Today’s Pickup: Amazon Prime Day tests company’s logistics network

Amazon plane

Good day,

Amazon Prime day yesterday represented a real test for the e-commerce giant’s logistics and supply chain. In addition to its contracts with FedEx, USPS and UPS – which all will have a busy couple of days to meet all these Prime orders - Amazon’s fleet of planes will be busy moving goods around the country.

“These planes are predominantly focused on our two-day network," said Dave Clark, Amazon's senior vice president of worldwide operations and customer service, according to CNBC. “What it does is it allows us to make the [shipping] cut-off later, so you can order later and later and still get that in the two-day promise with our own air network.”

Amazon has 24 planes currently operating with planes to grow to 40 planes. Estimates had Amazon selling as much as $1 billion worth of goods during Prime Day, which technically started on Monday night and encompassed 30 hours in all.

Clark told CNBC that an Amazon plane can cut up to 15 hours off the transporting of goods, critical time when Prime members are expecting 48-hour turnaround.

Prime Day is not just a test for Amazon’s own network, but also that of FedEx, UPS and others, which have come under criticism the past few holiday seasons for failing to deliver goods on time.

Did you know?

Transportation pays, on average, just under the national hourly pay at $24.33 per hour versus a national average of 25.38 per hour. However, transportation employer benefits costs are $16.65 an hour versus a national average of 12.04 per hour. This Pew Charitable Trusts chart breaks down the costs further.

Quotable:

“We have lost the edge in areas where we stood head and shoulders above our competitors. That ends tonight.”

- Göran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North America

In other news:

Connecting people with data

P&S Transportation wants to use data to deliver better results, but to do that, it means connecting people to that data. Here’s how they are doing it. (CCJ)

Refund checks mailed to truckers

More than 100,000 truckers are receiving refund checks from New York following settlement of a class-action lawsuit against the state for discriminatory taxes. (LandLine)

Warehouse space on the rise in Philly

The boom in e-commerce has triggered another boom in Philadelphia, this one of warehouse space, which is growing at a remarkable rate in the city. (Transport Topics)

Waymo drops patent claims against Uber

Waymo has dropped three of four patent claims in its legal battle with Uber over autonomous technologies. (Transport Topics)

McCormick hopes relationship with Amazon boosts its prospects

Spice maker McCormick, which is the second largest seller of goods on Amazon, hopes that its relationship with the e-commerce giant will help it as Amazon builds out its food business. (Supply Chain Dive)

Final Thoughts

Amazon Prime Day, with Prime members spending upwards of $1 billion in 30 hours, represents a real test for Amazon’s growing logistics network, which includes its own planes and trailers By the end of the week, the company may have a better idea of whether it really wants its own logistics network or not.

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight has covered the U.S. trucking and transportation community for more than 10 years, winning numerous regional and national editorial awards, including a Jesse. H. Neal Award. Prior to working on FreightWaves, Brian spent 10 years at industry trade magazine Fleet Owner, and prior to that managed daily newspaper editorial operations.