FedEx ends contract with Amazon

FedEx has made the decision to not renew the FedEx Express U.S. domestic contract with Amazon as the company wishes to focus on serving the broader e-commerce market.
In an announcement FedEx stated that this decision does not impact any existing contracts between Amazon and other FedEx business units or relating to international services.
Amazon is not FedEx’s largest customer. The percentage of total FedEx revenue attributable to Amazon represented less than 1.3 percent of total FedEx revenue for the 12-month period ended December 31, 2018.
“There is significant demand and opportunity for growth in e-commerce which is expected to grow from 50 million to 100 million packages a day in the U.S. by 2026. FedEx has already built out the network and capacity to serve thousands of retailers in the e-commerce space. We are excited about the future of e-commerce and our role as a leader in it,” FedEx declared.

Delivering the future: the delivery robot arrives

FedEx Corp. has launched a new agent to meet the rapidly changing needs of consumers: the FedEx SameDay Bot, an autonomous delivery device designed to help retailers make same-day and last-mile deliveries to their customers.
With the bot, retailers will be able to accept orders from nearby customers and deliver them by bot directly to customers’ homes or businesses the same day. FedEx is collaborating with companies such as AutoZone, Lowe’s, Pizza Hut, Target, Walgreens and Walmart to help assess retailers’ autonomous delivery needs. On average, more than 60 per cent of merchants’ customers live within three miles of a store location, demonstrating the opportunity for on-demand, hyper-local delivery.
“The FedEx SameDay Bot is an innovation designed to change the face of local delivery and help retailers efficiently address their customers’ rising expectations,” said Brie Carere, executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer for FedEx. “The bot represents a milestone in our ongoing mission to solve the complexities and expense of same-day, last-mile delivery for the growing e-commerce market in a manner that is safe and environmentally friendly.”
The FedEx bot is being developed in collaboration with DEKA Development & Research Corp. and its founder Dean Kamen, inventor of many life-changing technologies, including the iBot personal mobility device and the Segway.
“The bot has unique capabilities that make it unlike other autonomous vehicles,” Mr Kamen said. “We built upon the power base of the iBot, an advanced, FDA-approved, mobility device for the disabled population with more than 10 million hours of reliable, real-world operation. By leveraging this base in an additional application, we hope that the iBot will become even more accessible to those who need it for their own mobility.”
The FedEx bot is designed to travel on sidewalks and along roadsides, safely delivering smaller shipments to customers’ homes and businesses. Bot features include pedestrian-safe technology from the iBot, plus advanced technology such as LiDAR and multiple cameras, allowing the zero-emission, battery-powered bot to be aware of its surroundings. These features are coupled with machine-learning algorithms to detect and avoid obstacles, plot a safe path and allow the bot to follow road and safety rules. Proprietary technology makes the bot highly capable, allowing it to navigate unpaved surfaces, kerbs, and even steps for extraordinary door-to-door delivery.
The initial test will involve deliveries between selected FedEx Office locations. FedEx Office currently offers a SameDay City service that operates in 32 markets and 1,900 cities using branded FedEx vehicles and uniformed FedEx employees. The FedEx bot will complement the FedEx SameDay City service.
The FedEx bot will support retailers in several segments, and the first group of retail customers to view the prototype have recognised the value the technology can bring to their industries.

FedEx acquires 1,000 electric vehicles

FedEx has announced it is expanding its fleet to add 1,000 Chanje V8100 electric delivery vehicles.  FedEx is purchasing 100 of the vehicles from Chanje Energy Inc and leasing 900 from Ryder System, Inc.
The purpose-built electric vehicles will be operated by FedEx Express for commercial and residential pick-up and delivery services in the United States.
“FedEx continually seeks new ways to maximise operational efficiency, minimise impacts and find innovative solutions through the company’s Reduce, Replace, Revolutionise approach to sustainability,” said Mitch Jackson, FedEx Chief Sustainability Officer.  “Our investment in these vehicles is part of our commitment to that approach of serving our customers and connecting the world responsibly and resourcefully.”
The vehicles are manufactured by FDG in Hangzhou, China, and purchased through Chanje Energy Inc., the company’s subsidiary for global business.  Ryder System, Inc. will provide support services for all of the vehicles.
The EVs can travel more than 150 miles when fully charged and have the potential to help FedEx save two thousand gallons of fuel while avoiding 20 tons of emissions per vehicle each year. The maximum cargo capacity is around 6,000 pounds. All of the EVs will be operated in California.
FedEx has been using all-electric vehicles as part of its pickup-and-delivery fleet since 2009.  We believe that wider adoption of alternative-fuel, electric and hybrid electric vehicles will play a key role in reducing global emissions, while diversifying and expanding renewable energy solutions.
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UPS tops global logistics list for brand value

