Amazon has ordered 20,000 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans as it prepares to help people build small delivery companies.
The company announced the news this week and added that it previously ordered 5,000 Sprinter vans. The vans will be leased by small business owners that have signed up for Amazon’s delivery service to deliver packages ordered through its service. According to CNNMoney, which discussed Amazon’s plans with the company, the business owners will lease the vans from third-party fleet management companies.
Amazon (amzn) announced plans earlier this year to launch a delivery service under its own banner. The move would allow people across the U.S. to form their own delivery businesses and deliver products to customer homes and offices. The decision also cast doubt on Amazon’s relationship with its current logistics partners, including UPS (ups), could be strained by relying on its own partners to deliver packages.
In its interview with CNNMoney, Amazon said that “tens of thousands of people” across the U.S. have signed up for the service. In order to qualify for the program, prospective “Delivery Service Partners” need $30,000 in liquid assets and preferably some experience running a business, among other attributes. There’s also a three-week training program those partners need to complete.
Looking ahead, Amazon said that it expects to have 100 of those partners and thousands of vans on the road by the end of the year.