Axios PM

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October 19, 2020

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 449 words, a 2-minute read.

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1 big thing: Shipageddon is coming

Pallets with mail-in ballots at a USPS center. Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty Images

If you rely on last-minute holiday shopping, 2020 won't be your year.

Why it matters: America's biggest shipping companies are out of excess capacity, and that's before the holiday rush.

  • "The capacity shortfall could average as much as seven million packages a day between Thanksgiving and Christmas," the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: This goes beyond your Amazon orders — many stores might dial down their Black Friday offerings because they've been running leaner on merchandise since March, the N.Y. Times notes.

  • Call it "Shipageddon," as a Retail Geek podcast noted earlier this month.

Other efforts to meet the surge:

  • Amazon moved Prime Day up to October.
  • FedEx moved to seven-day-a-week pickup.
  • High volume retailers will be charged bigger fees.
  • Stores are pushing customers to buy online and pick up in stores.
  • USPS will change its priority to holiday shipping after the election rush.

The bottom line: “Consumers should be prepared for deliveries to take extra days no matter which carrier is delivering their parcels,” ShipMatrix President Satish Jindel told the Journal.

2. Pic du jour

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Poll workers receive ballots at a drive-through setup in Doral, Fla.

  • The poll workers placed the ballots into an official ballot drop box after receiving them.
  • Early voting ends Nov. 1.

3. Catch up quick

President Trump on stage during a rally this afternoon in Prescott, Ariz. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
  1. President Trump slammed Dr. Anthony Fauci, calling him a "disaster" and claiming that "people are tired of COVID." Go deeper.
  2. The U.S. indicted six Russian military intelligence officers for major hacking operations targeting foreign elections, the Olympics and computer systems worldwide that resulted in nearly $1 billion in losses. Go deeper.
  3. A Wisconsin judge reimposed limitations on the number of people who can gather indoors in bars, restaurants and other places to 25% capacity. Go deeper.
  4. Bolivian leftist candidate Luis Arce won an "overwhelming and clear" victory in the country's presidential election. Go deeper.
  5. 🎧 Axios Re:Cap took a deeper look at Joe Biden's pandemic plan. Listen here.

4. 1 silver lining

Fans during Sunday's Steelers-Browns game in Pittsburgh. Photo: Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Many of the biggest sporting events in the U.S. had fans in the stands this past weekend, notes Axios Sports author Kendall Baker.

  • NFL: Eight of Sunday's 11 games had fans. Tonight's Cardinals-Cowboys game in Dallas will make it nine this week.
  • MLB: 10,920 fans were on hand at Globe Life Field for Game 7 of the NLCS.
  • College football: Over 19,000 fans watched Alabama beat Georgia at Bryant-Denny Stadium; 18,000 watched Florida State upset UNC at home; 11,000 attended Clemson-Georgia Tech.
  • Boxing: 250 fans were permitted to attend the Lomachenko-Lopez fight.

The bottom line: Indoor sports are coming, which means fans may again be headed for the exits.