Amazon unveils new delivery service in US
Amazon customers in the US may soon see their online orders being delivered by workers wearing Amazon-branded uniforms and driving Amazon-branded vehicles.
The e-commerce company on Thursday said it is looking to increase the market’s logistics capacity, as customer demand pushes the limit of current shipping carriers.
Rather than hiring its own delivery workers, Amazon plans to recruit entrepreneurs who are interested in starting, setting up and managing their own delivery business.
The company plans to empower hundreds of small business owners to hire tens of thousands of delivery drivers across the US and join the traditional carriers and small and medium businesses already delivering Amazon packages.
“We have great partners in our traditional carriers and it’s exciting to continue to see the logistics industry grow,” said Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations.
“Customer demand is higher than ever and we have a need to build more capacity. As we evaluated how to support our growth, we went back to our roots to share the opportunity with small-and-medium-sized businesses. We are going to empower new, small businesses to form in order to take advantage of the growing opportunity in e-commerce package delivery.”
According to Amazon, successful owners can earn as much as US$300,000 in annual profit operating a fleet of up to 40 delivery vehicles.
Owners will have access to the company’s sophisticated delivery technology, hands-on training and discounts on a suite of assets and services, including vehicle leases and comprehensive insurance.
The company has promised discounts on important resources, such as branded vehicles customised for delivery, branded uniforms, fuel and comprehensive insurance coverage, to help keep startup costs as low as US$10,000.
The company currently operates an Uber-like service called Amazon Flex, which pays individual drivers between US$18 and US$25 per hour to deliver Amazon packages with their own vehicles.
It is unclear why Amazon has opted to launch its new delivery offering, although the company noted in its announcement of the service that it has a history of supporting businesses of all sizes, such as with its Marketplace offering.
“This new Amazon offering continues the company’s longtime commitment to enabling small-and-medium-sized businesses to grow with the rising tide of e-commerce,” the press release reads.