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Amazon Blocks Sellers from Using FedEx Ground for Prime Shipments (marketwatch.com)
189 points by Judson 37 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 159 comments




It’s to the point where I can’t blame Amazon for actions like these.

The consumer has come to expect guaranteed overnight or 2 day shipping. When they don’t get that, they get really upset.

Amazon doesn’t want its customers to get upset, and it can’t trust its shipping partners because they don’t have the burden of the consumer sentiment. No one blames FedEx for their late package these days, they blame Amazon. Heck, you don’t have to look hard to find product reviews that only gripe with the shipping time or condition.

Amazon is going to vertically integrate shipping, no question. The market demands it, and Amazon will probably eventually ship more packages than any of its competitors. And, Bezos isn’t dumb, so he’ll build and sell this capacity to others.

Amazon is reaching further and further into the economy, and I don’t see much stopping them.


    Amazon is going to vertically integrate shipping, no question. The market demands it, and Amazon will probably eventually ship more packages than any of its competitors. And, Bezos isn’t dumb, so he’ll build and sell this capacity to others.
It AMAZES ME how unreported it goes that they are doing this right now. They are doing it hilariously upfront and clearly. They bought massive amounts of Sprinters for Amazon Delivery to non urban areas, they are rolling out (classically urban only) Amazon delivery to areas near warehouses right now.

And then.. then. They went out and made an order for 100K Rivian delivery vehicles, ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND. The headlines were all focused on the Tesla factor and how they are electric and nobody bothered to ask.. 'Why?'. That's like the number of trucks UPS Owns, PERIOD. That should have been the headline 'AMAZON ORDERS OWN FLEET TO REPLACE UPS, FEDEX' But nope 'Bezos bets on electric with Rivian order'


> It AMAZES ME how unreported it goes that they are doing this right now.

It don't think it's a secret. Why do you think it'd be a major story?

> nobody bothered to ask.. 'Why?'

Because they're doing logistics... everyone knows that. Have you never had an Amazon logistics person deliver you parcel?


"Doing logistics" for one's own shipping, is a bit different than "trying to subsume the role of FedEx/UPS in the economy." Certainly it's "only" a matter of scale, but logistics-as-a-service (the business FedEx and UPS are in) is as large a market as the one Amazon's already in, and you'd think clear signs of them being ready to suddenly add another few hundred billion dollars to their market cap would be reflected in e.g. investment people issuing new guidance about them.


I'm not seeing how these dots are hard to connect, since "for ones own shipping" in Amazon's case seems equivalent to "for most consumer shipping".


Amazon packages supposedly account for less than 10% of packages shipped.


Amazon's shipping fleet is on par with FedEx or UPS, and yet smaller than USPS. Most consumer shipping is not done by Amazon


"Investemnt people" are reading research reports from banks (and their own analysts), not relying on mass market papers for the news. You can see it on Bloomberg.com sometimes, there will be a link to a story with more economic detail, but it will be gated by a terminal subscription.


WSJ reported on Amazon's expanding delivery ambitions 3 years ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12600094


"Ambition" rather than 'They are just killing off UPS and FedEx' Its a huge billion dollar story that's been incredibly soft, just look at UPS's stock, this will result in them losing their largest partner, no movement at all.


I am super sure there is an acquisition of one of convoy et al by amazon very soon to build the AWS for trucking as well because they're going to have so much extra capacity in a matter of 2/3 years.


If there's extra capacity, why would they need to make an acquisition?


Convoy like companies don't actually have capacity from my understanding: They are building a uber like platform to share extra capacity. <it is also funded by Bezos> So if Amazon is to build their own trucking-cloud, this is just a logical buy (unless they decide to build in house for some reason)


The huge Amazon Prime planes at Seatac stick out as well.


At least in the UK, this is already the case. Most of my orders are delivered by a delivery company that only handles Amazon packages.


Yep. They also used to drive unmarked vans for a while, but now I see blue Amazon Prime delivery vans everywhere. I still get an occasional item from Amazon delivered by someone else(I guess they still use other couriers when their own capacity is out) but 90% of the time it's delivery by Amazon. And it's much better than anyone else, they give you a relatively precise 2 hour slot and you can see where your driver is on the map. Only DPD did that previously, and even then not for every parcel.


It’s pretty heavily reported my dude. You see articles about it as well as photos showing Amazon logistics planes all the time.

Plus, you see the Amazon trucks all the time now. At least I do. What’s to report?


Frog realizes pot is boiling. Film at 11.


> No one blames FedEx for their late package these days, they blame Amazon.

As they should. FedEx's customer in this instance is Amazon, not the receiver of the package (who is a customer of Amazon, and Amazon alone). If anyone has the clout these days to hurt FedEx economically if they don't improve, it's Amazon. Amazon should be pushing FedEx (and their other shippers) to be more accountable for late, damaged, and lost packages.

