Amazon’s new program to help entrepreneurs set up their own delivery business

Getty Images | Aaron P. Bernstein

Getty Images | Aaron P. Bernstein

"Customer demand is higher than ever and we have a need to build more capacity", Dave Clark, Amazon's senior vice president of worldwide operations, said in a statement. If they are approved to join the program, Amazon says those businesses can continue to deliver packages for other companies.

The ecommerce giant is seeking to assist hundreds of new small businesses to employ tens of thousands of delivery drivers across the United States by providing discounted vehicles, fuel, insurance, uniforms and access to "sophisticated delivery technology", the Seattle-based company said in a statement on Thursday.

According to Business Insider, Amazon will offer incentives to whoever wants to run a courier business delivering packages for their new program, Delivery Service Partners.

The independent contractor owner-operator model is similar to how FedEx handles its last-mile deliveries, while UPS delivery trucks are staffed by unionized employees, Blackledge writes.

Amazon's new "Delivery Service Partners" and their staff members won't be employed by the tech company.

Amazon will pay businesses to deliver orders that are placed on the company's e-commerce marketplace.

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The announcement comes after repetitive criticism of Amazon by President Donald Trump over the company using the US Postal Service to deliver its packages. Those that are accepted to the program will also be able to lease Amazon-branded vans and buy Amazon-branded uniforms for drivers to wear.

Clark said that the new program will supplement Amazon's existing shipping setups, and that all its usual relationships with partners, including the USPS, will remain intact.

Through the programme, Amazon said it can cost as little as US$10,000 for someone to start the delivery business.

"We don't have to go make sales speeches", Abimbola said. The contractor will be responsible for hiring delivery people, and Amazon would be the customer, paying the business to pick up packages from its 75 U.S. delivery centres and dropping them off at shoppers' doorsteps.

Cowen analyst John Blackledge, who rates Amazon at Outperform with a $2,000 price target, predicts in a report issued today that 34% of the company's packages will not be delivered by the USPS, UPS, or FedEx in five years, compared with 17% today.

Those interested first need to apply at its website, logitstics.amazon.com.

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