Forget drones, Amazon may be electing to get goods to your front door through far less sci-fi means: delivery trucks.
A report on Thursday from the Wall Street Journal said the world’s largest online retailer is testing out home delivery via its own trucks or “Amazon-supervised” contractors.
Amazon, which sells hundreds of millions of dollars worth of products in Canada as well, is trialing the pilot in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, the report said.
The project represents a “shot across the bow” for UPS and FedEx in the United States, the article said, as well as the U.S. Postal Service – services that now deliver “the overwhelming majority of Amazon packages.”
The same is true however for the Canadian operations of UPS and FedEx, and not least, Canada Post, which is trying now to transform itself from a stodgy, twentieth-century door-to-door mail service into a modern parcels delivery company.
There’s been no indication the company is contemplating a similar trial in Canada. And Amazon.ca spokesperson Katie McFadzean declined to comment.
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But the Seattle-based company has been busy expanding its product offering north of the border.
Last fall, Amazon introduced 15,000 packaged grocery products for sale through Amazon.ca, promising some customers two-day delivery of goods like cereal, packaged juices and baby food.
McFadzean said the “feedback and customer interest” in Amazon’s food delivery initiative in Canada has been “really positive.”
A major goal of Amazon’s own delivery pilot is to bring it closer to same-day delivery, the WSJ article said, or the “holy grail” of e-commerce.
Such a move could also reduce mounting shipping costs for the company – which rose 29 per cent in the United States alone last year – costs that are presently benefiting Canada Post and other traditional parcel delivery services.
The WSJ report says Amazon would struggle to match the existing territorial breadth of established U.S. delivery companies who have far bigger volumes to support them.
But it could roll out services in bigger and more densely populated centres where the number of orders justifies Amazon’s own delivery.
There is a precedent for Amazon setting up its own delivery model internationally as well. The e-tailer has been quietly trialing a system in the United Kingdom, the head of Amazon said earlier this month.
“We’ve created our own fast, last-mile delivery networks in the U.K., where commercial carriers couldn’t support our peak volumes,” Jeff Bezos said in his annual letter to shareholders.
“There is more invention to come.”
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