Walmart allegedly is telling trucking companies that they may have to choose between its business and Amazon’s, according to widely reported comments from a transportation and logistics consultant -- a report the retailing giant denies.
Speaking at the SMC3 annual summer conference in Palm Beach, Florida, Satish Jindel said Walmart is telling for-hire motor carriers that if they also haul goods for Amazon, they will have to stop doing so in return for keeping Walmart business, reports DC Velocity.
The publication said Jindel became aware of the situation through some of his sources. Walmart, which uses for-hire carriers and dedicated contract relationships along with its own private fleet, would not disclose the extent of the company's outside carrier relationships to DC Velocity, it reported.
Walmart sent a brief statement to HDT: "This report is false."
“Walmart would prefer to do business with carriers that are not doing business with Amazon” and are not “conflicted,” because it’s concerned about their ability to handle high volumes of deliveries during peak times, Jindel said, according to a report in the New York Post.
However, a Walmart spokesman told The New York Post that it has not had discussions with trucking companies about high-peak delivery times or about Amazon, adding that “it would be illegal for us to tell them who they can do business with.”
The news followed on the heels of recent reports that Walmart had told some technology companies that if they want its business, they can't run applications for the retailer on Amazon's cloud-computing service, and instead must use Microsoft's cloud service, known as Azure.
Deutsche Bank analyst Amit Mehrotra wrote that “these developments, if true, are likely to have significant implications for U.S. transportation companies as Amazon and Walmart remain two of the largest users of truckload capacity,” he wrote, noting that Walmart represents about 14% of Swift’s operating revenues and about 4% for Werner.
Amazon also has been spotted at trucking trade shows recruiting small fleets, and held a two-day Amazon Fleet Recruiting Days earlier this year at the Rush Truck Center outside Nashville.
Updated 1:35 EDT to add Walmart statement