These days both FedEx's and UPS's preferred delivery method seems to be to rake their hands over every single door buzzer to my apartment building, dump the packages outside (insanely unsafe), and run off before anyone has a chance to respond to open the door. They even do this for signature-required packages on occasion, forging the signature. I get that drivers' incentives are completely screwed up regarding how their performance is evaluated, but it's a terrible experience from my perspective.


Amazon doesn't seem much better. Last week, they 'delivered' an item, marked it delivered. The problem with that is that I didn't get it, and the picture proof was not my house. I have no idea whose house it was. When I called to ask for a refund, they first told me to wait as sometimes they mark things delivered before they are. I told him about the picture. Then he asked me to go door to door in my neighborhood because maybe someone else has it. I told him in a not so nice way that was their job, not mine. In the end I -did- get a refund, but seriously, I can't imagine UPS or Fedex saying things like this.


Fedex keeps delivering other people's stuff to my mother in law's house. The correct addresses are within a few blocks. I can assure you that Fedex really doesn't care or help in this case, over several instances of it happening. I suspect that this issue like others being described can come down to the driver that does a route, and what they do.

I would be surprised if Amazon is not using their Ring doorbell cameras to check on deliveries. They will provide evidence of what really happened when customers and delivery dispute it. For example it is clear if the doorbell was rung, or in some cases if the vehicle even went down the street.


My Amazon delivery was pretty strange. I had an unknown number call my phone 2-3 times in a row (dumped to voicemail) then a few minutes later a frantic knocking on my door. It's two guys who were out of breath, they handed the package to me, and then jogged away down the apartment hallway.

I think I ordered socks or something... I couldn't care less. It was jarring, just leave the package in the lobby and send me a delivery notification... geez. Prefer FedEx over that experience.


Funny you should mention the door to door thing. I literally just got this email from a merchant that shipped via FedEx. The package went from being delivered on the 13th to lost in limbo at the regional hub. Yay me.

> In the meantime, I would recommend checking around neighbors and with any other potential members of your household to ensure the package was not incorrectly delivered.


Right? It's such a braindead thing to ask. Imagine having a package on your porch, and seeing someone walk up your driveway and grab it. That's a good way to get punched before you have time to explain.


Yeah, after the second time this happened I stopped ordering anything from Amazon.


> Amazon should be pushing FedEx (and their other shippers) to be more accountable for late, damaged, and lost packages.

sounds like, they are - by taking a LOT of business from them.


Fedex mentions this is not a material amount of business. How Amazon operates it's last mile logistical network is unsustainable. These people will eventually churn out of the open air sweatshop that is delivering last mile for Amazon (Fedex's requirements are much less onerous on the ground/home delivery side, based on my conversations with both Amazon delivery drivers and Fedex ground and home delivery drivers).

Very similar to the high churn Uber and Lyft experience with drivers. It lasts only as long as you can find people desperate enough to work in these roles.


After running the numbers from Amazon's presentation on starting your own delivery company, I came away thinking its a nice JOB. In order for it to be a good profitable business that allows you a life of leisure, you end up having to manage around 400 drivers and 200 trucks, and I'm not sure if that is possible to scale that high with their model.


Do a run with an Amazon driver and see the kind of job it is. I have, and it is not a job I'd have versus a traditional retail job. Agree with your point though that you're buying a job, not a business. Lots of better businesses to buy, lots of better jobs one could have.


The difference with Amazon running that way and Fedex/UPS is that Amazon has AWS to prop up other services that run at a loss. They can run their shipping service at very low or negative profit and use AWS to make up for it.


If they can find enough now, with unemployment at multi decade lows, then it seems that you could find them anytime.


It's going to take a while for the "you're not actually making money, the profits all go eventually into the wear and tear on your vehicle" thing to filter out into general public awareness.


We (my employer, Refund Retriever) has caught them just outright lying about deliveries before.

https://www.refundretriever.com/blog/FedEx-Tracking-Error


I've had plenty of flat-out lies from Amazon delivery before (e.g. they claim delivery attempted at HH:MM PM, while I was in the living room five feet from the door, and yet somehow I must have "missed" their knock), FedEx and UPS alike, although I've never been able to prove it. With the proliferation of people with Ring video doorbells, however, I am surprised that someone does not send footage.

"Oh, you tried to deliver at 3:13 PM? Well gee, my front door camera sure doesn't seem to show anyone approaching my door at that time!"

But again, you're already dealing with people that will lie to your face, so I can't imagine why video proof would compel them to change their strategy.


I don't think any of this has anything to do with Amazon, or at least it isn't limited to packages from Amazon. I've had several categories of what are almost certainly flat-out lies from various carriers throughout the years:

- Packages marked as being delivered, but they don't actually show up for another day or two. (I assume this is a driver who can't be bothered to make it to my building that day but doesn't want to get penalized.)

- Entire carriers who systematically fail to deliver. My current apartment building has a near zero delivery rate for packages from USPS that cannot fit in mail slots. UPS and FedEx generally deliver to our package room without issues, but USPS will just claim to have attempted delivery two days in a row then leave the package at their sorting facility for me to pick up (which I won't do). This is clearly a building-wide problem, because I see hand-written notes on our outside door begging USPS to deliver packages. I think the USPS package delivery person simply cannot be bothered to try, and is apparently not incentivized to do so. Thankfully this rarely affects me, because the only time I get larger USPS packages are from rare Amazon deliveries that for some reason use USPS.

