Amazon's ambitions to expand its massive e-commerce business became clearer today with the announcement that the company will deploy thousands of branded tractor trailer trucks in North America.
Instead of using the trucks for delivery to customers, Amazon (amzn) said that trailers will be used to move packages between Amazon fulfillment centers. Currently, Amazon partners with trucking companies, and will continue to work with these businesses to manage the branded trucks.
Friday's announcement represents the company's broader strategy of owning and managing the shipping and distribution services instead of relying on others. Amazon currently uses trucking partners to move packages from fulfillment centers and relies on UPS and FedEx to deliver packages to customers' doorsteps. But with the delivery drones and even its own fleet of trucks, the company is slowly taking over these operations and relying less on the U.S. postal service, FedEx, and UPS.
The premise is simple: Amazon can own and operate its own shipping and delivery services, and in turn, get packages to customers in a matter of minutes, instead of days. The company just revealed plans for a new on-demand delivery service Flex, where Amazon would employ part-time workers to deliver items bought through Amazon’s marketplace. Flex is currently available in Seattle but will be rolled out soon in New York, Baltimore, Miami, Dallas, Austin, Chicago, Indianapolis, Atlanta, and Portland. Amazon also operates its own grocery delivery service, Amazon Fresh.
Other e-commerce retailers are also taking notice of Amazon's ambitions, and in turn, are trying to get their products delivered customers more quickly. Target (tgt) recently partnered with on-demand grocery delivery service Instacart to allow shoppers to get groceries from the retail giant in a matter of hours. Walmart (wmt) is also experimenting with ways in which to get groceries and other items to customers in a matter of hours or days, instead of a week.
For more on Amazon's delivery service, watch this video:
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