A Shipping Guru Chases The Middle Mile
Bloomberg Businessweek|February 08, 021
After spending years building Amazon’s delivery operations, Scott Ruffin is creating one to offer to its competitors

Long before the pandemic overloaded U.S. delivery infrastructure, Scott Ruffin was trying to make Amazon.com Inc. a shipping powerhouse. He spent five years building out home-delivery operations for the e-commerce giant, reducing its dependence on services such as FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc.

Now Ruffin wants to do it on his own. Introduced in stealth mode in September with $5 million in seed funding, his startup Pandion aims to help major retailers offer affordable one- and two-day deliveries and compete with his former employer.

The shipping business is hot right now, but it’s also a mess. FedEx and UPS responded to increased demand during the pandemic by raising rates. Amazon—which has tens of thousands of its own trucks and about 80 planes—fared better than most, but still had to limit what shoppers could buy. People were warned to start ordering their Christmas gifts as early as October, and packages piled up in warehouses during the holiday season.

A spokeswoman for FedEx said that shipping volumes were up 24% during the peak season and that the company would “continue to develop innovative solutions to meet demand.” UPS declined to comment for this story.

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