Will your terminal tractors soon be toting goods for Amazon shipping entrepreneurs? Amazon is instituting a new division, Delivery Service Partners, formed to help hundreds of entrepreneurs across the U.S. create their own Amazon shipping businesses.
A fair percentage of Amazon deliveries are already made by independent contractors who participate in the company’s Uber-like ‘Flex’ program. However, instead of unmarked uniforms and varied and unrecognizable vehicles, with the Delivery Service Partners model soon to begin, small fleets of employees from contracted carriers will now fly Amazon-branded uniforms and ‘Prime’-bannered Sprinter trucks.
Amazon plans to keep startup costs as low as $10,000, and has set aside $1-million in financial assistance to encourage military veterans to take up the challenge, a segment the company sees as an ideal match: Those with a cultural, leadership mindset who enjoy being out in the community around people. Amazon plans to keep each company small, with 20-40 vehicles, allowing for a more manageable owner/operator setup. The ‘Zon will provide the goods for delivery, back-end infrastructure and management assistance, help with taxes and payroll, and discounts on truck leasing, fuel, and insurance.
Amazon estimates the potential for $300,000 profit annually, based on delivery volume. Those involved in the Delivery Service Partners beta test have already expressed happiness with the opportunity for a great, steady income with benefits and paid-time-off, unlike the Flex setup’s absent benefits and competition for customers and sales.
As Amazon’s shipping services expand, the possibility of it taking on FedEx, UPS, and USPS seems inevitable.
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