1. FedEx Express Pilots One Step Closer to Potential Strike
The FedEx Express pilots union unanimously approved an authorization for a strike vote last week. To be clear, they haven’t voted to strike, or even called for a vote to strike. The authorization allows for a vote to be called as a separate action, and they’re warning that “customers and shareholders should be aware that the pilots may be headed in that direction shortly.”
The union has been in negotiations with FedEx since May of 2021, which have been federally mediated for nearly six months. The pilots feel FedEx is failing to adequately recognize their contributions to the business, but remain committed to negotiating.
Should negotiations break down, a strike is only possible if the National Mediation Board releases both parties from mediation, and the federal government authorizes a strike under the procedures of the Railway Labor Act.
While FedEx is assuring customers that service is yet to be disrupted, pilot leaders released a statement urging FedEx clients to prepare for alternative options in the event of a strike.
2. Target Investing $100 million Into Next-Day Delivery Capabilities
Target has announced a $100 million investment into six new sortation centers. In Target’s local next-day delivery model, orders are packed in-store before being sent to a sortation center, where they’re sorted and given to a carrier for local delivery.
The company hasn’t specified where the new sortation centers will be, but the 6 additions will bring their total count to 17 nationwide.
The move is viewed as a key adjustment to sales shifting from in-store to online, and the growing expectation from consumers for a Prime-like shipping experience. In 2020, Walmart launched a similar program that delivers items from stores to local customers in under two hours, and Amazon recently announced the full launch of Buy With Prime, bringing Prime fulfillment services to any eligible retailer.
3. New Solution Providers Expected to Advance Last-Mile Delivery
Last-mile delivery remains the most inefficient segment of supply chains. While complicated routes and increased manual labor costs are inevitable, waves of new companies are hitting the market to help retailers, manufacturers, and anybody else shipping parcels optimize their operations.
Coresight Research analyzed more than 150 of these last-mile solution providers and produced a report highlighting ten they believe to be the most likely to make a meaningful impact. They are:
1. Nuro: Electric local delivery robots
2. Locus Robotics: Warehouse robots designed to assist humans
3. Starship Technologies: Small robots designed to deliver both food and packages
4. Bringg: Delivery management platform
5. Onfleet: Dispatch management and route optimization software
6. Fareye: Route optimization and network scaling software
7. Veho: Crowdsourced delivery platform/driver network
8. Darkstore: Uses a network of warehouses to enable on-demand fulfillment
9. Dropoff: Provides customizable same-day carrier services
10. Point Pickup: Platform to match shipping demand with capacity from crowdsourced drivers