• DTS.USA
    5.834
    -0.003
    -0.1%
  • NTI.USA
    2.850
    0.000
    0%
  • NTID.USA
    2.860
    -0.040
    -1.4%
  • NTIDL.USA
    1.960
    -0.040
    -2%
  • OTRI.USA
    7.950
    -0.050
    -0.6%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,710.370
    38.730
    0.3%
  • DTS.USA
    5.834
    -0.003
    -0.1%
  • NTI.USA
    2.850
    0.000
    0%
  • NTID.USA
    2.860
    -0.040
    -1.4%
  • NTIDL.USA
    1.960
    -0.040
    -2%
  • OTRI.USA
    7.950
    -0.050
    -0.6%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,710.370
    38.730
    0.3%
Last-mile deliveryModern ShipperNewsRecent News

Modern Shipper Top 10: Last-mile delivery

The final cog in the supply chain, e-commerce has driven an evolution in the last mile

Modern Shipper launched in February with a mission of highlighting the ever-growing last mile of the supply chain. Throughout the year, we learned a lot, and our readers helped inform us of plenty more.

Looking back on the year that was, there were plenty of stories that resonated with our readers — from drones to automation, from gig workers to last-mile delivery providers. Of course, we can’t forget e-commerce, which is rapidly changing the supply chain and everything and everybody that touches it.

We thank you for taking the time out of your day to visit our site, read our articles and engage with us, whether that is through modernshipper.com, by becoming fans of our social media channels or watching At Your Doorstep with host Kaylee Nix, the FreightWavesTV show dedicated to the last mile.

However you choose to engage with us, thank you.

Now, as we look back at 2021, here are the 10 most popular stories that appeared on modernshipper.com. Today, we look at last-mile delivery.

10. You can have your money back, maybe

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

UPS Inc. confirmed that it had reinstated money-back delivery guarantees on packages moving under its three next-day air delivery products. However, UPS said it has loosened the deadlines on its next-afternoon air deliveries to make it easier to meet its service commitments without being penalized. In a message posted on its website, Atlanta-based UPS said that air deliveries that are typically made during the next afternoon can now be delivered by 11:59 p.m. and still meet the service guarantee. The next-afternoon air delivery product primarily supports UPS’ business-to-business customers.

Read: UPS partially reinstates money-back delivery guarantee — with a twist

9. The path less traveled

(Photo: LaserShip)

It’s been a long, somewhat strange trip for regional parcel-delivery carrier LaserShip Inc. LaserShip was launched in 1986 as a document-delivery company. The dot-com boom of the late 1990s eventually pushed the Vienna, Virginia-based concern into the parcel-delivery world. Since then, it has assembled an impressive geographic footprint for a self-styled regional carrier. Privately held LaserShip’s ground-delivery network spans 23 states in the East and Midwest, as well as the District of Columbia. It operates 54 distribution centers and four sortation centers. LaserShip blankets the East Coast from Maine to Miami, serves markets as far west as Indianapolis and offered seven-day-a-week deliveries long before it was mainstream.

Read: Long controversial and now cooking, LaserShip rides the parcel-delivery wave

8. Quitting time

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Two delivery companies in the Portland, Oregon, area quit Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN). Last Mile Delivery and Triton Transportation stopped hauling packages for the e-tailer and the attorney representing both companies told Modern Shipper that litigation against Amazon was being considered for breach of good faith and fair dealing and interference with economic relations. In a statement to Modern Shipper, an Amazon spokesperson said the last-mile delivery companies terminated the relationship after Amazon refused to meet a demand for $36 million in payment. Portland-area attorney Thomas Rask, of the law firm Kell, Alterman & Runstein LLP, who is representing the DSPs, told Modern Shipper the two companies asked Amazon for money but did not confirm the amount.

Read: 2 Oregon delivery providers drop Amazon; e-tailer says they demanded $36M

7. Prime-time shake-up

(Photo: Amazon)

Grocery delivery has long been seen as the domain of Instacart and Walmart, but more and more food delivery platforms are experimenting with the service. Take, for example, Uber (NYSE: UBER), which earlier this year introduced same-day, on-demand grocery delivery in 400 U.S. cities, or DoorDash (NYSE: DASH), which rolled out an ultrafast delivery service that will deliver groceries to customers in New York City in 15 minutes or less. Not to be outdone, though, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is throwing its hat in the grocery delivery ring. Over the last year, the massive retailer has been developing an Instacart-like business in the U.K. known within the company as Amazon Fresh Marketplace, and according to The Information, Amazon plans to expand the service throughout the U.S. and Europe in 2022.

