(Bloomberg)—Amazon.com Inc. lifted restrictions established during the holiday shopping season that had prevented third-party merchants from shipping packages with FedEx Corp.’s ground service.
Amazon, No. 1 in the 2019 Digital Commerce 360 Top 500, had abruptly banned FedEx at the busiest time of year, saying its ground service was too slow—highlighting the ecommerce giant’s growing power over how products get to shoppers.
Amazon told sellers the ban would be lifted effective 5 p.m. New York time Tuesday, according to an email reviewed by Bloomberg.
“This is good news for our mutual customers who have come to rely on the FedEx Ground offering,” FedEx said in an emailed statement. “Our service levels have been very strong throughout a historic peak season.”
After Amazon banned merchants from using FedEx less than two weeks before Christmas, merchants had to find alternative ways to make deliveries, including through United Parcel Service Inc.’s ground service.
Amazon’s shift comes after FedEx improved its on-time performance rate by 4.7 percentage points in the first two weeks of the year, according to data from last-mile delivery software company Convey. FedEx’s on-time delivery rate is 87.9% in the first two weeks of 2020, up from 83.3% from Dec. 16-29.
Amazon declined to comment.
The Seattle-based company’s ban on third-party shippers using FedEx followed a dispute between the two companies, which failed to renew a delivery contract.
Amazon examines its delivery providers’ performance each year to determine order cut-off times for the holidays.
The Wall Street Journal reported the ban’s end earlier.