Amazon is Expanding Uber-like Package Delivery Service ‘Flex’

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GeekWire:

Amazon says its experiment with an Uber-style delivery network called Flex has gone so well in Seattle over the past few months that it’s planning to expand the offering to more cities. And it looks like the e-commerce giant won’t be stopping there. (..)

Right now, Amazon is just crowdsourcing couriers for its Prime Now one- and two-hour delivery services. But several job postings say the company plans to also eventually use the platform to let everyday people make extra cash by delivering regular Amazon parcels, too.
The jobs Amazon is filling including software engineers, mapping experts and logistics pros. The descriptions say the service is changing “the way Amazon moves and delivers packages,” and note that being part of this team is a “chance to make history.”(..)

with at least 62 open positions and four new Amazon Flex development teams spread across Seattle, Austin, Phoenix and Toronto, it seems safe to say that Amazon has pretty significant plans for the service.

This is hardly surprising. Owning the last mile with a P2P/on-demand kind of service makes a lot of sense for Amazon if it can make the economics work.

In “UberRush And The Battle For The Last Mile” I wrote:

There is little to no doubt that the battle for the last mile of delivery will lead to a substantial part of the last mile being coordinated by P2P on-demand services and similar. The question in my mind is not whether this will happen or not but rather if a generalist transportation platform company like Uber will become a dominant player or more specialist transportation companies like Instacart and Postmates or Shopwings will turn out to be the dominant form. And another important aspect is the question how big online retailers, large enough to operate their own coordination platforms, will play into all this. In the western world the candidates to watch here are Amazon in general and Zalando for fashion.

Amazon will have a go at it in 2016.

8 comments

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