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Ecommerce News: Amazon Drones, Postal Mules, and More

While online sellers are dealing with the impact of Sunday’s USPS rate hike, here’s some lighter news with regard to shipping and delivery, including news about a former eBay executive.

Amazon Opens up About Delivery Drones 
Yahoo Tech’s David Pogue interviewed Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president for global public policy, about drone delivery. Amazon’s response to the question, “What if there’s some guy with a shotgun who sees that I’m getting a TV and wants to shoot it down?” was: “I suppose they could shoot at trucks, too.”

Misener continued, “We want to make the deliveries. And we believe that these Prime Air drones will be as normal as seeing a delivery truck driving down the street someday. So the novelty will wear off.”

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You can read Pogue’s full interview with Amazon’s Misener on the Yahoo Tech website.

USPS Update on Next Gen Delivery Vehicles 
For those interested in postal delivery trucks, the USPS has an update on its search for next-generation vehicles. It describes some of the challenges it’s facing in replacing an aging fleet:

“The Postal Service has a universal service mandate to deliver the mail almost every day to every address – and that mandate is at the core of our investment decision. Considerations that are distinct to our business, such as the stop-and -go nature of delivering mail and packages, and the ability to conveniently reach mailboxes, must be taken into account when acquiring this fleet. These considerations require some level of customization, as most commercial vehicles do not generally meet these specified delivery needs.”

Did you know that the Postal Service fleet includes bikes, boats, planes, helicopters, and even mules? You can read more about the request for proposal process on the USPS blog.

Former eBay Exec Joins Delivery Service DoorDash 
eBay didn’t have great success with trying to provide quick delivery services to shoppers, but that’s not stopping former eBay executive Chris Payne from believing in the model. He joined DoorDash this week, the Wall Street Journal reported: “Mr. Payne, a veteran of eBay Inc. and Microsoft Corp., served a short-lived stint as the CEO of dating app Tinder last year.”

The Journal explains the difficulties the company is having in raising the kinds of funds that would put its value at a billion dollars. It’s another sign that venture-capital investors are retreating, “especially in over-saturated markets like delivery,” the newspaper said.

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Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. Send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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