Amazon tests delivery service

Marco Green
October 5, 2017

Bloomberg reported, citing two people familiar with the matter, that Amazon's new service would be aimed at making more items available for free two-day shipping.

The service began two years ago in India, and Amazon has been slowly marketing it to United States merchants in preparation for a national expansion, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the USA pilot project is confidential. The service, a project Amazon is calling Seller Flex, has begun on a trial basis in the West Coast and is expected to have a broader rollout in 2018, the report said. And while it doesn't eliminate UPS and FedEx from the mix, it would probably move more control over to Amazon long-term.

The service involves Amazon managing package pickup through delivery to customers who purchase through its platform - and while it doesn't mean Amazon would drop UPS and FedEx for actually completing the deliveries, it does take those decisions out of the hands of merchants and put control over how and by whom packages get delivered into Amazon's control instead.

Amazon, FedEx and UPS did not immediately respond to CNBC's requests for comment.

Amazon has started looking beyond its own warehouse network to give shoppers quick access to an abundant assortment of goods. That centralized approach can create logjams, particularly during the busy holiday shopping season. It would also relieve overcrowding in the company's warehouses.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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