Amazon launches own fleet of delivery drivers to meet demand

Amazon Prime truck

Amazon is launching its own fleet of thousands of delivery drivers in the US, in order to meet seasonal demand for its online retail arm.

The newly-minted fleet of 'Delivery Associates' will be responsible for last-mile deliveries to customers' homes, and are seeing roles advertised for $16.25-$17.25 (around £13 / AU$23) earnings per hour. 

Job postings suggested shifts could be up to 12 hours long, and would unsurprisingly require some degree of physical activity for lifting and carrying products over the finish line.

The announcement comes just days after Amazon waived its $25 minimum spend for free delivery over the holiday season, meaning that even minuscule orders will get free passage across the US - so there's likely to be a lot of demand for a dedicated fleet of drivers.

It means purchases made over Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas should arrive with you in a timely manner.

All you need in one place

Amazon's own shipping costs have been ballooning in recent years as its global reach and user base has grown, and bringing last-mile deliveries in-house may be seen as one way to limit those costs or reduce dependency on third-party contractors.

Traditionally Amazon has relied on the likes of FedEx and UPS to complete deliveries, though Amazon's internal $15 minimum wage is a fair step above the Federal requirement of $7.85, and is likely to prove attractive over its current delivery partners.

Amazon won't be self-sufficient in this regard yet, and what we're seeing is effectively a trial on home turf - there are currently no announcements about instigating similar fleets abroad - but it's a clear sign the retail giant is looking towards a future where every stage of sale or distribution is under the Amazon umbrella.

Via Business Insider

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.