The online retailer has been looking for a while to find a way to have more control over how its packages are delivered.
Amazon said in a release that owners of these delivery businesses have the potential to earn as much as $300,000 in annual profit operating a fleet of up to 40 delivery vehicles. The move gives Amazon another way to ship its packages to shoppers, instead of relying on UPS, FedEx and other package delivery services.
Amazon is trying to tackle some of the issues it has been facing with the last mile delivery of packages to its customers by working out a new plan to allow interested individuals to start their own delivery operations, with a lot of the required support coming from Amazon.
The announcement follows public criticism of Amazon by President Donald Trump over the company's arrangement with the US Postal Service. Those that are accepted to the program will also be able to lease Amazon-branded vans and buy Amazon-branded uniforms for drivers to wear.
Inc. says the costs to start a delivery business begin at $10,000, and those created under the program would operate 20 to 40 vans and employ between 40 and 100 people.
These businesses will be treated as Amazon's Delivery Service Partners and will receive support from the ecommerce major.
Clark said that the new program will supplement Amazon's existing shipping setups, and that all its usual relationships with partners, including the USPS, will remain intact.
"I had prior experience running my own business but not in logistics", said Olaoluwa Abimbola, one of Amazon's beta participants in the new offering. The contractor will be responsible for hiring delivery people, and Amazon would be the customer, paying the business to pick up packages from its 75 United States delivery centres and dropping them off at shoppers' doorsteps.
"We don't have to go make sales speeches", Abimbola said. This new Amazon offering continues the company's longtime commitment to enabling small-and-medium-sized businesses to grow with the rising tide of e-commerce.
Using workers who are closely connected to Amazon and can represent it but who are not actual Amazon employees hits a sweet spot for the company.