Amazon wants to control delivery of more of its orders, expanding its fleet of drivers to handle ''on-demand'' deliveries in an effort to cut costs. Kelsey Hubbard reports.
Amazon wants to control delivery of more of its orders. It currently has contracts with drivers who deliver goods through Amazon Flex - a niche service that handles delivery of household items to Amazon Prime members who pay $99 bucks a year for faster shipping among other perks. Now it is quietly inviting drivers to handle deliveries of other items to the much larger group of non-Prime members. Three drivers in Northern Texas who currently deliver for Amazon Flex tell Reuters they have gotten an email from Amazon telling them about the new opportunity. The move could help Amazon speed up delivery times and better control its growing multi-billion dollar logistics bill. Industry analysts say its shipping costs grew more than 18-percent to 11-point-5 billion dollars last year. Media reports have said the company is also considering leasing its own fleet of jets and using drones to make deliveries. If the new service is a success, Amazon.com may look to launch a logistics network to compete with delivery service heavyweights like Fed-Ex, UPS and various local carriers already working with the company. Routing more deliveries through its own network of contract drivers would be especially cost-effective in more remote areas where smaller, regional couriers deliver parcels to Amazon customers for a high fee.