Read: Amazon is about to shake up grocery delivery

6. Outside help

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

UPS Inc. CEO Carol B. Tomé in June said that the company is considering the launch of same-day delivery initiatives and might go outside the UPS driver network to implement them. Such a service would plug a hole in the Atlanta-based transport and logistics company’s portfolio. UPS has never offered a same-day delivery service. Pilots are underway to test the initiative, Tomé said during UPS’ investor and analyst day. She did not elaborate. “We don’t have this all the way figured out, but we have a team of people looking at it,” Tomé said about the same-day delivery concept. “There’s an opportunity there that’s very different [from what] we’ve done in the past.”

Read: UPS mulling same-day delivery service with contracted drivers — CEO

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

5. Military might

(Photo: U.S. Postal Service)

Defense contractor Oshkosh Truck Corp. (NYSE: OSK) won a 10-year contract to build next-generation delivery vehicles (NGDVs) for the U.S. Postal Service, beating out electric delivery van maker Workhorse Group Inc. Day traders had driven Workhorse (NASDAQ: WKHS) shares to record levels in recent months, anticipating that at least a piece of the multibillion-dollar contract would be awarded to the company. It was one of three finalists. The Postal Service delayed awarding the contract for several years after inviting seven companies to build prototypes for evaluation.

Read: Oshkosh beats Workhorse for Postal Service delivery vehicle contract

4. A time of giving

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

FedEx Corp. disclosed in August a series of surcharges to cover the delivery of shipments during the peak shipping season, as well as a separate 60-cents-per-package surcharge to extend into 2022. The holiday surcharge cycle began Oct. 4 with levies on shipments that typically move outside of FedEx’s main processing stream and that require some type of extraordinary handling. A $5.95-per-package surcharge will be imposed on shipments requiring “special handling.” A $62.50-per-piece charge will be imposed on so-called oversize shipments that don’t fit the company’s conveyable processes. In addition, a $350-per-package charge will be levied on “unauthorized” shipments that FedEx generally discourages because their large sizes and weights make them more appropriate for LTL shipping and handling rather than parcel. 

Read: FedEx hits big shippers with 2 residential delivery surcharges

3. We can do it!

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Oshkosh Truck Corp. (NYSE: OSK) can make 100% battery-electric delivery trucks for the U.S. Postal Service, undercutting an assertion by Workhorse Group (NASDAQ: WKHS) that its being passed over for the contract dooms the mail service to remaining a source of planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. Not so, Oshkosh President and CEO John Pfeifer told analysts on the company’s fiscal second-quarter earnings call. “We can do 100% electric vehicles from Day One,” Pfeiffer said. “If the U.S. Postal Service came to us tomorrow and said, ‘We’ve got the funding to do 100% electric from 2023,’ we can do it.”

Read: Oshkosh takes victory lap over Postal Service delivery truck contract

2. Somebody wins

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Albertsons and subsidiaries will outsource the delivery of groceries to companies like DoorDash, a move made possible by Proposition 22’s Election Day victory. The impact of Proposition 22, the California referendum that took people and food delivery services out from under AB5, has created what appears to be the first tangible impact: the firing of in-house delivery drivers at a major supermarket chain. Albertsons and its subsidiaries, including Vons, are eliminating their in-house delivery service in favor of independent contractors working for services like DoorDash.

Read: California’s Prop 22, spurred by AB5, finds early victims: Grocery delivery drivers

1. Blame your shopping habits

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

In January, FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX) said it would impose a 30 cent per-package surcharge on U.S. residential delivery traffic tendered by large customers, effective Feb. 15. The surcharge applies to customers that shipped, on average, more than 30,000 packages per week from Jan. 4 to 31, FedEx said in a note on its website. The levy will apply to any combination of FedEx’s air, ground and last-mile delivery parcels that hit or exceed the 30,000 weekly volume threshold, FedEx said. The levy, once it takes effect, will remain until further notice, FedEx said. 

Read: FedEx to impose residential delivery surcharge

Click for more articles by Brian Straight.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and fleetowner.com. Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at bstraight@freightwaves.com.