UPS keeps pace with FedEx, Amazon

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UPS keeps pace with FedEx, Amazon

By Dan Berthiaume - 07/24/2019
UPS is introducing several new delivery services indicating the delivery battle between Amazon and FedEx has a third participant.

Beginning January 1, 2020, UPS will offer customers pick-up and delivery services seven days per week. UPS will expand its current Saturday pick-up and delivery services for both residential and business locations and add new Sunday pick-up and delivery options.

In addition, UPS is making investments to optimize transportation assets, shipping modes and technology resources to improve time in transit. The investments focus on shipping lanes connecting cities and towns where more than 80% of the U.S. population resides.

Furthermore, UPS now enables customers to tender shipments later for next-day ground delivery in cities and towns with about 85% of the U.S. population. The extended day pick-up for next-day ground service is currently available by contract.

Other expanded pickup and delivery services include the planned expansion of its UPS Access Point network over the coming months with up to 12,000 additional locations across CVS Pharmacy, Michaels and Advance Auto Parts stores, with initial store pilot efforts already underway.

Starting July 29, UPS is launching a solution in the U.S. market for small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) called UPS My Choice for business, which enables customers to monitor, plan and control deliveries and outgoing shipments. Features include a Web-based dashboard, advance delivery notifications for “day-before” and “day-of” delivery alerts with estimated arrival times within two hours.

The company has also launched UPS Worldwide Economy, a new deferred service designed to make more low-priced items available for cross-border e-commerce transactions. This new service initially will be available to UPS customers in the U.S., Canada, China, Hong Kong and the U.K., with additional key global markets being added in the near future.

“UPS continues its commitment to helping our customers grow and succeed while also creating higher UPS network utilization and profitable growth,” said David Abney, UPS chairman and CEO. “Transformation, including technology-driven modernization in our network and technology platforms, is enabling major enhancements to our product portfolio and our customers’ experience.”

UPS’ new delivery services follow FedEx’s recent announcement that beginning in January 2020, it will offer ground delivery seven days per week for the majority of the U.S. population. FedEx already delivers via ground seven days per week during the holiday peak season.

Both retailers are ramping up their delivery capabilities as Amazon continues building its proprietary logistical infrastructure. Last month, Amazon partnered with GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) to lease an additional 15 Boeing 737-800 cargo aircraft for its Amazon Air service. The e-tailer will have at a fleet of at least 65 aircraft carrying shipments in the U.S. once these leased planes are operational.

And according to a recent report from TJI Research, a new service known as “Amazon Shipping” is bypassing Amazon fulfillment centers entirely. Select Amazon sellers can directly print Amazon shipping labels from their dashboards, with Amazon then picking up packages every weekday and delivering them to domestic consumers seven days a week.

In addition, according to Business Insider, Amazon is using fabric tents to store and sort packages which drivers then load and take to their delivery destinations. The tents, which are not meant to serve as permanent delivery stations, can be put up within weeks, enabling Amazon to rapidly introduce its own delivery service in new markets.