- Packages that claim that the delivery was attempted on a Saturday, but are redelivered on Monday. This has bitten me a few times where I took care to rush a package to me when the shipper claimed it could be delivered on a Saturday. I suspect the weekend delivery person cannot be bothered to make it to my building. I can't really blame them. Saturday delivery is fairly new and I can live without it, I just wish the carriers wouldn't promise it then "attempt to deliver" unsuccessfully.


I just had USPS tell me a package couldn’t be delivered to a 24/7 staffed hotel because they didn’t have access to the delivery location.


My apartment building has a call box and someone will buzz them into the package room. When it says “delivery attempted” it’s almost always because the delivery person couldn’t be bothered to try.


I've been sitting at the door expecting a delivery that I paid to have delivered by 10am and saw a UPS driver run up to my door and put a note saying he missed me then running away. I opened the door and made him actually attempt to deliver. He didn't even ring the doorbell.


Except Amazon owns ring and all that cloud based video footage, so good luck getting far with that evidence.


Yeah, I've also had FedEx lie to me multiple times. Both times they claim delivery was attempted while I was home the whole day (and it was not, obviously). I've even noticed it within an hour of it happening, mid-day. I think sometimes if the drivers get behind they just skip houses and mark it as "attempted."


This is probably due to an overworked worker pushed to meet some metric saying something is delivered when it isn't. I'm sure amazon will do everything they can with software using gps, pictures etc to make it harder to do that.


The last time this happened to me, Amazon's CSR told me that "GPS says it was delivered nearby your building." To which I responded that there were multiple suites inside the building. She then asked if my suite had a mailroom, and I repeated that I had a one-room suite.


Indeed they are doing exactly that. I get a notification when the driver is a few stops away from me along with a map. They also take a picture of the package where they left it and it is all visible from the Amazon app.


In probably a dozen instances in the last two years, I've had premature "Delivered" statuses, with windows of an hour before it showed up, to two days.

2 have been FedEx, 2 USPS. The rest were Delivered by Amazon deliveries.


The only outright lie I've had lately has been USPS where the package didn't show up until the day after they said it had been.

OnTrac used to be horrible, but I haven't gotten stuck with them in quite a white.


I got a notification today that a signature-required package had been received by "signature not required".


Amazon isn't helping anything by their "just in time" delivery model. If there is a truck going out that will allow 8-hour delivery, they will deprioritize the package for 40 hours and then mail it out on that truck.

In turn, that leaves Fedex and UPS absolutely no margin for error. Package shipping errors happen, especially in the weeks before christmas when volume goes through the roof. But Amazon has wasted all the safety margin so if even one error occurs they blow their delivery window.

It's hard to say whether UPS/Fedex have a problem without looking at their metrics, but Amazon sure isn't helping by pushing everything to the bleeding edge. Anecdotally over the last year or so I have noticed an increase to the point where virtually all (let's say at least 75%) of my "2 day delivery" (or even amazon day/no-rush) packages are being shipped like 11 at night on day before delivery and they just beeline it to me same-day.


The closer companies squeeze just-in-time logistics to the limit, the more they are increasingly reliant on a flawless demand model.

It's the biggest reason I've stopped shopping at Walmart in recent years. I can't rely on being able to go to the store and expect that everything is in stock.

Let's dust off my old binomial probability skills:

Assume Walmart's just-in-time demand model is accurate to the extent that 1% of items in the store were misjudged and are out of stock. Let's say I go in for a shopping trip of 30 items. I'll have a 26% chance of being disappointed that one of the items I needed was out of stock, and I'll have to go somewhere else now.

Those are completely made up numbers, but it demonstrates how a seemingly small error can be a big inconvenience for someone.


Fedex has their own margin of error.

If they can't deliver it within their margin, they shouldn't claim they can.


FedEx ground does not have a guaranteed delivery time.


which is why it's insane that it was ever an option for people selling under the prime label. If it's ground, FedEx manages to take the longest possible time they can, even if it's only going a few miles.


I had faster delivery of a pallet on FedEx Freight than I've ever seen from FedEx Ground. Ground is my least favorite (but Amazon doesn't do their own deliveries here).


Amazon is reaching further and further into the economy, and I don’t see much stopping them.

As much as I'm concerned about monopoly and the potential for anti-competitive behavior... I'm impressed by how effectively Amazon operates at the scale that it does. It's not like Comcast or AT&T which operate horribly at scale. I wish they would get disrupted by Starlink or something and go out of business.

Amazon is an incredibly effective business.


It's all about Amazon's focus on customer service and customer satisfaction. By keeping customer happiness as a top priority, customers will continue to return for future business and trust Amazon in new categories.

