Amazon hails taxis to make deliveries
It may just be that Amazon.com is pursuing an "all of the above" strategy when it comes to making speedier deliveries to customers. According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon has tested using licensed cabs in Los Angeles and San Francisco to deliver packages.
With faster deliveries, Amazon is looking to negate the advantage of immediacy that brick and mortar stores currently hold. The company currently uses traditional delivery services such as Fedex, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service, as well as its own trucks in some areas. The retailer also uses regional couriers and lockers in retail stores to get goods in the hands of customers. Amazon is expected to open a location in Manhattan for product pickups, and CEO Jeff Bezos is on the record when it comes to the possible use of drones to make deliveries.
For its taxi test, Amazon used Flywheel, a cab-hailing app competitor to Lyft and Uber, to bring taxis to mini distribution centers for package pickups. The cabs would deliver up to 10 packages in a single zip code for about $5 a package. Amazon used the cabs typically in early hours when drivers had fewer fares.
According to an article on Gizmodo, cabs make sense as a deliver vehicle because they are cheaper than courier services and more direct than Fedex or UPS.
- Amazon ins Testing Taxis for Deliveries – The Wall Street Journal (sub. required)
- Your Next Amazon Prime Delivery Might Arrive By… Taxi? – Gizmodo
- Amazon is exploring taxi deliveries in San Francisco and Los Angeles – Engadget
- Amazon tries out taxi deliveries in California cities: Report – Reuters/CNBC
Do you see taxis as a viable delivery vehicle for Amazon and other retailers? What advantages or drawbacks do you see to Amazon using a wide range of delivery methods to get goods into the hands of consumers more quickly?