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

Business Insider reports on how FedEx believes that its decision to stop doing business with Amazon - which has been developing the capacity to compete with shipping firms - will allow it to compete more effectively by working with the 51 percent of the e-commerce business not controlled by Amazon.

The story notes that “FedEx has been powering the e-commerce aspirations of Amazon's biggest retail competitor — Walmart. Data from Rakuten Intelligence indicates that FedEx delivered some 55% of all of Walmart's packages in Q2 2019 … Along with moving the majority of Walmart's online shipments, FedEx is rolling out Office locations in 500 Walmart stores nationwide where customers can print, ship, and pick up deliveries — a move that analysts said gives an edge to Walmart against Amazon.”

"E-commerce is driving the parcel volume in the US domestic market at a rate that we've never seen before, quite frankly," Brie Carere, FedEx's chief marketing and communications officer, tells Business Insider. "We see a world in 2026 where the market will be 100 million pieces a day, driven by e-commerce. And it's really important to remember that that's driven by e-commerce as a broad market, not by any single player.”

While FedEx’s system is not ideal for a consumer delivery network - it has more of a B2B orientation - reinventing it for a post-Amazon existence seems to be critical. But the story also makes the point that there could be a downside for FedEx if Walmart were to “pull an Amazon and build its own e-commerce delivery service that's suited to the sector of online shopping they're growing fastest in: online grocery.”

• Here’s a number for you - Amazon now has more than 53,500 employees in Seattle alone. The Seattle Times writes that Amazon “has edged above Microsoft’s local work force and is second only to Boeing among area private employers. Amazon’s rise has further diversified the region’s economy and contributed to an unparalleled economic boom, bringing prosperity but also challenges as housing and transportation infrastructure lag population and job growth.”

Amazon currently is in the process of hiring for some 30,000 new jobs - from software engineers to warehouse workers - around the country, including some 10,000 jobs in the Seattle area to be filled next year.

• The Wall Street Journal reports that “e-commerce technology company Shopify Inc. is buying warehouse robot-maker 6 River Systems Inc. for approximately $450 million as it deepens its move into physical distribution … 6 River Systems makes software and autonomous mobile robots that guide workers through warehouse aisles, lighting up when they reach the next item to pick.”