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UPS’ Driverless and Electric Cars, Grainger’s Online Growth, and Amazon Now Worth $1 Trillion

UPS truck driving down city street

UPS Plans for Electric and Driverless Cars in 2020

In 2019, UPS made a number of big plays as it adapts to be more ecommerce-friendly, such as Sunday deliveries and using drones. More changes are coming for the shipping giant though, as UPS announced this week that it plans to purchase 10,000 electric vehicles from U.K.-based startup Arrival and take a minority stake in the company. These vehicles will be customized specifically for UPS and will be deployed in the U.S. and Europe. Additionally, UPS also announced it is testing self-driving minivans with Alphabet-owned Waymo over the next six months. “As mega-trends like population growth, urban migration, and ecommerce continue to accelerate, we recognize the need to work with partners around the world to solve both road congestion and pollution challenges for our customers and the communities we serve,” says Juan Perez, UPS chief information and engineering officer.

What stood out to us?

What can brown do for Mother Earth.

Mechanic working with welding tool

Grainger’s Online Growth with “Endless Assortment”

Industrial supplies and equipment distributor W.W. Grainger Inc. is experiencing stellar ecommerce growth thanks to its multiple electronic channels. Grainger reported this week that sales grew 19% year over year in 2019 via the distributor’s “endless assortment” maintenance, repair and operations products business, which includes the company’s Zoro and MonotaRO web-only businesses. Zoro and MonotaRO specialize in providing a wide range of products, minus the full-service treatment for customers that Grainger provides through its branch network and In particular, Zoro, which operates primarily in the U.S., UK, and Germany, is expected to rapidly grow, with Grainger set to offer 10 million SKUs on the site over the next three to five years.

What stood out to us?

Endless growth.

Amazon Pickup and Returns building

Amazon Now Worth $1 Trillion

Amazon is now a member of the trillion dollar club. The ecommerce giant reported its Q4 2019 earning this past week, where strong holiday sales contributed to Amazon blowing past analyst expectations, including a 21% growth in revenue. This success propelled Amazon to surpass $1 trillion valuation, joining the ranks of other tech giants including Apple, Alphabet, and Microsoft. Besides holiday sales, another key factor in Amazon finally crossing this milestone is it’s Prime offering. In the Q4 earnings release, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed that “more people joined Prime this quarter than ever before,” and that the company now counts more than 150 million paid Prime members around the world.

What stood out to us?

Amazon now worth $1 Trillion.

In the headlines

  • Apple Expansion: Apple will launch its online store in India starting Q3 2020.
  • It’s Tool Time: DIY ecommerce startup ManoMano raised $139M in funding this past week.
  • New Cybercrime: FBI warns of a new form of personal and credit card hacking that steals information from websites called e-skimming/magecart.
  • eBummer: eBay reports that its U.S. sales declined 6.3% this past year. 

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