Both UPS and FedEx have been eclipsed as the largest courier companies in the US by Amazon, which delivered more packages to US homes in recent years than both delivery giants.
Amazon surpassed UPS in parcel volume in 2022 and FedEx in 2020 — and the gap is only set to widen throughout 2023, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing internal Amazon data reviewed by unnamed sources close to the situation.
The biggest parcel service, however, is a title that’s still held by the US Postal Service, which handles packages for Amazon, UPS and FedEx.
Ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Amazon had already delivered more than 4.8 billion packages in the US alone, The Journal reported.
Internal forecasts reportedly said the Seattle-based e-commerce giant is expecting to make some 5.9 billion deliveries by the end of 2023.
The figure would mark a roughly 13.5% increase from last year, when Amazon shipped a total of 5.2 billion packages, per The Journal.
UPS, meanwhile, has said that its domestic deliveries are unlikely to exceed last year’s 5.3 billion.
As of September, the Atlanta-based parcel service handled around 3.4 billion parcels domestically, The Journal reported.
FedEx’s Express and Ground parcel volume reached roughly 3.05 billion for its fiscal year ended May 31, 2023.
For reference, UPS and FedEx’s figures include packages they hand off to the US Postal Service for final delivery.
Amazon’s tallies, meanwhile, only include packages that Amazon shipped from beginning to end, according to The Journal.
FedEx parted ways with Amazon in 2019, but Amazon still has a delivery partnership with UPS, and the e-commerce behemoth accounts for 11% of UPS’s revenue.
A UPS spokesperson told The Post: “Amazon is an important customer and our relationship is mutually beneficial, including agreement about the number of packages we will deliver for them and the number of packages they deliver in support of their retail business.”
UPS is now focusing on delivering more profitable parcels delivered to “customers who gain the most value” rather than package-delivery volume, the spokesperson added.
FedEx’s 79-year-old executive chairman and former CEO Fred Smith previously described losing market share to rivals like Amazon as “fantastical,” in a 2019 interview with The Journal — a word he had also used the year prior following a disappointing earnings report.
“In all likelihood, the primary deliverers of e-commerce shipments for the foreseeable future will be UPS, the US Postal Service and FedEx,” Smith also told the outlet at the time — when Amazon was in a distant third place as the largest domestic delivery company.
However, the Jeff Bezos-owned juggernaut has been preparing for the day it overthrows UPS and FedEx as No. 1, revamping its delivery efforts as recently as last month with new robots and artificial intelligence-backed technologies.
The high-tech upgrade — which debuted at a warehouse in Houston the week of Oct. 16 — will be rolled out across the company’s 300 robotics operations sites worldwide come 2024 based on how it performs through the holiday season, an Amazon spokesperson told The Post.
The robotics system, named Sequoia, reportedly allows Amazon to list items for sale on its website faster, and is able to more easily predict delivery estimates.
Sequoia is expected to reduce the time it takes to fulfill an order by up to 25%, and can identify and store inventory as much as 75% faster, Amazon’s director of robotic storage technology, David Guerin, told The Journal.
Prior to Sequoia, in 2018, Amazon launched a program where entrepreneurs could start their own franchise delivering Amazon packages for just $10,000.
Dubbed “Shipping with Amazon,” or SWA, the program for third-party merchants has similarities to FedEx’s Ground unit, which also uses a contractor model for local routes.
The Amazon program has around 200,000 drivers in the US, according to The Journal, which no doubt contributes to the company’s rapid acceleration of the number of packages it’s able to deliver each day.
The Post has sought comment from Amazon, UPS and FedEx.