For households that constantly order items on Amazon, the convenience can often be soured by having to deal with a barrage of packages arriving multiple times a week.
So Amazon (AMZN) is encouraging its Prime members to pick a specific delivery day — and to stick to it every week. The hope is that this will both increase delivery efficiency and reduce harmful emissions.
“We’ve been testing this program with a group of Prime members, and Amazon Day has already reduced packaging by tens of thousands of boxes — a number that will only continue to grow now that the program is available to Prime members nationwide,” Maria Renz, Amazon’s vice president of delivery experience said in a statement.
The company started testing Amazon Day with select customers in November. It enables customers to order throughout the week, up to two days before the delivery date, and have their items combined into fewer packages on a day of their choosing. An Amazon Day icon will appear as a delivery option alongside the normal Prime delivery options.
Amazon says the program is part of its bigger aim to make half of its shipments carbon-neutral by 2030. Dubbed “Shipment Zero” the program also has the long-term goal of powering the firm’s global infrastructure on 100% renewable energy.
Cutting down on packaging costs would help Amazon make free shipping more cost-effective as well. Analysts believe Amazon is taking a bath on shipping costs — it’s one of the reasons why it increased its annual Prime membership fee from $99 to $119 last year.
Online shopping has increasingly created traffic problems for cities. José Holguín-Veras, director of the Center of Excellence for Sustainable Urban Freight Systems at New York’s Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, says urban freight traffic attributed to e-commerce has doubled in the past decade — and he anticipates it will double again by 2023.
To try to ease the traffic problem, Amazon has also been testing out autonomous delivery robots in the Seattle suburbs.