Anyone who has ever wanted to personally ensure Amazon packages get to their customers quickly and has $10,000 lying around just got great news from the e-commerce corporation. Amazon just announced its Delivery Service Partners program, which will help "entrepreneurs" start small delivery services of their own while partnering with Jeff Bezos's tech giant. Amazon outlined the program in a press release on Thursday. The idea is that someone can work with Amazon to start their own independent delivery service, with access to Amazon's delivery infrastructure and guaranteed work, given the high volume of deliveries Amazon makes every day. According to Amazon, startup costs are "as low as $10,000," with discounts given on things like Amazon-branded uniforms and vehicles.
The date for this year's Amazon Prime Day may have just leaked, and if it's anything like last year, the deals will be better than Black Friday deals. Amazon is looking for entrepreneurs to help build out its delivery service with tens of thousands of new drivers across the U.S. The expansion of its Delivery Service Partners program, which would let small business owners build their own company with up to 40 delivery vehicles, is the latest piece of the online retailing giant's plan to disrupt the logistics ecosystem. Potentially, hundreds of new small business entrepreneurs could help the company expand its delivery system enough to end reliance on traditional last-mile shippers such as UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service. As part of the plan, announced Thursday, the new small delivery businesses can get training from Amazon and make use of its logistics technology. Businesses will also be able to get discounts on vehicles, uniforms, fuel and insurance.
Just before the morning rush hour on a recent Thursday, a brigade of vans rolled up to a low-slung warehouse near Los Angeles International Airport. Workers in bright green vests crammed some 150 Amazon.com This logistical dance wasn't performed by United Parcel Service Inc., UPS 1.15 % FedEx Corp. FDX 0.87 % or the U.S. Postal Service, all longtime carriers for the online-retail giant. It was part of an operation by Amazon.com Inc. AMZN 1.97 % itself, which is laying the groundwork for its own shipping business in a brazen challenge to America's freight titans.
Amazon promises speedy deliveries, especially for Prime members who might not be pleased to get their purchases late when they have to pay $20 more for a subscription going forward. To be able to keep up with the demand and stay true to its word, the e-commerce titan has launched an initiative that encourages people to start their own small package delivery businesses for the company. The Amazon Delivery Service Partner project offers entrepreneurs discounted Amazon-branded vehicles for delivery, branded uniforms, fuel and comprehensive insurance coverage, among other things, for a minimum investment of $10,000. Interested business-minded folk will need more money than that, since the 10 grand doesn't cover drivers' wages. However, Amazon will reimburse qualified military veterans up to $10,000.
Are you an entrepreneur who specializes in selling handcrafted soaps and artisanal candles? Are you an entrepreneur who doesn't specialize in anything at all? Congratulations, you're pre-qualified to be America's next shipping magnate. At least, that's what Amazon wants you to believe. Amid soaring sales, the Seattle-based e-commerce giant launched the Amazon Delivery Service Partner program this week to convince you-- yes, you-- to get delivering packages. The new program goes a huge step beyond the gig economy side-hustle that is Amazon Flex.