Amazon offers to help employees start delivery business

Daniel Fowler
May 15, 2019

Racing to get to one-day shipping for its Prime members, Amazon is asking employees to quit and offering them help starting their own delivery businesses. It will also provide the equivalent of three months of the former employee's last gross salary in an effort to help the employees-turned-business-owners to get their package delivery companies off the ground.

Amazon first launched the "delivery service partner" program in 2018, requiring employees to invest in their own start and estimating revenues for up to US$300,000.

Overall, more than 200 Amazon delivery businesses have been created since it launched the program last June, said John Felton, Amazon's vice president of global delivery services.

Since past year, some 200 people have begun Amazon delivery start-ups, and the company said it expects "hundreds" more with the added incentives, available in the United States, Britain and Spain. However, if the program proves popular, it's unclear just how many employees Amazon will let leave their positions and participate in this program.

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The machines can pack up to five times as many boxes as a human worker in an hour, per Reuters, so Amazon would theoretically save money over time with this move. Whole Foods employees are not eligible to receive the new incentives. Collier told the AP he was hiring more people to prepare for the one-day shipping goal, saying his company is "ready".

As TechCrunch reports, Amazon is rolling out a new offer to its employees.

The program's expansion is part of the company's plan to control more of its deliveries on its own, rather than rely on UPS, the post office and other carriers. It includes hands-on training, on-demand support, Amazon's existing delivery technology, access to leased Amazon Prime-branded delivery vans, and discounts on fuel costs, insurance cover, and branded uniforms for delivery personnel to wear.

One of them is run Milton Collier, a freight broker who started his business in Atlanta about eight months ago. We can only imagine what a fleet of 40 vans delivering parcels all day means for Amazon's profits. Amazon said it intends "to add hundreds more new businesses" this year.

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