walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

What is LaserShip?

I get a lot of packages, mostly because I hate leaving the house to go to stores to buy stuff that isn't there anyway. Also, the hours at which I shop for stuff don't overlap well (and, honestly, never really have) with store hours. So I know my regular UPS driver by first name and wave to him when I see his truck driving around -- and he recognizes me when he sees me out on a walk. I'm a lot less impressed by FedEx, but I see them less often, so, whatever.

Today, I got a package from Vitacost. I don't normally order directly from them, however, it turns out it is not easy finding someone who will ship Westbrae's Organic No-Salt Added Mustard for anything like a reasonable price, and I cannot find it consistently anywhere on the shelf except at Shaw's, and I just don't go to Shaw's very often. And I bet you can predict what happens when I make a special trip to buy some mustard. Vitacost had a reasonable price and very reasonable shipping.

The package didn't have any familiar label, however -- it said "Lasership" on it, and appeared on my snowy front porch devoid of any protective plastic bag. That's not unheard of during the height of the Xmas shopping season, because there are so many temps and noobs and other people working for shippers, but in the middle of January? It hardly mattered -- the mustard was in a zippy bag inside (Vitacost maybe saw this coming?) so even if the cardboard had been reduced to mush, the contents would have been just fine.

Here is wikipedia on the subject of Lasership:


They are headquartered in Vienna -- I was just in Vienna recently.

Google reviews has them in Woburn, MA, 174 reviews, averaging 1.6 stars. LOTS of 1 star reviews from Amazon Prime customers.

I was happy to get my no salt added mustard, promptly, at a reasonable cost, undamaged. It'll be interesting to see if LaserShip and similar courier/last mile delivery companies figure in Amazon's delivery future and if so, how. One of the financial people I talk to a few times a year has been banging the drum for Amazon doing their own deliveries for years now, and today on Bloomberg the subject came up as well. I, personally, do not think that Amazon in general, and Bezos in particular has the correct skill set to run a business that is that labor intense. However, I'm wrong a lot.

ETA: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/01/12/amazon-shipping-france-colis-priv/78686016/

This is humorous -- the tail end of the USA Today article:

"The big question for investors, said Streebin, is whether these moves will end up making investors think twice about Amazon's stock price.

“Why," they might ask, "am I paying tech multiples for this company to be a logistics company?” he said.

Amazon's last 12 months price to earnings is 885 times, versus 34 for FedEx (FDX) and 21 for UPS (UPS)."

Oh, I don't know. Possibly because neither FDX or UPS is a dominant player in cloud? There are a few other odds and ends which spring to mind . . .

Disclosure: Amazon customer since 1995. Employed by them for a few years; still long the stock. I have absolutely no insider information whatsoever. I'm not advocating buying, selling or otherwise participating in the stock in any way.
Tags: transportation
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