Welcome to our latest eCommerce and logistics news roundup!

This week, we’re talking about how the expansion of UPS’s international services can benefit your business, seeing how Amazon’s holiday delays could affect your Christmas, and discussing what a breach in customer data means about security for retailers.

UPS to Expand International Services

Atlanta-based courier UPS has announced that it will expand its UPS Worldwide Express and UPS Express Plus Services to 40 countries across the world. This will bring the carrier’s time and date-guaranteed delivery service for urgent shipments to 140 countries and territories.

The expansion is targeting companies that want delivery services that cut their time to market, replenish inventory quickly, and make time-sensitive shipments. To facilitate this, UPS has added nearly 3,200 new postal codes across 40 countries around Europe, Asia, the Americas, and India. These include key growth markets like Russia, Nigeria and Vietnam.

The expansion of the UPS Worldwide Express service is particularly pertinent. The service is often used by retail, high-tech, and healthcare sectors. Consumers in these sectors are especially demanding, with fast delivery options among their highest demands.

Easyship’s Take: With this expansion, UPS is capitalizing on the continuing growth of global eCommerce. For retailers, this means being able to scale their business by accessing new markets and more customers; for consumers, the expansion means being able to access brands and products that may not have been previously available in their countries, and having their orders delivery much faster.

Amazon Experiencing Delays Ahead of Holiday Season

Retail giant Amazon is experiencing unforeseen shipping delays ahead of the busy festive period, leading to customers taking to social media to express their anger and frustration.

Amazon says the delays have been caused by severe winter demands, which have caused shipping to slow drastically across the US. The problem has been compounded by a significant increase in customer demand, which is causing backlogs in the delivery process.

All of this is despite the fact that Amazon is continuing to break records with an unprecedented increase in orders at the start of the holiday period and offering its fastest-ever delivery speeds with Same-Day and One Day Delivery.

An Amazon spokesperson says the company is working furiously to “rebalance capacity across our network.” But, of course, there’s not much they can do about the weather.

Easyship’s Take: Amazon is a massive part of the holidays. Many consumers around the world buy Christmas presents and holiday gifts from the retail giant, so not having their orders delivered in time could make for a decided unmerry Christmas and New Year. Of course, the weather affects all eCommerce retailers, so if you’re offering expedited shipping over the festive season, you may need to take this into account with your shipping dates - or be prepared to offer free returns and exchanges or the like to placate dissatisfied customers.

Tuft & Needle Leaks Customer Information In Avoidable Oversight

Direct-to-consumer mattress and bedding company Tuft & Needle has come under fire for making a simple error that put the information of thousands of customers at risk. A subsidiary of America’s Serta Simmons Bedding company, Tuft & Needle is a savvy e-retailer, so it’s ironic that their mistake was a computer-based oversight.

The company left more than 236,400 shipping labels on Amazon Web Services, a publicly-accessible cloud server. These labels contained customer names, addresses, and phone numbers, all of which could be accessed without a password. The exposed data was found by Fidus Information Security, a UK-based penetration testing company and later verified by TechCrunch.

Easyship’s Take: This is a doozy. As a customer, you’re trusting important personal information to a company when you make a purchase from them, so you’d hope that they’d keep it safe. And, as a merchant, keeping your customers’ information safe should be a priority - after all, you want them to trust you and keep coming back to make more purchases. The lesson here is simple: always make sure that you’re using secure systems to make purchases and store data.