US logistics company United Postal Service (UPS) has been named the world’s most valuable logistics brand, according to the latest Brand Finance Logistics 25 report, despite a one per cent year-on-year decrease in brand value to US$22 billion ($28 billion).
UPS was followed by FedEx in second place, Japan Railways in third and DHL in fourth.
“There is no doubt that forging a distinct brand helps a business to build resilience,” said Richard Haigh, Managing Director, Brand Finance. “As Amazon prepares to launch ‘Shipping with Amazon’, having a strong brand can help protect incumbents from this new competition. Powerful brands alone will not be enough to prevent Amazon from gaining a foothold in the industry, however they will allow breathing room for the existing brands to riposte and limit their loss of market share.”
FedEx’s acquisition of TNT Express helped it achieve its second-place position, Brand Finance found, though notably the Petya cyber attack created a loss of revenue due to decreased volumes.

Amazon trialling own delivery service

E-commerce company Amazon is reportedly trialling its own delivery service, news site TechRadar reports.
According to news company the Wall Street Journal, Amazon’s new service encompasses pick-up of packages from businesses sell on its site through its Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) service, and delivery to customers, taking over the task usually performed by dedicated delivery companies such as United Parcel Service (UPS) and FedEx.
Although there have been no official reports from the company itself, the Wall Street Journal reports that the pilot scheme has already been launched in London, and soon will head to Los Angeles and other US cities.

Amazon developing own delivery service

Anonymous sources have informed news site Bloomberg that Amazon is planning to launch its own US delivery service, ‘Seller Flex’, which has been designed to ease overcrowding in its warehouses and make more items eligible for two-hour delivery.
Research for the US pilot project reportedly began in India two years ago, with Amazon now in discussions with US sellers ahead of a national rollout in 2018.
The sources said that through the service, Amazon will manage parcel delivery from warehouses of third-party sellers to the customer’s delivery address, a role until now performed by delivery partners such as FedEx and UPS.
Bloomberg’s Spencer Soper noted that the relationship between Amazon and its delivery partners may well continue, though the e-commerce company would gain more control over how a package is sent.
He added that this would give Amazon more flexibility and control over the final mile to customers’ doors – opening up opportunities for volume discounts – and help it streamline its warehouse inventory operations, by having external sellers store their goods in their own facilities.
“Amazon’s final-mile efforts reflect a logical extension of its model as it builds network density,” Benjamin Hartford, a Robert W. Baird analyst, told Bloomberg.

Chinese shoppers love Australian goods, put off by delivery

A survey of online shoppers living in major Chinese cities has found that, while Australian goods enjoy a stellar reputation for quality and value, long delivery times are making a third of the shoppers hesitant to buy Australian products.
The research, commissioned by FedEx, found 80 per cent of the shoppers would be more likely to make a purchase if the seller was using an established international shipping company.
“Australian brands enjoy a high reputation among consumers in China,” said Kim Garner, Managing Director, FedEx Express Australasia. “In e-commerce, successful delivery plays an important part in the customer experience – customers want to know that their package will arrive safely and quickly.”
The ability to return orders easily was also identified as a significant factor in purchase decision-making, with 69 per cent of respondents recognising it as ‘highly important’, fooled by reliable solutions for outsized, perishable or fragile deliveries (66 per cent) and fast delivery (66 per cent).
“For Australian businesses to harness e-commerce, logistics plays an important role,” said Garner. Delivery and returns are an important part of the customer experience. That’s why it is so important to have reliable and fast shipping solutions that give Chinese shoppers the confidence to buy from Australia.”
Garner told Logistics & Materials Handling that courier companies should be looking to partner with platforms known to Chinese shoppers.
“Express delivery providers should communicate their offerings to businesses that are marketing and shipping to international audiences,” she said.
“Consumers are looking for more choice and flexibility for delivery options to match their needs, such as day-definite delivery, or more cost-effective options if they don’t need their shipments as quickly.
“With greater delivery options, Chinese customers will be more confident to purchase.”

