While reports about Amazon's plans to create its own logistics network to compete with UPS, FedEx and several local express delivery firms are yet to be confirmed and announced, the U.S.-based e-commerce giant is reportedly preparing the set-up of a European-wide network of parcel lockers.
This way, people will be given the choice to pick up their own orders as Amazon seeks to widen delivery options and cut costs.
Amazon already runs its own network of self-service boxes in the U.S. and Britain, but has placed several job adverts in Europe in recent weeks which suggest it wants a broader range of pick-up options, including lockers, in continental Europe.
Analysts point out that the move is part of a broader drive to speed up delivery times and get a better grip on its growing multi-billion dollar logistics bill.
Emancipating from DP and Hermes
In Germany, Amazon's second biggest market, orders are either delivered to homes or to lockers owned by Germany's Deutsche Post or stores that are part of the Hermes Logistics network.
In recent job adverts, Amazon is offering development manager positions for Amazon Locker in Munich and Paris, European Union technical operations manager for Locker based in Luxembourg, and network development manager roles in Luxembourg, Munich and Paris.
Amazon's shipping costs grew more than 18% to US$11.5 billion last year.
Setting up own freighter network
As announced yesterday, the Wilmington, Ohio-based Air Transport Service Group has sealed a deal with Amazon including the lease of 20 B767 freighters to Amazon Fulfillment Services, 15 this year followed by 5 in 2017. The duration of the 20 leases will be five to seven years; the agreement covering operation of the aircraft will be for five years.
“Since last summer, we have been working closely with Amazon to demonstrate that a dedicated, fully customized air cargo network can be a strong supplement to existing transportation and distribution resources,” said Joe Hete, President and CEO of ATSG.
“We are excited to supplement our existing delivery network with a great new provider, ATSG, by adding 20 planes to ensure air cargo capacity to support one and two-day delivery for customers,” said Dave Clark, Amazon Senior Vice President of worldwide operations and customer service.
ATSG is a main provider of aircraft leasing and air cargo transportation and related services to domestic and foreign air carriers and other companies that outsource their air cargo lift requirements.
Nol van Fenema / Heiner Siegmund