They prioritize customer happiness above profit and put any profits made into growth, so they will continue to grow by making more customers happy and opening new categories.


AT&T are established utility monopolies. There is simply no comparison here. When Amazon owns the roads, or when they put UPS & FedEx out of business, then we can start making these comparisons.


An efficient monopoly is that much more concerning. The efficiency with which it can squeeze FedEx applies to its customers, as well.


Yes, I'm really going to hate those lower prices on overnight shipping for my business.


>>I can’t blame Amazon for actions like these.

>>The consumer has come to expect guaranteed overnight or 2 day shipping

Amazon created that expectation.


Amazon offered overnight or 2-day shipping, and it turns out that customers apparently love it. I suppose we can quibble over who "creates" the expectation, but note that other things Amazon have offered or tested did not lead to intense customer demand.


Amazon offered 2-day shipping, then changed their free shipping from 5-days to 8-days, deliberately changing a luxury to a necessity so they could up-sell it to more people.

I know I was perfectly happy when packages that I ordered on the weekend arrived in time for the next weekend most of the time, and never paid for expedited shipping. It was only when most of those packages started taking more than a week to arrive that I finally signed up for Prime.


And that expectation is a key reason why many people use Amazon more often nowadays, in situations where they'd previously have gone to a retail store.


Yes Amazon has upped the game and everyone has to match them. You seem to think it's a bad thing?


The bad thing is their market position and ability to negotiate rates makes it much harder for independent business operators who must charge more for shipping or else lose money. The situation isn’t sustainable. Eventually, unless something drastic happens, we’ll be faced with asking whether they should be permitted to provide their own delivery services or not due to concerns about competition.


Ah I see - they’re too good and should be hobbled so people who aren’t as good can keep up. Consumer looses out.


Not really. There are two outcomes that are more likely to happen than others, both of which are terrible for consumers.

In one scenario, Amazon utterly destroys the ability of others to sustain their business, and then raises their own prices dramatically: a fairly typical monopoly scenario.

In another there are two tiers: Amazon and everyone else, which is only marginally better.

In both cases competition is reduced and the consumer suffers.


> then raises their own prices dramatically

When has that happened? How many times? And how much did it offset the previous period of low prices for consumers?


Instead of criticising Amazon for being able to achieve next-day delivery why don't you criticise FedEx for not being able to achieve it? We want to select out badly run inefficient businesses, not support them artificially. If there's a monopoly developing it's because everyone else is incompetent. Tackle them!


I think they created the expectation of vertical integration too. “Amazon does it better and quicker”, a retail customer might think, as they peruse possible cloud providers.

Amazon is an incredibly sticky brand because they created expectations that you almost have to be vertically integrated (or at least one of the largest customers of the post office, the electric company, the computer hardware company, the software vendor, etc) to fulfill.


True, but UPS/USPS/Fedex all helped to enable that expectation. It pains me (almost physically) to give the benefit of the doubt to Amazon, but if the carriers couldn't reasonably fulfill the 2-day delivery expectation the way Amazon wanted, they wouldn't have attempted it, and the expectation wouldn't be set.


What blows me away is that frequently my expected delivery date for Prime orders is next day. More often than not that leaves my packages handled by Amazon or one of their third party contractors. Greater than 75% of the time the package does not come on time. Often times it even turns into 3 days.

If using the established players means the buy button says arrives in 2 days and it arrives in 2 days then I would be SIGNIFICANTLY more satisfied with Prime. I haven’t read enough of the other comments yet to know if my experience is the norm but I really think Amazon would be better off abandoning this whole scheme and letting the pros handle it. It wouldn’t kill American consumers to wait another day.

Side rant: I’m absolutely sick of the armada of rented panel vans from Enterprise blasting random circles through my residential neighborhood. Make them take the earbuds out and for the love of god give them some kind of routing that makes sense.


Maybe it’s my city but that’s not the experience I have here.. but Vancouver also does seem to have a lot of loading areas in front of and alleys for them to use


"Transportation By Amazon" (TBA) used to be a pipe dream and was envisioned as a way to use Amazon's cheaper shipping rates to ship packages of all types.

With the build out of Amazon's own transportation network, Transportation By Amazon is poised to become a reality. The biggest part that remains is the pick-up of packages for shipping / reverse logistics. This should not be too hard, especially as Customer Returns is integrated into Amazon's transportation network.

After Customer Returns is done, it's just a matter of figuring out how to get accurate shipment parameters (box size, weight, type of goods being shipped) and then building a website front-end to advertise and slowly ramp up the capability and learn how to handle different types of exceptional conditions.


> Amazon is going to vertically integrate shipping, no question. The market demands it, and Amazon will probably eventually ship more packages than any of its competitors.

Amazon already delivers half of its own packages. Currently they're about 85% of the size of FedEx.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/12/13/21020938/amazon-logistic...


I'm not sure it's just about vertical integration.

Amazon is trying to to become better, of course.

But it seems they are focusing on things that customers notice, things that are habit forming, while neglecting other areas where, maybe, most customers(maybe not here at HN), don't notice problems.

