Amazon promises speedy deliveries, especially for Prime members who might not be pleased to get their purchases late when they have to pay $20 more for a subscription going forward. To be able to keep up with the demand and stay true to its word, the e-commerce titan has launched an initiative that encourages people to start their own small package delivery businesses for the company. The Amazon Delivery Service Partner project offers entrepreneurs discounted Amazon-branded vehicles for delivery, branded uniforms, fuel and comprehensive insurance coverage, among other things, for a minimum investment of $10,000.
Interested business-minded folk will need more money than that, since the 10 grand doesn't cover drivers' wages. However, Amazon will reimburse qualified military veterans up to $10,000. The company also says that participants have the potential to earn up to $300,000 in profits every year for a 40-vehicle fleet. Those who choose to go all out and get 40 vans for their business would obviously have to shell out more money, though, especially since they'd need to employ around 100 drivers to run things smoothly.
The initiative is now available in over two dozen states, but the company will launch it in more locations if enough people are interested. Dave Clark, Amazon's senior VP for worldwide operations, told The New York Times that it's hoping to get hundreds of sign-ups over the next year. If it becomes a hit in the US, it might eventually be rolled out to other countries around the world.
According to Amazon, the project won't completely replace its delivery partners UPS and the United States Postal Service (USPS). Clark also denied that it was created in response to the president's accusations against the company. Back in April, the president attacked Amazon on Twitter, telling followers that it's "costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being [the company's] Delivery Boy."
Amazon has an agreement with the Post Office that sets the rates of deliveries for the company. The details of that agreement aren't public, but according to experts, Amazon hasn't been a burden on taxpayers at all: it even brought in $19.5 billion in 2017. So, where did the president's accusations come from? The Washington Post said it talked to officials who believe that the President's attacks coincided with some of the articles it published -- articles criticizing the administration, that is. Amazon chief Jeff Bezos also owns The Post.
This initiative also won't completely replace Amazon Flex, which pays people with their own vehicles to deliver packages for the company with the promise of earning at least $18 an hour. Those interested in the opportunity may want to take note, however, that they (and their delivery drivers) won't be classified as Amazon employees or even independent contractors. They'll completely own the business they put up, except they'll have a contract with Amazon that prohibits them from using the discounted vans to deliver anything else other than the tech giant's packages.