Standard packages of Amazon would be delivered by private drivers to help it cut down shipping costs.
Amazon initially created Uber-like house delivery facility ‘Flex’ for customers of Prime Now. Now, the American online trading giant is looking to shake hands with private drivers for delivering standard packages to its customers, while cutting out conventional delivery service providers such as UPS and others.
Reuters reported on February 18, 2016 that the online retailer has started to invite Amazon Flex’s select members, all residing in Dallas-Fort Worth area to participate in the new program.
The publication stated it told three drivers and view e-mails received by them from Amazon. In August, GeekWire became the first publication to report that Amazon Flex is established. Private drivers are contracted by the service.
These drivers use their own vehicles and pay own insurance for delivering basic household items to homes of Prime Now members. The Seattle-based company has steadily extended Flex to new cities. In August, as per reports of GeekWire, the online retailer aimed to finally utilize the operation for delivering standard packages. This seems to be done now.
A spokeswoman of Amazon acknowledged that drivers of Flex in Texas are transporting packages of Amazon.com. Any doubts regarding the company’s intent to rely less on Fedex and UPS are disappearing quickly. Now the huge question is to what extent the organization is planning to deliver to homes.
Amazon executives told they are only wishing to supplement delivery. Not everyone agrees with them. The US enterprise is busy leasing cargo ships and aircrafts, and testing package delivery drones. Are all such practices of the company supplementary or will it compete with Fedex, UPS and other package delivery services?
At least, the company is interested in cutting down its cost of delivering goods. Previously this month, it reported that its net delivery costs reached up to $1.85 billion during the past year’s final quarter and crossed $5bn for the entire year.
According to Reuters, the organization told drivers that they would not be initially allowed to deliver goods to Prime Now customers by driving their cars, but in upcoming times, they would be allowed to drive for both facilities.
The online e-commerce company emailed to its Flex’s three drivers that the new service would need a 4-door car “mid-sized sedan or larger”. It will be initially paying $18 per hour and scheduling shifts from 8 am to 4 pm for the entire week. The contracted drivers will be required to pay their own insurance and gas. They will not be paid overtime nor would they be provided other benefits.
In October last year, four Flex / Prime Now drivers in Los Angeles took Amazon to court for receiving compensation as workers.