Amazon wants you to deliver its packages for them.
Inc. says startup costs begin at $10,000, and the businesses created under the program would operate 20 to 40 vans and employ between 40 and 100 people. Over time, Amazon will empower hundreds of new, small business owners to hire tens of thousands of delivery drivers across the USA, joining a robust existing community of traditional carriers, as well as small-and-medium-sized businesses that already employ thousands of drivers delivering Amazon packages. In response, retailers are betting big on delivery services to drop off packages faster.
Amazon already works with hundreds of third-party courier companies that hire and manage their own fleets of drivers, but they did not disclose to Business Insider's whether its relationship with its current delivery service providers would change.
The online retailer, which past year shipped more than 5 billion packages through its Prime program, on Thursday said it is looking for hundreds of entrepreneurs "with little to no logistics experience" to set up their own delivery businesses - complete with Amazon-branded vehicles and uniforms. Amazon is also setting aside $1 million to help military veterans interested in starting their own delivery businesses.
Olaoluwa Abimbola, who was part of Amazon's test of the program, said that the amount of packages Amazon needs delivered keeps his business busy.
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Amazon has used independent contractors in the past to handle packages, especially during busy holiday shopping periods.
The new scheme could come in handy for those who felt uncomfortable on many counts with the existing Amazon Flex program where some of the Uber drivers were recruited to make the last mile deliveries and it posed many bottlenecks for them.
"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.
It's unclear if Amazon will cut back on its postal deliveries in favour of its own and how quickly that could happen.
What do you think about Amazon's new plan?
"There are certain things that big, centralized companies do well but there are other things where local people know better, and last-mile delivery is one of them", said Paul Oyer, a professor of economics and entrepreneurship at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business.