What’s Happening in the World of Shipping: Blockchain tech, FedEx's latest acquisition and the Uber for shipping

USPS is looking into postal applications for blockchain tech, FedEx’s new acquisition of TNT and Express and how Roadie wants to be the Uber for shipping.

The shipping and mailing world is one that’s constantly on the move (no pun intended), more so than some you may actually realize. While new carrier regulations or rate changes won’t happen overnight, these are the kinds of developments that, if left under the radar, can make all the difference in how productive, cost-effective and time-efficient you are with your mail and package output.

That’s why, as part of a new bi-weekly series, we’ll be doing a brief roundup of some of the newest developments in our industry and what you need to know about them.

‘USPS report explores potential postal blockchain applications’ – CoinReport

This news from CoinReport delves into how the U.S. Postal Service® is beginning to look into new technology solutions – in this case, blockchain technology – for postal applications. These include enabling more cutting-edge customer ID services to better verify the recipient of a given package; install embedded sensors within parcels and mail pieces for improved tracking; and develop a low-cost “Internet of Postal Things” to create a more data-driven and faster mailing network.

While it remains to be seen how or when the Postal Service will begin to integrate these ideas into their mailing and shipping processes, the fact remains that the idea of a blockchain-equipped USPS is certainly an exciting one – and one that will undoubtedly make Postal Service shipping even faster and more efficient than ever before for senders.

‘FedEx Acquires TNT Express, Means Better Delivery in Europe’ – Small Business Trends

FedEx® officially announced their acquisition of its European carrier rival TNT Express, in a $4.8 billion takeover that will allow FedEx to vastly expand its global shipping operations throughout the continent – a move that Small Business Trends notes will put it “at the forefront of previously untouched European markets.”

With the integration of TNT’s European delivery network of over 700 flights and 55,000 road trips per week, FedEx will now be in a position to significantly expand and improve its European and trans-Atlantic delivery service. Considering the exponential rate at which ecommerce shipping between the U.S. and Europe has grown in the last several years, FedEx’s acquisition marks a savvy move that will undoubtedly help SMBs and enterprises expedite their international offerings.

‘Roadie is like Uber for shipping’ – TechCrunch

What Uber has done for rides home, Roadie is aiming to do for package delivery, according to a recent article by TechCrunch. The new delivery service, started last year by Marc Gorlin, began with a simple idea: there are already 250 million cars out on the road anyway, why not use some of them as an extra package delivery option?

The idea has clearly taken hold with the public, having garnered over 250,000 downloads and enlisted 20,000 drivers over the past year. The service works by allowing customers to ping user-rated drivers to have their packages delivered to them via private vehicle, as long as that car was heading in that direction anyway, with shipping rates determined based on the size of the item and the length of the destination. It may be a way off from becoming the next UPS®, but we’re thrilled to see ridesharing-esque delivery options continue to grow in exciting ways, just as when we partnered with Deliv last year to bring same-day, ship-from-store delivery to customers.

Stay tuned for more news stories roundups like these to keep you apprised of everything exciting and need-to-know in the shipping and mailing world.

Related Technology

Ship & Mail

Save money on all your shipping and mailing with Pitney Bowes. Achieve greater efficiency, visibility and control across your business – at any scale.