Two months ago, we shared the news about Amazon launching Delivery Services Partners, a new initiative aimed at encouraging entrepreneurs to set up their own delivery business – offering leased vans, training and resources to those who want to drive for Amazon. According to CNBC, since the program was announced June 28, tens of thousands of people have applied to set up their delivery business as an Amazon franchisee.
Last week, Amazon announced that they’re placing an order for 20,000 Mercedes-Benz vans with Daimler AG in order to build out their delivery fleet and have these new small businesses carry an excess supply of packages. Drivers that qualify to join the program will be able to lease up to 40 vans from Amazon, and the company claims that its delivery service partners could gross $300K per year.
One of the biggest incentives for people to join this new scheme is that owners will be able to tap into Amazon’s delivery volume, as well as access their last mile delivery technology, training, and multiple discounts on assets and services such as vehicle leasing and insurance.
This is Amazon’s boldest step to date to build a nationwide fleet that can fulfill last mile deliveries – bringing them ever closer to their customers. Drivers will be wearing Amazon-branded uniforms, and drive vans emblazoned with Amazon Prime logos. In addition, by sharing their technology, know-how and best practice with these fleets, Amazon will be able to set and maintain a consistent customer experience standard.
The only parcel service that currently provides universal last mile delivery coverage in the United States is the US Postal Service, which is running a $6B annual deficit, but it’s funded by tax dollars and is not a for-profit corporation. The success of Amazon’s program remains to be seen, but their bold steps towards building a huge fleet of vans across the entire country from the get go could be a game-changer – for Amazon deliveries, as well as for other companies who don’t have access to a 3rd party that can help them conquer the last mile.