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Amazon and Flexport Vie for End-to-End Logistics Supremacy

On September 12, Amazon and Flexport unveiled new offerings designed to assist sellers in seamlessly connecting their global shipping needs with US warehousing and fulfillment services.

However, many sellers have a lingering doubt whether the two logistics giants can really bring together the various supply chain links needed to fulfill their factory-to-porch delivery promise. Hence the age-old question remains, should you put all your eggs in one basket?

With so much potential, the end-to-end (E2E) logistics space is rapidly evolving into an arms race between major players.

Tale of the Tape

Top Service FeaturesSupply Chain by AmazonFlexport Revolution
Factory PickupYesYes
Freight Management (ocean, air, and truckload)YesYes
Storage YesYes
Prep and HandlingYesYes
Integrated Replenishment Transfer from an upstream storage facility (e.g., Amazon Warehousing & Distribution or AWD) directly into FBA or 3PLYes (if auto-restocking is enabled, your inventory is considered “in stock” and buyable when received by AWD. AWD is exempted from capacity limits, allowing you to store as much inventory as you want and conveniently transfer units as needed)Yes (but shipping inventory from a non-AWD facility to FBA may subject you to capacity limits. On the upside, though, this actually prevents you from putting all your stock in Amazon. To minimize stockouts, set aside buffer stock at your supplier or 3PL and transfer units as needed)
Order FulfillmentYesYes
Parcel Delivery to CustomersYes (within 1 to 2 days)Yes (within 1 to 3 days)
Multichannel Distribution Across Physical Stores or Retail PartnersYes (currently in a pilot test, but will be rolled out more broadly later this year)Yes (send inventory directly into FBA, Walmart Fulfillment Services, and 15+ wholesale channels, including Costco, Target, and Nordstrom)
Supply chain financingNo (though Amazon Lending is an option for many sellers and could be utilized toward supply chain.)Yes via Flexport+, a $149/month membership that provides you with improved repayment terms (up to 120 days), faster shipping speeds, and advice from logistics experts. 
PricingTransportation, storage, and fulfillment costs depend on product weight and dimensions. Storage costs can also vary by season.Only pay for the services you use with predictable, all-inclusive pricing. No hidden fees.
Pricing structure for storage is at the pallet/carton level, removing hidden overages and costs.

These recently unveiled E2E supply chain solutions share a common goal and target audience. Both aim to:

  • Help sellers deal with various challenges within their global supply chains by making it easier for them to access tools, resources, and capabilities that were once only available to large companies.
  • Keep sellers’ 3PL warehouses, physical stores, or retail partners in stock so that they can consistently fulfill same-day or next-day deliveries through an efficient multichannel inventory distribution system.

Those closely following the logistics industry note that the launch timing and similarities of Supply Chain by Amazon and Flexport Revolution are far from accidental. This can be attributed to the influential role played by Dave Clark, who previously served as the CEO of Flexport and prior to that held a significant position within Amazon’s operations.

Conventional wisdom suggests that Amazon, owing to its substantial financial resources, expansive warehouse footprint, and dominant eComm presence, possesses the more appealing offers.

However, Flexport, as a freight forwarding company, is staking its claim on its extensive experience in facilitating China-to-US trade as a unique selling point. This could mean access to seasoned freight forwarders, affordable freight rates, better customs clearance support, and faster international shipping speeds, potentially creating a more seamless trans-Pacific trade experience overall.

Additionally, its recent acquisition of the eCommerce fulfillment service, Deliverr, presents them with a seasoned D2C distribution network to facilitate the last mile delivery component.

All things considered, it’s a tough choice between Amazon and Flexport, but this is the kind of rivalry that will benefit sellers in many ways. Both provide an AI-driven platform where you can shop for the best freight rates, create and track shipments, manage inventory transfers (global and domestic), and more from a single dashboard. 

It all probably boils down to who truly has the infrastructure to meet your unique logistics needs, including the ability to provide support during disruptive supply chain events. 

Related: Supply Chain by Amazon, 3PL Logistics Backup for Amazon, Lead Time in Inventory Management for Amazon Sellers, How to Ship to FBA (And Speed Up Check-In Times)

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