Amazon’s Logistics Moves Hint At Future As Infrastructure Provider To Online Retail

Colis Privé

The Seattle Times reporting on Amazon’s probable next big logistics move:

Sometime in the first quarter, Amazon is expected to acquire the 75 percent of the French package-delivery company Colis Privé that it doesn’t already own. Though the French company is small relative to the multinational giants that move Amazon parcels around the globe, the acquisition will be the biggest step yet that the online retail giant has taken to move into the business of delivering packages for others, as well as itself.

Amazon has said little about its intentions. In 2014, it bought a 25 percent stake in Colis Privé. A spokesperson told the French newspaper Le Figaro last year that the deal to acquire the rest of the company would close early this year. And the unidentified spokesperson said Colis Privé will continue offering package delivery for all customers, not just Amazon.

Amazon is increasing its logistics infrastructure in all dimensions. It is expanding its Uber-like package delivery service Flex and is experimenting with airplanes, to name just two examples. There are rumors Amazon is already building its own overnight airfreight operation. Cargo Facts:

Amazon.com Inc. is creating a logistics operation that will include overnight air operations in the US domestic market, potentially including the acquisition of at least 20 freighter aircraft, Cargo Facts has learned.

Owning its own delivery network is the logical next step for an online retailer the size and ambition of Amazon. There is a lot of potential on the marketplace side as well. Which begs the question how fast and how far Amazon will build its network out and in the process open it up to marketplace sellers and maybe even other online retailers outside its marketplace.

More and more, Amazon’s future looks like the company becoming a (giant) infrastructure provider1 to online retail rather than ‘just’ being a mere online retailer. That is a very big pie.


  1. Amazon’s device platforms (access) and Amazon Prime (customer bundling) are fueling this direction as well. 

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