In brief: Amazon is inundated with packages to deliver, and will soon reach out to local businesses for a helping hand. Interested companies don't need delivery experience to become a partner. Indeed, Amazon is reportedly going after a range of businesses including clothing stores, coffee shops and even florists.
In an exclusive report, Axios claims Amazon will start recruiting existing business in roughly half of the country's states on Monday including Alabama, California, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, and Washington to participate. Dense cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, and New York will be among the primary targets.
To be eligible, participating businesses must be able to deliver an average of 30 packages per day for seven days a week (excluding major holidays). An Amazon delivery service partner will drop of the workload to local businesses, who will be required to have a secure area set aside for shipment storage. Axios estimates businesses would earn about $2.50 per package on average, or about $27,000 a year.
Beryl Tomay, VPt of Amazon Last Mile Delivery and Technology, told Axios the program – dubbed Amazon Hub Delivery – could help create opportunities for partners interested in growing a business and help supplement their income. By the end of the year, Amazon hopes to be working with some 2,500 small business drivers.
A similar program called "I Have Space" launched in India in 2015 before later finding its way to Spain and Japan. Amazon even conducted a small trial in rural regions of the US near the end of 2020.
It is a risky proposition for Amazon, but one that could be quite beneficial should it work as intended. Any time you bring in a third-party, you run the risk of introducing hiccups in a well-oiled machine. Such is especially true with "last mile" delivery. Amazon could do everything right with an order but if a third-party flubs the final step, Amazon is ultimately responsible and takes the ding from the customers' perspective.