FedEx to End Ground Delivery Business With Amazon

NEW YORK (AP) -
fedex amazon
(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

FedEx will no longer make ground deliveries for Amazon as the online shopping giant builds its own fleet and becomes more of a threat to delivery companies.

The announcement Wednesday comes two months after FedEx already terminated its air delivery contract with Amazon. FedEx said dumping Amazon is part of its plan to go after more e-commerce deliveries from other companies.

Traditional retailers like Walmart and Target want to sell more of their goods online, which allows FedEx to distance itself from Amazon.com without suffering the same competitive damage it might once have.

“This does not come as a surprise to us,” Citi Research analyst Christian Wetherbee said in a note to clients. “The company is clearly trying to move away from its partnership with Amazon and we believe it is using this move as a selling point to win new non-Amazon business.”

At the same time, Amazon is growing its own fleet of air and ground transportation, giving it more control of how its packages are delivered while reducing its reliance on FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service. The Seattle-based company has been leasing jets, building package-sorting hubs at airports and has launched a program that lets contractors start businesses delivering packages in vans stamped with the Amazon logo.

Last month, FedEx warned for the first time in a government filing that Amazon’s fledging delivery business could lower prices, hurt its revenue and “negatively impact our financial condition and results of operations.”

Amazon said in a statement Wednesday that “FedEx has been a great partner over the years and we appreciate all their work delivering packages to our customers.”

Besides building its own delivery business, Amazon wants to drop off packages to its shopper’s doorsteps even faster, which is proving to be a bigger expense for the company than expected. Last month, Amazon admitted it would cost more than the $800 million it had said it would spend to switch its Prime two-day delivery promise to one-day delivery. The higher costs were related to reconfiguring its warehouses and moving products and goods to facilities that were closer to its customers.

Amazon doesn’t say how much of its packages flow through FedEx, but it’s likely a much smaller amount compared to UPS and the U.S. Postal Service. FedEx said that Amazon made up just 1.3% of its total revenue in 2018, or about $850 million.

Analysts said FedEx would still have a role in moving some Amazon packages, but it would be an even smaller part of its business.

“This will make it not worth mentioning,” said Stifel analyst David Ross in a note to clients.