‘Several’ Capitol police officers suspended over pro-Trump riot, Democrats, GOP face defining moments after Capitol riot, and Amazon, Walmart tell consumers to skip returns of unwanted items.
Small drones will be allowed to fly over people and at night in the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a significant step toward their use for widespread commercial deliveries.
Since the beginning of this century, Amazon has emerged as a pre-eminent giant of retail. How? by creating an expectation among consumers that next day, or even same day, delivery is not only possible but basically routine for a dizzying array of consumer products. Millions of Amazon Prime customers all over the world have now come to expect this astonishingly swift service on countless items as standard, and this has put great swathes of the traditional retail landscape in trouble. So today, we’re going to look at how Amazon delivers packages so fast. Let’s pick a typical Amazon product as an example. Say you need a bicycle pump. How will Amazon get that bike pump delivered to your door, the very next day? How Amazon Delivers Packages So FastSHOW LESS
As online shopping sees its biggest holiday season ever, hackers are sending fake delivery notices impersonating Amazon, UPS and FedEx, with scams up 72% from last year and 440% from October to November. Clicking a fake shipping notification link can launch ransomware or launch a counterfeit branded site to trick users into entering credit card and personal information to “reroute” a package that never existed.
It’s well over a decade since Amazon launched its Prime delivery service; in fact it was 2007 when the company first introduced us to unlimited next-day shipping on what was at the time almost a million products.
But in 13 years, we have seen little change. That is, until recently. Many areas now offer same-day delivery, but behind closed doors Amazon had been working on an ambitious plan to realise almost instant delivery. The goal? Just 30 minutes, from the click of the ‘order now’ button to the tangible products, in our hands.
Every delivery company can agree that the final mile or so of a product’s journey is the most expensive. As it leaves a shipping container, and steps away from the lorry’s vessel, it enters the smallest vehicle yet – vans, and sometimes cars. Rather than carrying millions of products, a driver can now only carry a few dozen. Employing thousands of drivers comes at incredible cost to shipping companies.
Amazon is the world’s biggest retailer, and its CEO Jeff Bezos the world’s richest man, for one very good reason. His company is better than anyone else, ever, at giving people what they want, quickly. Amazon acquired its undisputed status as heavyweight champion of the retail universe thanks largely to its lightning-fast delivery times.
The astonishing feat of ferrying hundreds of millions of items, from guitar strings to saucepans to car parts, directly to your door, inside 24 hours, is nothing short of a modern logistical miracle. So how does Amazon do it? A super-smart army of slave robots, for one. Ingenious, if occasionally unscrupulous, management practices are part of the answer too.
And the modern-day voodoo of deep-learning AI – all of which are made flesh in the most advanced stockrooms the world has ever seen. So join us today, as we button up our hi-vis jacket and journey inside Amazon’s smart warehouses.
Each week, e-grocer FreshDirect delivers 100,000 grocery boxes direct to customers’ doors. It all happens from its Bronx warehouse, the size of 11 football fields. Using an advanced AI system, temperature controls, nine miles of conveyor belt, and a fleet of delivery trucks, the company is able to cut out three steps in the normal grocery store supply chain. Business Insider visited the warehouse to see how the company moves 3 million grocery items a week in the face of unprecedented pandemic demand.
For years, one of the biggest days of the holiday shopping season was Black Friday. But in 2020, that could change. The coronavirus pandemic is fast-tracking big changes in retail that were already underway, pushing consumers into a digital future.
Illustration: Jacob Reynolds/WSJ
Walmart’s potential deal with TikTok may not only change the retail giant, it could reshape how Americans shop online. Video commerce, which allows users to shop while they watch viral videos, is already wildly popular in other countries.
Illo: Mike Cheslik for the Wall Street Journal