Amazon is looking to expand its logistics operation and solve for last mile deliveries by giving small businesses turnkey tools to launch delivery companies. The model behind Amazon's program ties together traditional franchise opportunities, technology and a variable revenue model based on packages delivered. For the e-commerce giant, the effort is worth it if it can expand delivery services. In theory, Amazon's expansion with small business logistics firms could enhance same-day delivery, fulfillment and customer service. Amazon has projected that individuals can get rolling with as little as $10,000 in startup capital and earn up to $300,000 in annual profit based on a fleet of 40 delivery vehicles.
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.