Amazon does an Uber: Plans to turn customers into delivery boys

Amazon, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, wants to turn the U.S. into a nation of couriers.


In the modern age of e-businesses, it is the strategy of most business to maximise revenues with minimal inventory, investment or overheads. Uber to a great extent has been trying to do just that. Creating a p2p network of sort by connecting car owners and turning them into cab drivers. It worked in some countries, and certainly didn't in many others.

The latest surprise in this model though, is Amazon. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, "In its ceaseless quest to speed delivery, Amazon.com Inc. wants to turn the U.S. into a nation of couriers.

The Seattle retailer is developing a mobile application that would, in some cases, pay ordinary people, rather than carriers such as United Parcel Service Inc., to drop off packages en route to other destinations, according to people familiar with the matter."

According to the report, "the concept faces many hurdles, from how Amazon will vet deliverers to whether physical retailers will cooperate with a key rival. Major shippers are efficient; it costs UPS an average of about $8 to deliver a package in the U.S."

In fact even Google and eBay are conducting trials of same day delivery with contracted workers. The results observed are varying though. Last year, Amazon tried a pilot project with yellow taxis in San Francisco. As part of the project, same day deliveries were sent through the yellow taxis and Uber cars and were paid $5 per parcel, in contrast to $8 paid to UPS. Considering that Amazon ships 3.5 million packages a day, that's a saving of $10.5 million!

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