…with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The Motley Fool writes about how Amazon is “expanding its fleet of cargo planes to 50, potentially taking billions of dollars in business from FedEx and UPS, as it assumes more responsibility for its own deliveries,” not to mention positioning it “as a future carrier rival.”

However, the big loser could be the US Postal Service (USPS).

“The USPS is seen as bearing most of the burden for Amazon's sales, handling 62% of its package shipments, followed by 21% by UPS and 8% by FedEx,” the story says. “Another 9% is delivered by regional carriers. But as delivery rates rise across the board, the cost to Amazon is not insignificant and it makes sense it will want to internalize more of the delivery process.

“Morgan Stanley estimates Amazon saves $2 to $4 per package when it uses its own fleet, or some $2 billion annually. That's about 10% of what Amazon spent on shipping in 2017. The USPS raised its rates last October, a move that will cost the e-tailer $1 billion in 2019, and that's on the basis of the postal service handling just 40% to 50% of Amazon's deliveries. With FedEx and UPS both raising their rates by an average of 4.9%, the costs to Amazon will be substantial.”


• The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon has launched an ad-supported, streaming video channel branded as IMDb Freedive, which the story says “offers a collection of TV shows and movies on IMDb’s website or through Amazon Fire TV devices without having to purchase a subscription.”

Amazon has owned IMDb - the Internet Movie Database - since 1998. The story notes that “Amazon has been a player in streaming video for years through its Prime Video service, which started as a perk for subscribers of the online retailer’s annual Prime shipping service and has emerged as a challenger to Netflix.”