In the battleground that is last-mile delivery, groceries are the soup du jour. Major players and smaller upstarts are jumping in to test grocery delivery to the consumer’s doorstep. The competition should benefit consumers, if not their waistlines.
The story goes that Alibaba founder Jack Ma chose his company’s name for two reasons: He wanted to be ahead of Amazon alphabetically and he wanted a global-sounding name. It didn’t hurt that some people also associated the word Alibaba with “hidden treasure” – recalling the most famous story from The Arabian Nights.
Alibaba is China’s giant ecommerce platform that is now taking on the globe. Its September 2014 initial public offering in the United States was the largest ever, and Ma has signaled his interest in expanding here.
The year 2014 was certainly historic on the postal and logistics front. Alibaba entered the U.S. market with a bang, setting a record with the largest ever U.S. initial public offering. For the first time ever, non-mail revenues exceeded mail revenues for postal administrations around the world. Shippers braced for the full effect of dimensional weight pricing. And the U.S. Postal Service added its name to the growing list of agencies and companies to suffer a data breach.
This week the Postal Service announced plans to move into one of the few remaining frontiers of package delivery – Sundays.
Under a new negotiated service agreement approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, e-tailing giant Amazon.com will use the Postal Service’s Parcel Select service to ship everything from clothing to garden tools on Sundays. The program is running now in the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas, with a rollout planned in 2014 in Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, and Phoenix, to name a few.