So fast, effortless delivery(at a price Amazon can afford) is one. And private brands are also another. And TV. And Alexa.

And i think that's where the main focus of their future investments will go, and not as news portrays - towards making themselves more efficient.


>Amazon doesn’t want its customers to get upset,

I wish this was true but it's obviously not seeing that they haven't fixed the commingling and fake/imposter product issues.


awful logic. they know full well that customer loyalty is their bread and butter. not doing a great job solving one cause of unhappiness does not prove they do not attempt to solve any or all causes of unhappiness!

your logic is equivalent to saying, "since the South did not win the Civil War, it’s obvious they did not really care if they were under Union rule or not"


> reviews that only gripe with the shipping time or condition

I was thinking of just this (i.e. who is held responsible nowadays by customers of mishandled deliveries) while I was watching, a few days ago, a UPS worker actually throwing boxes out of the back of his truck onto the concrete ground while it was raining.

Hopefully none of those boxes were electronics, which would not have survived such poor handling unscathed.


and according to nearly every ups/fedex/usps shipping center worker, that doesn't compare to the abuse they suffer before they're on the truck.

it's why apple put tilt sensors and shock sensors in their bulk iphone shipments overseas. they can't trust the shipping companies to not do that, unless they know they can be caught.


All of those timeframes were Amazon's promises that they decided to make as a result of many meetings and many people being involved in the decision. Who else should be blamed?

I feel the elephant in the room is the question of whether Amazon should be allowed to vertically integrate shipping.


> The consumer has come to expect guaranteed overnight or 2 day shipping.

Amazon doesn't even offer overnight shipping anymore. This is a big step backward from the days when you were allowed to get one-day shipping as long as you were willing to pay for it. I am totally baffled.


just like most items are prime shipping after a 2-3 day delay in "order processing" ... 2 day prime coming 5 business days later is not cool.


Are there any anti trust experts here that can comment on whether this constitutes illegal tying?


Only monopolies aren't allowed to utilize a tying strategy. Every other company is free to. Amazon hasn't been found to be a monopoly in any market AFAIK.


Yeah so I just was searching on that and saw this too... like they would need to be nearly 70% of a market for coercive strategies to be antitrust (although I take it % isn’t the only test). Hard to see how one would define a market where that would be true.


So Amazon is concerned about shipping but not counterfeit goods? This isn't about customers and expectations. It's about Amazon's bottomline. It's a great way to get ppl who already have their wallets open to add Prime.


The problem is that Amazon Logistics is systemically far less reliable than FedEx or UPS.


>> Amazon is reaching further and further into the economy, and I don’t see much stopping them.

Once the government makes them liable for the actions of their 3rd party delivery services, it will. Until then? I agree, there's not much standing in their way.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/05/us/amazon-delivery-driver...

I've stopped buying from them in light of all the articles detailing the horrendous working conditions and people getting killed because of their contract delivery drivers.


This is so strange.

- FedEx is slated to report its latest quarterly results on Tuesday (17 December 2019). http://investors.fedex.com/news-and-events/upcoming-events/d...

- FedEx ended two big contracts with Amazon earlier this year. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/06/amazon-blames-holiday-delive...

Edit: I see many unhappy comments regarding FedEx here. In the UK we have Parcelfarce, which has achieved meme status.


This doesn't seem very strange if their goal is or was to pressure FedEx into better terms or stronger guarantees on delivery. Making an announcement and/or releasing these details to the press closer to an earnings report seems like a pretty high pressure tactic.


Fedex is the absolute worst. They're never on time and I can't even go to a Fedex location to pick up my own fedex packages. They more or less simply get returned to sender if they require any kind of signature.

I'm glad Amazon is finally putting a stop to it.


Fedex has gotten to the point that if I see a merchant that has an exclusive arrangement with them (mainly suppliers for material I need to buy for work) I try somewhere else.

Whenever I don't have a choice, they disappoint me.

Just last week, I had a Fedex shipment that was late. One of the reasons it was late was that it passed through almost two dozen Fedex locations.

Seven in three days.

My package spent three days traveling from Coal City, IL (9:11am 11-Dec) to Swatara Township, PA, (10:59pm 13-Dec) a distance of 741 miles, on an EPIC UNFORGETTABLE 12-day adventure on its route from California to Maryland.

61.75 hours to travel 741 miles is an average speed of 12 mph.

Just a taste of the epic journey: https://i.imgur.com/C0NlH9K.png

Anecdotes are nice but this happens so frequently I've given up on Fedex and will only use them as a last resort.

I live in an area where Amazon Prime delivery is so fast that I swear that sometimes they deliver the damned thing I order before I actually order it.


That's nothing - last week I had a package take 4 business days to travel a total of 10 miles, as part of a longer 14 day journey.

It was most likely just sitting at their sorting center, which I can see from my back window.

I don't know if there is something especially going wrong in my area, because there was a news story about how bad FedEx has been - people needing medical equipment and stuff that has been sitting for weeks.


