FedEx Pulls the Plug on Ground Deliveries for Amazon, Too

Courier sees opportunities in ecommerce elsewhere

FedEx delivery man pushing packages with a trolley
The delivery company will continue to work with other retailers including Target and Walgreens. FedEx
Headshot of Lisa Lacy

Two months to the day after FedEx said it would no longer fly for Amazon, the courier confirmed it is ending ground deliveries, too.

A FedEx spokesperson said the change is “consistent with our strategy to focus on the broader ecommerce market.”

Upon announcing it would suspend flights for Amazon in June, a rep for the carrier pointed to significant demand in ecommerce beyond Amazon, including retailers like Target, Walgreens and Walmart, with U.S. deliveries expected to grow from 50 million to 100 million packages a day by 2026.

“We are constantly innovating to improve the carrier experience, and sometimes that means re-evaluating our carrier relationships,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an email. “FedEx has been a great partner over the years, and we appreciate all their work delivering packages to our customers.”

This certainly adds grist to the rumor mill that Amazon is readying its own air carrier service. In June, the ecommerce giant added 15 cargo planes to its leased fleet and has commitments for 13 more through 2021 to make good on its promise of one-day delivery for Prime members. At the same time, it’s also dealing with the longstanding—and increasingly ugly—contract dispute between the carriers who fly its planes and the pilots who fly them. Amazon previously declined comment on the potential of starting its own airline.

Amazon, like many retailers and delivery companies, has a number of experimental irons in the fire for last-mile delivery, including an autonomous robot named Scout (which is kind of like FedEx’s SameDay Bot), in an undisclosed neighborhood in Washington state’s Snohomish County, as well as drone delivery and in-garage delivery.

@lisalacy Lisa Lacy is a senior writer at Adweek, where she focuses on retail and the growing reach of Amazon.