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Amazon Lifts Block on FedEx Ground for Seller Fulfilled Prime

Amazon Lifts Block on FedEx Ground for Seller Fulfilled Prime

Tech publications are abuzz about news that Amazon sellers can once again use FedEx Ground delivery for Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) orders after the company temporarily halted access to the service during the holiday shopping season.

The Wall Street Journal had reported on December 16th that Amazon blocked sellers from using FedEx Ground for Prime shipments citing a decline in FedEx performance heading into the final holiday push.

CNBC reported Amazon lifted the block as of yesterday (January 14, 2020).

A logistics consultant Dean Maciuba had an interesting take in a LinkedIn post on Wednesday – he believes Amazon may have been punishing the shipping carrier. He wrote in part:

“Amazon really stuck it to FedEx on this FedEx Ground ban that was implemented by Amazon late in the holiday-shipping-season.

“Assuming that it was seasonally high volume that was driving sub-par, on-time delivery performance for FedEx Ground, Amazon could have easily reinstated FedEx Ground for Prime Marketplace Merchants immediately after Christmas, instead of waiting 3 weeks.”

It’s certainly possible, though one would presume Amazon would be likely to act in its own self interest. Did the decision-maker simply want to ensure the data showed FedEx was up to par, or was Amazon really trying to send a message to FedEx?

One fact is indisputable: as Maciuba points out, “The bigger story here is the power that Amazon can exercise in the space.”

Our December 17th article has more background on Amazon’s SFP holiday-shipping policy and how it affected sellers, available on this page.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.