Amazon's New Delivery Service Launches in Austin
Amazon has been beefing up its own delivery service through the use of drones and robots for a little while now. Its latest venture, set to launch in Austin, Texas, is a bit more in-line with traditional delivery methods, but with a key twist that, as we covered, could shake up supply chains.
In the past, Amazon has used various shipping companies like the USPS for what it calls "last-mile" trips, which includes actually delivering the product to the customer's door. In line with Amazon's new plan, Austin-based C.L.S. Express signed a deal to become the U.S.'s first Amazon-branded delivery service, which means Austin residents will start seeing vans decked out in Amazon logos driving around town.
For the future roll-out, this means essentially anyone who wants to can start an official Amazon delivery service.
"When we looked at our capacity needs and customer demand, we knew that we needed additional capacity," Amazon spokeswoman Amanda Ip told 512 Tech. "We took that marketplace concept and brought it into logistics and last-mile delivery."
Here's what those companies get out of it:
Amazon’s pitch for potential partners is simple. For as little as $10,000, Amazon says, the company will lease 20 to 40 vans per operation, including insurance and uniforms, and give partners access to Amazon’s delivery technologies, training and other tools. Delivery partners are required to hire and operate their own staff, and they can still run other non-Amazon deliveries, as long as they use non-Amazon vehicles to do so.
Amazon is still growing at an impossibly fast rate. It will be interesting to see how the company's new shipping initiative ultimately factors in as it continues building up its Merch by Amazon customized products business.