It could be argued that no company in history has had the kind of dominant effect on an industry as Amazon, it even has its own name – The Amazon Effect.
That’s why the latest news coming out of Amazon-land should be a serious wake-up call for large carriers such as UPS and FedEx.
Amazon Launches Last-Mile Delivery for the Holiday Season
It’s recently been reported that Amazon has now hired thousands of delivery drivers for its new holiday last-mile shipping program.
In summer 2018, Amazon announced a plan to launch a last-mile delivery program in which they would partner with entrepreneurs to manage the actual delivery while leveraging Amazon’s technology and infrastructure.
Unlike the announcement this summer, Amazon’s plan now is to roll out last-mile that it wholly controlled by Amazon. This, in effect, makes Amazon a carrier on the level of the UPS’s and FedEx’s of the world.
The question is, will it really only be for the holiday season? Is it possible this is a test-run for an Amazon full-fledged carrier service?
Amazon as a Carrier: a Long Time in the Making
This move is no surprise to anyone that has been paying attention.
Amazon has, for years, been taking small steps towards becoming a full-fledged carrier – this is just the latest one.
It all started back in 2015 when Amazon made three announcements that set it on its current course:
- Launching of Prime Now 1-hour delivery service
- Acquiring a fleet of 747s
- Purchasing a fleet of thousands of trucks across US and Canada
Then, in 2016 Amazon announced its purchase of the French 3PL Colis Prive’. While they already owned 25% of the company, Amazon’s complete takeover of Colis Prive’ was extremely consequential.
The real bombshell of 2016 came when an internal leak outlining a plan dubbed “Operation Dragon Boat” in which Amazon outlined their explicit goal of becoming a freight and parcel delivery company.
The document itself was actually from way back in 2013, which just goes to show how long this has been on Amazon’s radar.
Since the leak, we have continued to see Amazon inch towards their ultimate goal of becoming a carrier.
In 2017, the trend continued with the testing of “Seller Flex” which is a 2-day shipping service. Though it began in India, rumors are that it will move to the US in the near future.
That brings us to 2018 and this latest announcement.
Based on the trends begun in 2014, it’s hard to believe that Amazon is not going to use 2019 to openly go up against UPS and FedEx as a major carrier in the US… and beyond.
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