Amazon delivery tents

by Maria Hartas, DCMME Graduate Assistant

When looking into ways to expand its logistics operations, Amazon is embracing a “carnival” tent solution. As the company races to keep up with competitors, such as UPS, FedEx and USPS, Amazon has set up fabric tents in at least eight states; Tennessee, South Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia, Colorado, Louisiana, Kentucky and Idaho. These tents operate as temporary delivery stations used for housing and sorting packages before they’re final delivery.

 Why tents?

Amazon ships billions of items annually; the company reported 5 billion items shipped with Prime alone in 2017. According to Amazon’s SEC filling, the costs associated with the delivery of all online orders received are growing exponentially as eCommerce activity continues to increase. As Amazon has recruited more deliver service partners (DSPs) to grow the company’s last-mile logistics network, a tent that takes a couple weeks to build enables the rapid expansion in new areas.

The tents are large enough, starting up to 35 feet tall and ranging between 9,000 square feet and 18,000 square feet, and can adequately accommodate up to 300 people. With little-to-no property taxes and little maintenance required, tents are well positioning Amazon to compete in getting closer to customers.

What are the benefits of building tents?

Are tents solving last-mile delivery problems?

Can delivery tents offer Amazon a sustainable competitive advantage?

Sources:

https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-pitches-carnival-tents-race-catch-up-ups-fedex-2019-4

https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/amazon-tents-logistics-delivery-footprint/552931/

FedEx’s growing Supply Chain

by Maria Hartas, DCMME Graduate Assistant

Can supply chains directly meet end consumers? The answer is yes, and for companies like FedEx Office opening retail locations in Walmart stores, the company’s supply chain is turning into a customer-centric supply chain. FedEx recently opened the company’s 2,000th retail location in a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, marking it the 150th such location of the 500 Walmart stores customers will be able to print and ship while shopping.

 

Why FedEx & Walmart?

Expanding FedEx storefronts in Walmart is a strategic move towards adopting a more customer-focused supply chain. For FedEx, offering the option to customers to ship and pick orders from a secure store location instead of an exposed porch or front door increases the sense of security and reliability of doing business with the company. In addition to consumer benefits, FedEx will increase its market presence through the Walmart network in more locations without incurring direct construction or development costs leveraging the existing store facilities. Walmart on the other hand, will benefit from increased traffic in stores; online shoppers could potentially switch from other e-commerce platforms that do not offer convenient pick-up locations and opt to couple online ordering with grocery shopping at a Walmart near them.

A robust, customer facing supply chain will continue to grow as more companies take a holistic approach in improving customer experiences, starting from raw materials to convenient store locations nearby.

How can a 3PL, like FedEx, enter new markets though its supply chain?

Why are companies adopting customer-centric supply chains?

Could FedEx and Walmart become more competitive by working together?

Sources:

https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/fedex-opens-2000th-retail-location-e-commerce/551928/

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/20/walmart-to-bring-fedex-shops-into-500-of-its-us-stores.html