Amazon's latest service test has you picking up orders

Amazon has jumped through hoops trying to speed up deliveries, but wouldn't it sometimes make sense to eliminate the last-mile shipping altogether and pick up orders yourself? That might just happen. GeekWire has discovered that Amazon is trying out a new service, Flex, that has you collecting your package from a facility. It's much like a visit to a government office, or Amazon's Purdue pickup spot -- you take a ticket and wait for your turn. The company isn't commenting on Flex (even the test building in Seattle is still in rough shape), but it's safe to say that this would be limited to areas where Amazon can set up distribution centers.

Not that you'll have to necessarily wait for it to get your goods faster, depending on where you live. The same Seattle building is expected to handle Prime Now orders (unsurprising given that this is Amazon's home turf), and one of Amazon's courier partners is hiring for likely Prime Now positions in Portland, Oregon. Although it's doubtful that either Flex or Prime Now will come to many cities, it's not far-fetched to see these gotta-have-it-now options becoming mainstays in major urban hubs.

[Image credit: AP Photo/Paul Sakuma]