When the notifications say 'In Transit' they aren't passing through a FedEx building, but rather are sending GPS ping notifications every 12 hours. Your package was most likely on a slower mode of transportation such as rail or a trailer. This is done to show progress on slower routes because sometimes there could be a couple days between a hub touch.


> Fedex is the absolute worst.

Here in Canada we have Purolator - the gov't (Canada Post) subsidiary that is a FedEx competitor. Their systems are ancient, their entire operation is pathetically slow and inefficient.

E.g. a recent undelivered shipment that was to arrive last Friday still had the 'expected delivery date' unchanged two days later. When it finally changed it also noted that the package hadn't even left the distribution hub yet.


Purolator? Wow - even the name is unbelievably bad - what imagery were they trying to invoke?


Purolator is an American company that manufactures oil and air filters. The name was taken from their oil filter process - "pure oil later".

In 1967, Purolator bought the Canadian courier company Trans Canada Couriers, which later took the Purolator name. The courier company was then later sold to Canada Post, but kept the Purolator name since it was commonly known in Canada.


Apparently, it's a holdover from being acquired by an oil filter company. Purolator = "pure oil later."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purolator_Filters


The delivery company by that name was, at one point, owned by the Purolator oil filter company. (The shipping company used to be named Trans-Canada Couriers.)

Purolator comes from the phrase "pure oil later," as in long-lasting oil filters for combustion engines.


I once ordered a Battery-backed UPS, that arrived via FedEx. It wouldn't work on small loads, so I arranged to return it. I put it in the original box it came in, and took it to the FedEx store.

The worker was very rude, and refused to let me send it, unless I double-boxed it. Company policy? He offered sell me a box and packing material.


FedEx has various levels of service depending on what is being paid for... everything from outsourcing their final-mile delivery to white-glove courier service, and more.

You can expect wildly different experiences shipping SmartPost vs Custom Critical.

I've had them call me on my cellphone and offer to come to me at my office when I wasn't at home for a particularly high-dollar package. This wasn't a FedEx ground shipment though.

Although I'm not sure why you can't pick up your packages at a FedEx location though. I've always been able to do that. Maybe for SmartPost you can't, but that logistically makes sense, as they might not be in possession of the package by the time it gets to your locality.


If you have a FedEx Office anywhere near you, you could ask to have the package delivered there and held. I know they did that a few years ago.


Worth mentioning that FedEx isn't horrible everywhere, in Canada they are pretty good and my preferred delivery method - really really good customer service. Purolator and UPS (most of the time) are terrible and even if you're home they won't even try and deliver to you instead just leaving a slip.


It's true in my experience as well. I am not a fan of Fedex as they have subjected me to a myriad of unintended adventures. However, once I had to mail a time-sensitive RFP to Canada and Fedex got it there well ahead of their specified time; I tried UPS and USPS and they both shrugged when asked about delivery guarantees for this shipment.


Quarterly reports come out every, surprise, three months. Pretty much any action is going to be on the cusp of a quarterly report.

Further FedEx did a big public hoopla announcing that they were dropping Amazon back in August (not the other way around). Maybe they really don't work for each other. Delivery is a pretty big pie.

In Canada FedEx has never been a part of the delivery options they use, beyond more than a minute percentage.


FedEx is also a parody of a service in the US. They are acknowledged to be strong in logistics in a cross-country way, but as far as "last mile" goes they leave plenty to be desired. Beat-up packages, wildly unsafe drivers, unreliable tracking, and totally inaccurate delivery estimates.

The only reason I'm ever glad to see one of their trucks on the road is as evidence UPS has at least some sort of competition. But if I see one pull up to my home I cringe, because invariably there will be some problem.


fedex was also caught looking the other way when it came to illegally shipping firearms across state lines. i think they just ended their NRA partnership earlier this year?

they're just a crap company. if you ship fedex, your best case scenario is receiving it on the last possible day of their window.


The reporter did what 'reporters' do now: write the content that some PR agency requested of them.

To get the real news I need to read comments like yours. Thanks, I think the title should be: "Amazon Changes Policy to Pressure Fedex in Negotiations."


Funny thing, though. If it were possible, I'd have Amazon block their own shipping service, for the same reasons. I've asked, and it isn't permitted. In my area, USPS/UPS have been rock solid, but ever since they largely switched to their internal FBA, I've had late packages at least monthly.

It's clear they're buckling under the Christmas load, too. I've had over a dozen items delayed thus far.


I've had some utterly ridiculous situations, like having an CCTV capture a package being delivered, the driver taking a picture of the delivered package for tracking, and then the driver leaving with it.

I've also had them deliver packages to the wrong apartment numerous times, taking pictures of floor mats that don't even exist within a mile of me.


Yeah it's pretty clear the pictures is so Amazon can shrug when you say something wasn't delivered. Like it's smart of them as I'm sure package theft costs them a boatload of money.

But boy do their delivery people suck. The number of times they've called me asking where I live... that's their job to figure out, not mine.

