The Seattle Times has shed additional light on Amazon’s plans to compete directly with global parcel and logistics carriers. In its article published yesterday, the publication indicates that within a few weeks, Amazon.com will begin competing directly with longtime partners United Parcel Service, FedEx and DHL in Europe, with pieces falling into place to make such competition a potential in the U.S. as well in time.
Sometime in the first quarter, Amazon is expected to acquire the 75 percent interest the e-retailer owns in French parcel delivery company Colis Prive. According to the publication, Amazon further acquired a 4.2 percent interest in UK parcel delivery company Yodel in 2014. Add to this the recent developments regarding the leasing of 20 767 Boeing cargo jets and the purchasing of thousands of Amazon Prime branded semi-trailers.
The Times article again cites an equity analyst as indicating that similar to the business model of Amazon Web Services (AWS) an Amazon delivery service could service more than the needs of just Amazon.
While the challenge of competing with the invested infrastructure and advanced fulfillment and delivery technology of DHL, FedEx or UPS is itself daunting, Amazon has not shied from thinking and executing big. At a minimum, it provides more leverage in negotiating rate structures and service agreements with such carriers.
The Seattle Times report comes after the late December report by The Wall Street Journal citing informed sources confirming that Amazon is pursuing alternative parcel transportation delivery methods which is currently straining its relationship with longtime partner UPS.
Many pieces of this strategy are becoming more visible and the implications and disruption potential for B2C / B2B online fulfillment are significant.