The world’s most valuable logistics brands

According to UK-based valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance’s latest annual rundown of the world’s most powerful logistics brands, UPS is still both the most valuable and the most powerful logistics brand in 2017, valued at US$22 billion ($29 billion).
Each year, Brand Finance values the brands of the world’s biggest companies, they are evaluated on their power/strength – based on factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, loyalty, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation – and given a corresponding letter grade up to AAA+. Brand strength is then used to determine what proportion of a business’s revenue is contributed by the brand, which is projected into perpetuity to determine the brand’s value. The world’s most valuable logistics brands are ranked and included in the Brand Finance Logistics 25 2017.
FedEx retains its place in second position, valued at $17 billion – 31 per cent up from 2016 following its controversial acquisition of TNT Express – UPS was blocked by EU anti-trust authorities in 2013 from acquiring the business over concerns about market dominance in Europe, FedEx’ subsequent acquisition caused some friction and now the EU’s general court has opened the door for UPS to sue for damages.
Royal Mail dropped from seventh place in 2016 to sixteenth in 2017, with its value down 21 per cent. Brand Finance credits the Brexit referendum with negatively affected the value of many UK brands though notes that Royal Mail’s troubles go beyond this. “Its share price has dropped consistently from September 2016 and now stand at a near all-time low,” the company said in a press release. “Online migration of ad budgets is hitting revenue from direct mail – despite the best efforts of the great and the good of the UK’s advertising and marketing community pitching in for the ‘MailMen’ campaign – while a continuing fall in letter volumes is weighing heavily on Royal Mail given its Universal Service Obligation.”
Brand Finance 25

FedEx ships giant panda from US to China

FedEx Express has successfully shipped giant panda Bao Bao from Washington D.C. in the US to Chengdu in China.
Bao Bao landed at China’s Chengdu Shuangliu Airport on February 22 at 6:59 pm onboard a custom-decalled FedEx B777 Freighter (B777F) known as the FedEx Panda Express.
Upon arrival, she was transported to her new home in Sichuan province, the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda’s Dujiangyan City Reserve.
“It’s a great honour for FedEx Express to be able to support this latest mission by donating our expertise and resources, and to be entrusted once again with such a valuable and symbolic shipment,” said Karen Reddington, President, FedEx Express Asia Pacific. “We’ve assisted with giant panda shipments several times in the past and have considerable experience of managing the process, which involves months of planning and cross-disciplinary teamwork. Transporting Bao Bao is also an act of good global citizenship that leverages our unique network and specialised capabilities to help connect the world.”

Bao Bao
Bao Bao

Bao Bao, a three-and-a-half-year-old female panda born in August 2013 at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, is the offspring of Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, both currently living in the US.
FedEx provided a dedicated aircraft to bring Bao Bao’s brother Tai Shan to China in 2010, and her parents, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, to the United States in 2000.
Sydney’s Port Botany recently received a giraffe traveling between Auckland and New South Wales’ Mogo Zoo.

FedEx takes on Amazon with new fulfilment service

FedEx Supply Chain, a subsidiary of international shipping company FedEx Corp. has announced ‘FedEx Fulfilment’ – a service catering to SMEs lacking in warehouse space and delivery know-how who want to appeal to online customers.
US companies using the service will be able to outsource the entire fulfilment process to FedEx. After receiving products from the companies, FedEx will handle warehousing, packaging, delivery and will also deal with returned orders. Sellers with have the option to use custom packaging featuring their logo rather than FedEx’s.
Using the service’s platform, sellers will be able to view and track their products, manage inventory and analyse trends.
“FedEx Fulfilment gives small and medium-sized businesses the potential to achieve profitable and scalable growth,” said Ryan Kelly, senior vice president, FedEx Supply Chain. “Online shoppers show deep-rooted loyalty to brands with fast shipments, easy returns, positive customer service experiences and flexible delivery options.”
The system works in a very similar fashion to that of Amazon: Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), though without Prime membership benefits for buyers. According to Business Insider, FedEx’s offering could serve as a good alternative for sellers loathe to reveals their sales number to Amazon. “Amazon connects them with customers, but it also competes with these sellers” commented CNN Money‘s Matt McFarland. “Amazon can see which products are selling best, and start to sell those products itself.”

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