Kinda laughed the other day as my amazon delivery person was also delivering postmates at the same time. No wonder they're not hitting their deadlines.


>I've had some utterly ridiculous situations, like having an CCTV capture a package being delivered, the driver taking a picture of the delivered package for tracking, and then the driver leaving with it.

Same exact thing happened to me! Locals have also complained about the haphazard parking jobs and throw-your-package-at-your-door method that amazon's drivers do (to be fair on that last point, I regularly have the same experience with UPS).


Message I got a few weeks ago whilst at the theatre:

"An Amazon delivery driver need help with your order. Reply STOP to stop receiving texts from Amazon delivery drivers.

Hello, my name is [name]. Yor please [sic] in the bin"

"Your order has been delivered"

Getting home late then having to dig through a bin to find your parcel is not fun (and of course they didn't leave a card so other people had added stuff to the bin in the meantime). I've already complained to them about leaving stuff in the garden waste bin in the past (damp grass clippings and cardboard is _not_ a good combo).


At my address, UPS usually ring the doorbell; FBA never does. Given proximity to a major street and risk of theft, it's nice to know to bring packages inside when I'm working from home.


Sounds like more customer buy-in or system capability would save Amazon a few seconds and packages stolen.

Possible process: FBA driver scans box and carelessly tosses box towards front door.

Ring or Amazon app push a notification that the package has been delivered, saving about 20 steps for the driver.

Customer (hopefully) lets the package sit fewer minutes reducing the risk of theft.

Amazon pushes notifications from their app, but I much prefer not having their app on my phone.


You possibly could use a system like Deviant Ollam does with his porch box:

https://deviating.net/photos/main.php?g2_itemId=54813


Why pay to solve their problem on a microscale? Use a different shipper.


> If it were possible, I'd have Amazon block their own shipping service

They can. Next time they mess up, gather your list of prior order numbers they've messed up and put on your super irate customer voice.


Amazon: Hey, we'll give you a free upgrade to same day or next day delivery!

Also Amazon: takes 3 days to deliver.


Amazon, that also runs its own competing package service (https://www.theverge.com/2019/12/13/21020938/amazon-logistic... ), pressuring others to not use the services of a competitor.

Ah, remember when monopolists still feared the Sherman Act? Good times, eh?


If Amazon made it possible for a customer to pick (and pay for the presumed incremental cost of) alternative carriers, they'd have a gold mine of data on customer WTP and carrier quality at the local level.


I suspect that Amazon does not want to put additional cognitive load on the purchaser right at the most critical point of the conversion funnel.

As a customer, I want a delivery time/date and let Amazon figure out how to do it. They're presumably way better at it than I am. If Amazon fails at that, I want to be able to complain without feeling like "oh, it was my fault because I picked Rickshaw Bob as the carrier".

When Amazon would willy-nilly give away a month of Prime when a guaranteed package was late, I would frequently wish I could get a package over to Mail Innovations or SurePost. Both would pretty reliably be late and for most packages, I'd rather have the $10 credit.


> I suspect that Amazon does not want to put additional cognitive load on the purchaser right at the most critical point of the conversion funnel.

> As a customer, I want a delivery time/date and let Amazon figure out how to do it.

The big problem here is that Amazon no longer offers you the ability to pick the delivery date. They'll tell you when your package will arrive, and you'll suck it up.

It's a huge step backwards from the old system, where slow shipping was free, two-day shipping was moderately priced, and one-day shipping was expensive. (Or, with Prime, two-day shipping was free and one-day shipping was $7.99.)

Under normal circumstances, I don't care which delivery company drops off my package. I might develop a preference if one of them is chronically late, or usually damages the package[1]. But I always care what the delivery date is!

[1] Guess what! Amazon's also stopped shipping individual books in boxes with bubble padding. Now they come in manila envelopes. And they usually take damage in transit from being squeezed by the envelope.


> The big problem here is that Amazon no longer offers you the ability to pick the delivery date. They'll tell you when your package will arrive, and you'll suck it up

But this isn't true. You can choose which day you want your package delivered. That's the point of setting your "Amazon delivery day". What am I missing?


You're missing that I'm talking about delivery speed, not about scheduling deliveries for a day when I'll plan to be at home.


>I suspect that Amazon does not want to put additional cognitive load on the purchaser right at the most critical point of the conversion funnel.

They can do it off the side, like how you can select an amazon locker to ship to (but still have your default mailing address set to something else). They could easily use the same flow: just add a "pick your shipper" section similar to how some small time retailers too it and have separate pricing for each (if you're not on prime).


> They're presumably way better at it than I am.

That's laughable.


I have no idea where the stock is that they're planning on sending me. If the question is "what carrier service do I feel best about based on my anecdotes?", I am better than Amazon. If the question is "based on all the places from which Amazon could fulfill my order [or combinations of outstanding orders], which one(s) are likely to satisfy the constraints given our large base of actual carrier performance, and which one of those is optimal?", it seems laughable that I'd have any hope of answering that better than Amazon.

