Amazon crowdsourced last-mile delivery drivers have faced a handful of challenges, but the company is now providing any entrepreneur with an ambition to do more in delivery service. The company is determined to improve last-mile delivery, and it is providing drivers with an opportunity to establish their own delivery business. For instance, those working for Uber can now decide to switch their taxi service to Amazon delivery service.
Those who will join the new Amazon program will benefit from access to the company's delivery technology, vehicle leasing, insurance, hands-training, and discounts on a suite of assets and services. FedEx and UPS are the major players, but the entry of Amazon will see whether it stands a chance. The company, though, means business, and it's clear solving last-mile delivery is its top priority.
Amazon is ready to try anything
For now, Amazon is not afraid to try any venture until one of them sticks. When other companies are looking for strategies that favor them cost-wise and not so much concerned with the improvement of last-mile delivery, Amazon is busy learning and trying all kinds of things before anyone else gets a new idea.
With that determination to try what works for the last-mile delivery, Amazon and few startups concerned will get it in the end.
Benefits will only accrue over time
Amazon plan to cut out the middle-men will no doubt save them money and get more flexibility over delivery options and schedules. But it seems this benefit will only accrue with time. Order volumes and densities, plus long travel times between deliveries in various parts of the country, do not justify such an investment.
Amazon may realize technical solutions, like self-driving vehicles though it remains some way off for now. There is a twofold danger for the traditional delivery firms. The first one is the likelihood of losing business from Amazon, and this will start slowly in the beginning, but progressively increase as Amazon continues to roll out more of its delivery services.
The second one is the rate at which Amazon will be providing delivery to businesses is more likely to be at a reduced price. What does that leave other delivery firms? They will shut other firms out by losing consumers and lose shares in their most profitable and lucrative markets while having to provide a national service with all the expense of rural area delivery.
Improving the last mile will save more than just money
When the last mile is enhanced, the possible improvement you will get is saving money, handle the inventory more efficiently, and also save time. In the next couple of years to come, many alternatives will be introduced along the way. But delivery needs vary from one to another, and many will be adopted for a specific population, geographic, and customer needs.
Before Amazon improves the last mile, they have first to solve problems consumers are experiencing with their mode of delivery. For instance, prime members getting delivery of Amazon orders from UPS are a very reliable service. But Amazon prime vans have unending issues where they drop packages at the wrong address, leave visible boxes in front of closed garage doors, fail to tuck package out of view, and much more.
These signals lack the interest to solve critical last mile issues consumers are going through as it is not easy to track down who owns the Prime Van franchise.