business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  Benzinga reports that Amazon has "tried to dispose of excess space on its cargo planes to adjust from a rapid pandemic-era expansion to a slowdown in online growth.

Lately, Amazon, which has a fleet of about 100 planes in the U.S. and Europe, has hired executives with experience in marketing cargo space for airlines … Amazon launched the air cargo service in 2016, prompting speculation that it would ultimately create an overnight delivery network to rival United Parcel Service, Inc UPS and FedEx Corp FDX.

Demand for air cargo has cooled this year and will likely tail off again in 2023."

According to the story, "Amazon's possibilities include filling empty jets returning from Hawaii and Alaska with pineapples and salmon.

"The long-term plan for Amazon Air remained intact despite the current turmoil.

"The pressure to make money from unused space aboard its jets mounted as it looked to boost profits in a period of slower revenue growth."

CNet had a great headline that pretty much described the environment that led to decisions like these:

"Amazon's Big Year of Thinking Small"

The story made the point that CEO Andy Jassy has made it clear that "Amazon wasn't done making bets on businesses that could have long-term payoffs," but is trying to streamline "our costs in a bunch of different areas, while at the same time making sure that we keep betting on the things that we believe long-term could change."

•  The Financial Times has a story about how "Shopify is seeking to fill a lucrative gap in marketing data left by Apple’s privacy crackdown by offering retailers a new way to target potential customers through the world’s largest ad platforms … The new tool allows retailers to pool their customer data and upload it to Meta and Google’s advertising platforms. Marketers are then able to target ads at 'lookalike' customers who might be more likely to buy their products because they bought similar items from another retailer.

"The system is designed to skirt Apple’s rules against tracking iPhone users, which have put a multibillion-dollar dent in the online advertising industry this year, and compete with Amazon’s fast-growing ads business. Though Shopify Audiences is not yet a significant money-spinner for the ecommerce company, it could offer a much-needed growth opportunity at a time when looming recession and cash-strapped consumers are squeezing retailers."