Laura Stevens, Serena Ng, and Shelly Banjo:

The shipping delays at UPS sparked outrage among people who had bought gifts from Amazon.com Inc., Kohl’s Corp. and other online retailers in the days and weeks before Christmas. Many had been swayed by guarantees from the retailers that their packages would be delivered by the holiday.

The official Amazon statement on the matter is interesting:

Amazon fulfillment centers processed and tendered customer orders to delivery carriers on time for holiday delivery. We are reviewing the performance of the delivery carriers.

While the drone initiative gets all the buzz, you have to wonder how long it is until Amazon starts handling more traditional shipping on its own? With fuck-ups like this one, they almost literally can’t afford not to.

Doesn’t seem like they could afford to buy either UPS (market cap near $100B) or FedEx (market cap near $50B), but maybe that’s what AmazonFresh is all about, long term.

J.J. McCorvey:

So is Amazon Freight Services Bezos’s next mission? When I ask, the laugh lines vanish from his face as if someone flipped a switch on his back. He contends that same-day delivery is too expensive outside of urban markets and that it only makes sense for Amazon to deliver its own products within the Fresh program. In China, he explains, Amazon does in fact deliver products via many couriers and bicycle messengers. “But in a country like the United States,” he says, “we have such a sophisticated last-mile delivery system that it makes more sense for Amazon to use that system to reach its customers in a rapid and accurate way.” When I ask whether he would consider, say, buying UPS, with its 90,000 trucks—or even more radically, purchasing the foundering USPS, with its 213,000 vehicles running daily through America’s cities and towns—Bezos scoffs. But he won’t precisely say no.