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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

After conquering e-commerce and cloud computing, Amazon is claiming its spot at the very top of the massive shipping industry this holiday season.

Why it matters: Logistics might make your eyes glaze over, but it's one of the key businesses of the future — and it could become Amazon's next windfall. The industry is already worth $1.5 trillion, and it'll get even bigger as more and more people order everything online.

By the numbers: Cyber Monday was Amazon's highest volume shopping day ever. And Americans will spend a record $135 billion online in November and December, Spencer Soper writes in Bloomberg's tech newsletter today.

What's happening: Amazon is already the leading shipper of its own packages (delivering about 48% of them). The tech giant is adding vans, jets, workers and warehouses to become an even more formidable shipper.

Amazon's rise is putting legacy shippers at risk. After brushing off the e-commerce giant as a competitor for years, FedEx CEO Fred Smith called it a threat this year.

  • The two companies have cut ties. FedEx chose not to renew its ground and air delivery contracts with Amazon.
  • And just this week, Amazon — which is consumers' most-trusted brand to deliver their holiday gifts in time — is banning its third-party sellers from using FedEx for ground deliveries. It's effectively a no-confidence vote in FedEx, writes Soper.
  • FedEx reported weaker-than-expected earnings this week and revised its 2020 earnings outlook down. The stock is down around 10% today.

The stakes: Amazon is already the subject of antitrust investigations in the U.S. and Europe, and its shipping prowess could strengthen opponents' arguments.

  • "Given its scale & dominance of this market, Amazon is essentially operating as a regulator of shipping companies," notes Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a nonprofit research and advocacy group that opposes concentrated economic power.

Go deeper

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Rahm Emanuel floated for Transportation secretary

Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record.

Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Biden taps former Obama communications director for press secretary

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Jen Psaki, who previously served as Obama's communications director, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden's press secretary, the transition team announced Sunday.

The big picture: All of the top aides in Biden's communication staff will be women, per the Washington Post, which first reported Psaki's appointment.

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