[WSJ] The Biggest Delivery Business in the U.S. Is No Longer UPS or FedEx

Slashdot Summary:
Amazon has grabbed the crown of biggest delivery business in the U.S., surpassing both UPS and FedEx in parcel volumes. From a report: The Seattle e-commerce giant delivered more packages to U.S. homes in 2022 than UPS, after eclipsing FedEx in 2020, and it is on track to widen the gap this year, according to internal Amazon data and people familiar with the matter. The U.S. Postal Service is still the biggest parcel service by volume; it handles hundreds of millions of packages for all three companies. A decade ago Amazon was a major customer for UPS and FedEx, and some executives from the incumbents and analysts mocked the notion that it could someday supplant them. Amazon’s outsize growth combined with strategy shifts at FedEx and UPS have changed the balance.

Before Thanksgiving this year, Amazon had already delivered more than 4.8 billion packages in the U.S., and its internal projections predict that it will deliver around 5.9 billion by the end of the year, according to documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal. Last year Amazon shipped 5.2 billion packages. Amazon’s figures include only packages that Amazon shipped from beginning to end. UPS and FedEx include packages they hand off to the postal service for final delivery in their tallies. UPS has said that its domestic volume this year is unlikely to exceed last year’s 5.3 billion, which includes packages delivered to customers through the postal service. In the first nine months this year, UPS handled around 3.4 billion parcels domestically.

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Now, lets all be honest. If these packages were shipped by UPS, USPS or Fedex, the numbers would have been lower because Amazon would have combined some of those packages rather then drop off 10 bubble pad envelopes to the same address on the same day.

It will be interesting to see if Amazon leverages 3PL (3rd party Logistics) for the holiday this year or ramps up internal/flex. I’m guessing internal/flex cause I’m already seeing budget white rental vans mixed in with the blue smile fleet

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I’m not sure if this would be true, because back before smile vans existed people would complain about 5 items arriving in 5 different amazon boxes in a day.

In terms of gross volume or gross tonnage of packages shipped UPS is still higher since Amazon doesn’t consolidate and most of their packages are small.

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they should subtract all the ones they deliver to the wrong address as their error rate also eclipses UPS/Fedex. Twice this month already I’ve had that email picture of the package at my front door, except it’s not…it’s a neighbor.


We don’t even have Amazon delivery in my region or many others yet. :eyes:

:us: USPS out here churning for FedEx, UPS, and Amazon.


If they’re smart they will only do deliveries to densely populated areas. It’s a lot cheaper to hand off to USPS to do final mile in rural areas than run your own fleet there.

Also doesn’t make sense to spend more money to provide overnight delivery to a rural population that doesn’t even shop that way/demand shipping speeds like that.

:grimacing: Hmmm…that’s a very broad generalization to make. Just because they are “rural” does not mean that they don’t want or deserve the same timely delivery as other customers. Perhaps they simply can’t shop that way now, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t, if available.

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I’m on the edge of a “rural” area, and they run blue vans DEEP into rural around here.


That’s a bit surprising. If you got a UPS account, I’m curious as to whether they (UPS) charge a remote area surcharge to the areas that Amazon’s running their vans. I know UPS does this to encourage people to use UPS mail innovations so they don’t have to drive their trucks out to remote areas.

If UPS calculated that an area requires a surcharge to profitably make deliveries to a location, I would trust that they’re probably right on the math as they have many years of experience doing this. USPS can only do it economically because they have to go there anyway to deliver the mail.

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Smile vans are up in the area of my MIL’s summer house now, 98 miles north of NYC.

There’s not much up there but the vans are. I was shocked when I was up there this summer and saw the van. I’m talking about an area that only has mail boxes on 1 side of the street and 2 houses sharing a linked box for USPS. And the boxes need to be on the street, not on the houses, because the houses are 10-20 acres apart from each other or more in a lot of cases. Amazon has built quite a network and pretty damn quick too… Gotta give em credit.

Same. They are always around here (rental vans), mixed with the smile vans, but there are def more of them lately.


We have seen this also … just yesterday we had a delivery at 4pm in a private car followed by a delivery at 8pm in an rental van … both a day early than estimated …

Looks like, in an effort to get stuff processed through, that it is easier for Amazon to just send multiple deliveries to the same address and not consolidate the route … And FYI … the 3rd package that was the one that was suppose to be delivered yesterday is now delayed until Friday … smh …

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Well, it’s easy to build a big network fast when you have a million 3P sellers backing you financially.

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