(I oversee Logistics software for another e-commerce player. Our network is vastly simpler than Amazon's and yet I'm quite sure we're better at it than our 99.5th percentile customer.)


Rickshaw Bob is the worst.


I'd buy more if it meant USPS never handled another amazon package again in my lifetime.


They have a more accurate results by seeing actual performance numbers, not opinionated results. They see customer retention in certain areas, they see damaged, lost, stolen, late packages. They have numbers for every type of issue and every location.

If they let customers decide, they'd be a lot more limited in both their reporting and their testing.


Then why do they keep sending me stuff through Intelcom when the last eight have not been delivered to my address?


Because they test on a large scale, not an individual scale


They presumably can just ask the carrier for their internal reliability metrics as a pre-requisite for the contract.


Makes sense. Now I understand why UPS is delivering so late in my area, including having guys hanging out of UHaul trucks.

FedEx ground is a dumpster fire, unless they are doing the smartpost thing where USPS delivers. In my area, they are almost as bad as Laser.


SmartPost is actually worse. I actually still have not got November's Bark Box, and they've in fact already charged December's.

I've already complained once, they sent me something extra, that box got here before the first one did.

Smartpost is garbage, the responsibility is too diffuse. Fedex says it's USPS's fault, USPS says it's Fedex's fault, nobody has any idea where it is or what's going on.


Egads! I thought nothing could approach the uselessness of LaserShip. I’ll pray for packages good sir or madam.


The only time I ever had a package stolen was LaserShip


> Makes sense. Now I understand why UPS is delivering so late in my area, including having guys hanging out of UHaul trucks.

That's been happening around the holidays since well before Amazon started dominating the shipping industry.


> Now I understand why UPS is delivering so late in my area, including having guys hanging out of UHaul trucks.

That's normal. Although at least here, it's Budget trucks. I must say, it was not very fun driving over 100 trucks from various Budget locations to the UPS depot, with 4 people.


I feel bad for the UPS guys whenever my door cam catches them sprinting to the door and back to their truck.


I worked for Fedex ground for a while and I can't blame Amazon for this decision. Fedex contracts their ground delivery out and the quality of service is greatly affected by that. Some areas are great and some are awful. My experience was working under an awful contractor who was near abusive in his work requirements. If anyone has any questions I'm open to answer.


Tbh I'm not sure Amazon is better wrt work requirements.


They probably aren't. The reason distribution companies like Fedex and Amazon contract their ground delivery out is the margins are too slim and they don't want to deal with vehicle maintenance. So corners are cut by contractors to actually make money in the deal. If there was a reasonable amount of money to be made Amazon would be using regular employees.


at least the packages show up on time. fedex is shitty at people AND shitty at package delivery.


Good riddance. FedEx Ground has a 0% success rate for actually delivering anything to me -- and when I complain, they tell me that if I want my package I have to drive out to the airport to collect it (~45 minutes away).

UPS is only slightly better at delivering packages, but at least they drop off my stuff at a pick-up location a few minutes away.

I would pay extra for an Amazon Prime Actually-Get-Stuff-Delivered service which only uses Canada Post and Amazon's own delivery people.


FedEx ground is the worst; they aren't the same company as FedEx Express, they are locally operated instead (according to drivers I've talked with), and quality varies by region. I've had drivers fake signatures and dump packages at the door.

My last 3 shipments bounced around Chicago for 6 days, traveling 19 miles total, and were finally delivered late


Actually Ontrac is the worst.


I’m surprised there isn’t a comment yet about how this seems like monopolistic behavior and Amazon should be look out for anti-trust probes for stuff like this (at least I’d hope).


We had to switch to FedEx this year because Amazon overloaded UPS so much they couldn’t get their overnight deliveries to the destination in time.


I don't understand how amazon can contract a local company to drive amazon branded trucks, wear amazon branded clothing, and deliver exclusively amazon packages, but somehow they are not considered an amazon company and do not have to provide amazon level pay and benefits. Part of the cost of USPS/FedEx/UPS are the good union protections. This is a large part of why I am moving as much of my spending as possible away from amazon.


As I sit here waiting for my new ultrawide alientware monitor, should have been here Wednesday, now its Friday. Somehow they thought that going from Whitefish, Montana, to Kennewick, WA, and then to Troutdale, OR, was faster than just stopping in Spokane, WA.


FedEx has misplaced 3 packages in the last 3 weeks. One made it “on truck for delivery today” before being sent to Ohio to replace a barcode. So weird.


I had 3 Amazon delivery ones get screwed up within a week (one of mine go missing and two delivered here that weren't mine), so Amazon's in-house service certainly can't be called 'better'


I once had an Amazon delivery to an Amazon Locker in an Amazon Store fail 3 times before they gave up.


That's an email chain I'd have fun forwarding on to jeff@amazon.com.


This should bring monopoly abuse scrutiny upon them.


Queue the anti-trust trial. Only a question of mechanics now, especially since Trump hates Bezos.


I think Amazon is very stupid and they should not only complain about blocking that other company but that they should do their best and their promises of package arrivals




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