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Amazon won't let sellers use FedEx Ground for Prime orders

The move is reportedly due to a "decline in performance," according to The Wall Street Journal.

Amazon is blocking sellers from using FedEx Ground to ship Prime orders. 
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Amazon is restricting third-party sellers from using FedEx Ground and Home delivery services for Prime orders, the companies said Monday. The e-commerce giant reportedly made the decision based on a "decline in performance" going into the end of the holiday shopping season, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Sellers will be blocked from using FedEx Ground and Home shipping starting this week, "until the delivery performance of these ship methods improves," according to an email sent to sellers and seen by The Journal. 

Earlier this year, FedEx ended its contract with Amazon for Express shipping before also stopping ground deliveries for the online retail giant. Third-party sellers -- who, according to The Journal, are responsible for more than half of products sold on Amazon -- were still able to use FedEx. 

"While this decision affects a very small number of shippers, it limits the options for those small businesses on some of the highest demand shipping days in history, and may compromise their ability to meet customer demands and manage their businesses," a FedEx representative said in a statement.

Amazon declined to comment, but said it wants to ensure customers get their packages in time for Christmas. The company added that while it plans to temporarily block sellers from shipping Prime orders with FedEx Ground and Home, those options will still be available for standard shipments. Sellers can also still use FedEx Express for Prime shipments, Amazon said. 

The news comes as Amazon builds up its own delivery network in an effort to speed up deliveries. In April, the company said it was spending $800 million that quarter to bolster its shipping infrastructure, and in June expanded its air fleet. CEO Jeff Bezos attended a groundbreaking ceremony in May for the online retailer's new $1.5 billion air transportation hub in Kentucky.

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First published Dec. 16.
Update, Dec. 17: Adds more background details.