Jay’s Parcel Notes: May 11 – May 24

I’m Jay Kent, managing director of SLB Performance, a consulting firm that helps companies reduce supply chain costs, implement BI tools, and improve in-stocks and customer service.  After 25 years of leading some of the most complex supply chains in the industry, I began advising companies in multiple industries and verticals. To mitigate costs and improve efficiencies, it’s important to understand the market. So twice a month, I’ll share parcel news and thoughts. Be sure to hit the subscribe button to receive the latest newsletter in your LinkedIn notifications.

Random tidbits in today’s notes, starting with UPS:

An interesting The Washington Post article from yesterday, well worth the read – UPS strike looms in a world grown reliant on everything delivered everywhere all the time – discusses how consumers have grown accustomed to having anything and everything delivered to their doorsteps and the potential impact of a UPS strike.

Per the article:

“I don’t even know where to buy dog food,” said Jessica Ray of the specialty food she buys for the family’s aging dog.

There are millions of families like the Rays who have swapped store visits for doorstep deliveries in recent years, meaning that contentious labor negotiations now underway at UPS could become vastly more disruptive than the last time it happened in 1997 when a scrappy upstart called Amazon.com became a public company.

In other news…

UPS announced a new flight from its Worldport air hub in Louisville and connecting to Dublin and East Midlands Airports. The flight will return to the US carrying healthcare goods and small packages.

This is part of its plan to expand its healthcare offerings. “Our goal is to become the No. 1 complex healthcare logistics provider in the world,” Tome told analysts in April. “To help us get there, we plan to open seven dedicated healthcare facilities this year. In the first quarter, revenue from our health care portfolio reached $2.4 billion, and we expect to generate over $10 billion in health care revenue in 2023.”

Meanwhile, FedEx Express pilots voted in favor of a strike to help their union win a new contract about pay raises. The pilots’ union and FedEx have been negotiating for two years over a new contract. Discussions entered the mediation phase in October 2022.

“We are still in productive negotiations with our pilots under the supervision of a government-appointed mediator and will return to the bargaining table next week,” FedEx said in a statement.

“The ball is in the management’s court, and it’s time for the company to get serious at the bargaining table and invest in our pilots,” said Chris Norman, chair of the FedEx ALPA master executive council.

Drone Wars

What are your thoughts on drone deliveries? Have you ever experienced such a delivery? Are they a viable last-mile option?

Amazon has completed just 100 deliveries in two small U.S. markets. It had planned to do more but blames regulatory hurdles on the lower number of deliveries. “While the FAA broadened Prime Air’s authority to conduct drone deliveries to include sites in California and Texas, the phased process for expanding our service areas is taking longer than we anticipated,” said Av Zammit, an Amazon spokesperson.

Meanwhile, Wing CEO Adam Woodworth said it’s made 330,000 deliveries. DroneUp, a Walmart partner with financial backing from the retailer, has made more than 110,000 deliveries.

Lastly, GEODIS is integrating Parcel Perform’s data and parcel tracking capabilities into its visibility platform – GEODIS Visibility. “Together with Parcel Perform, we’re now able to offer our customers even more comprehensive solutions, enabling them to monitor their supply chain operations and remedy immediate action to resolve issues that may arise. As a result, they’ll benefit from more efficient operations, greater transparency, and a better overall experience,” Pal Narayanan, EVP, Chief Information Officer, GEODIS in the Americas said in a statement.

Heading to #homedeliveryworld next month? Let me know, I’m heading up the parcel track and will be involved in a couple of sessions. Click here for more info on the conference.

That’s it for now. Comments are always welcome. Let me know what I missed. Stay tuned for the next newsletter next week, and don’t forget to hit the subscribe button to ensure you receive it in your LinkedIn notices.