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Whitebox Flash Alerts: Understanding COVID-19 Ecommerce & Marketplace Impacts

The impact of COVID-19 on ecommerce has been far reaching and rapidly changing. Our goal is to help our clients make decision that are best for their businesses.  As key marketplaces and carriers announce updates and changes to their services and processes, Whitebox will communicate those changes to our clients along with any recommended actions.


Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) Storage Fee Waiver (3.30.20) 

Amazon announced it will waive two weeks of March monthly storage fees, this is in addition to the previously announced waiver of the April 15 long-term storage fees.


Amazon Inbound Restrictions Lifted in Some Cases (3.27) 

Amazon gave notice to Seller Central clients that they were expanding capacity for Inbound shipments of products that are not considered essential. Sellers who have been impacted should. Sellers should check their “Restock Inventory Reports” to determine if any of their products are eligible. 

Read more here.


UPS & FedEx Announce Suspension of Service Guarantees and Money-Back Guarantees 


UPS Announces Suspension of Service Guarantee (3.26)
UPS stated that until further notice, they will suspend the UPS Service Guarantee for all shipments from any origin to any destination.

Read more here.

FedEx Suspends Money-Back Guarantee and Signature Required Service (3.26) 
FedEx announced the suspension of their Money-Back Guarantee for all FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight and FedEx Office services effective immediately, and for an indefinite period of time. Additionally, they have suspended Signature Required service. 
Read more here.


Whitebox continues to optimize each shipment to ensure we get the package to the customer in their expected shipping time. To ensure that delays outside of our control don’t leave customers unhappy, an extension of normal shipping expectations by a few business days is recommended. 


Amazon Coupons Suspended (3.25) 

To allow the Amazon teams to prioritize essential products for customers, Amazon announced they are no longer accepting new Amazon Coupons through April 5, 2020. For those who were relying on Amazon Coupons, we recommend using Amazon Promotions as an alternative option as they have not been affected at this point.


Amazon Vine Disabled (3.25)

Amazon Vine, an Amazon early reviewer program aimed at providing trustworthy reviews for new products has disabled shipments and enrollments indefinitely. 


DHL Emergency Situation Surcharge (3.24)

DHL Express announces they will "temporarily and until further notice levy an Emergency situation Surcharge to all Time Definite International (TDI) shipments". Whitebox is communicating with other carriers to see if they will increase rates for deliveries in this scenario. From there, we will determine the best shipping option for each order. 

Read the full announcement here. 


Fedex, UPS, USPS Shipping Delays (3.23) 

Due to recent increases in demand we are seeing shipping delays across all major carriers. We recommend setting proper shipping timing expectations to avoid customer frustrations. Our recommendation is adding 1-3 days to standard shipping timelines. 


Amazon Prime Delivery Delays (3.23) 

Amazon announces up to one month delays on non-essential Amazon Prime items, as well as a limit on the number of essential items per order. While Amazon has not announced delays for essential items, we are starting to see delays of up to 4 weeks for some essential items.


Amazon Message from Founder and CEO (3.21) 

“We’ve changed our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third party seller processes to prioritize stocking and delivering essential items like household staples, sanitizers, baby formula, and medical supplies. We’re providing a vital service to people everywhere, especially to those, like the elderly, who are most vulnerable. People are depending on us.” From a letter from Jeff Bezos to Amazon employees. Read the full article here.


Amazon Essential Product Prioritization (3.17)   

Effective March 17, through April 5, Amazon will be temporarily prioritizing products coming into their fulfillment centers. Household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into their fulfillment centers will be prioritized for shipment creation. Non-essential items may take longer to process. For clients who do not fall within the prioritized categories, selling through Merchant-Fulfilled and Seller-Fulfilled Prime channels may be possible.


Walmart Marketplace Case Inquiries: Delayed Response Times (3.23) 

Walmart Marketplace support states “Our Sellers may experience longer than normal wait times to receive a response to their case inquiry. Please know we are working diligently to get through cases as quickly and accurately as possible. At this time, we would also encourage you to try searching our Help Guides or FAQs pages to find additional information to help resolve your inquiry”. For current Whitebox customers, please reach out to your account manager to assist with your inquiry. 


For more in Whitebox's response to COVID-19, please read Keeping Vital Supply Chains Open: Whitebox's COVID-19 Response  


If you would like to speak with someone from our team, email us at hello@whitebox.co