanksgiving, ecommerce sales are already off to the races this holiday season. From Nov. 1 to Nov. 20, U.S. consumers spent $31.9 billion online, according to Adobe Analytics, up 16.7% from 2017. More than $1 billion in sales were generated all of those 20 days, Adobe said, a new record, surpassing $2 billion on Nov. 20.

Retail Fraud Attempts Expected to Rise 14% Over Cyber Weekend

| Mike O'Brien

Retail fraud attempts are projected to increase 14% during Cyber Weekend compared to last year, according to benchmark data from online payment provider ACI Worldwide based on hundreds of millions of merchant transactions. The fraud activity is likely to peak on Thanksgiving Day, according to ACI.

Amazon Expands Free Shipping for the Holidays, Hires More Drivers

| Mike O'Brien

Pouring more water into its moat, Amazon has totally eliminated shipping charges this holiday season, removing the $25 threshold for non-Prime members on items ordered in time for Christmas delivery. Amazon is also hiring and managing thousands of seasonal delivery drivers to handle the holiday crush.

FedEx Announces 2019 Parcel Rate Hikes, Holiday Peak Charges

| Mike O'Brien

FedEx has announced its general rate increases for 2019, bumping up its ground, express and home delivery services by an average of 4.9% as of Jan. 7, while also adding some holiday season surcharges and increasing others next year. Rival UPS has yet to announce its 2019 rates.

UPS Outlines Peak Season Readiness, Price Increases

| Mike O'Brien

UPS has put in place tools and processes to handle an expected peak season volume of 800,000 packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas, up from 750,000 last year, announcing price increases in the form of over-max and special handling charges to offset the investments.