Amazon has another out-of-the-box idea for its last mile fulfillment. The e-commerce giant has launched a new offering that helps entrepreneurs build their own companies delivering Amazon packages.
Amazon will take an active role in helping interested entrepreneurs start, set up and manage their own delivery business. Successful owners can earn as much as $300,000 in annual profit operating a fleet of up to 40 delivery vehicles, according to Amazon. Individual owners can build their business knowing they will have delivery volume from Amazon, access to the company's sophisticated delivery technology, hands-on training, and discounts on a suite of assets and services, including vehicle leases and comprehensive insurance.
Over time, Amazon plans to empower hundreds of new, small business owners to hire tens of thousands of delivery drivers across the U.S., joining a robust existing community of traditional carriers, as well as small-and-medium-sized businesses that already employ thousands of drivers delivering Amazon packages.
The offering provides technology and operational support to individuals with little to no logistics experience the opportunity to run their own delivery business. To help keep startup costs as low as $10,000, entrepreneurs will also have access to a variety of exclusively negotiated discounts on important resources they'll need to operate a delivery business. The deals are available on Amazon-branded vehicles customized for delivery, branded uniforms, fuel, comprehensive insurance coverage, and more.
The company is also committing $1 million towards funding startup costs for military veterans, offering $10,000 reimbursements for qualified candidates to build their own businesses.
"We have great partners in our traditional carriers and it's exciting to continue to see the logistics industry grow," said Dave Clark, Amazon's senior vice president of worldwide operations. "Customer demand is higher than ever and we have a need to build more capacity. As we evaluated how to support our growth, we went back to our roots to share the opportunity with small-and-medium-sized businesses. We are going to empower new, small businesses to form in order to take advantage of the growing opportunity in e-commerce package delivery."
"I had prior experience running my own business but not in logistics," said Olaoluwa Abimbola, one of Amazon's beta participants in the new offering. "I was driving for Amazon Flex when I learned about the opportunity to start my own delivery company. Backed by Amazon's resources and logistics experience, and its encouragement to 'learn while I earn,' this opportunity was a no-brainer. In just five months, I have hired more than 40 employees, and it's encouraging to know that any driven individual can use Amazon's support and the Delivery Service Partner community to build a successful, thriving business."
Amazon has a long history of supporting businesses of all sizes connect with customers around the world. The creation of Marketplace, which uses Amazon's websites and logistics operations to connect customers with third-party sellers, has enabled more than 140,000 small-and-medium-sized businesses to do more than $100,000 in sales. Today, more than half of all the items sold on Amazon.com come from third-party sellers. Amazon has also developed technology, devices and services, such as Kindle Direct Publishing and Amazon Web Services (AWS), that benefit authors and developers who operate as small businesses.