Friday, December 23, 2016

Amazon Goes All Uber In Boston (with a twist) AMZN

From the Boston Herald:
Don’t be surprised if the next time you get a package from Amazon the item arrives in a car, rather than in a white Amazon van or a big UPS truck.

The e-commerce giant is expanding its Amazon Flex service to Boston, according to an online job posting. The revolutionary service allows people to sign up for shifts to deliver packages using their own cars. Amazon did not respond to multiple requests for comment yesterday.

Drivers for Flex sign up for 2-, 4- or 8-hour shifts, get a load of packages and a list of addresses and spend their shift dropping off the items other area residents have ordered from

Drivers can earn between $18 and $25 per hour, according to the job posting, and are required to be over 21 years old and pass a background check.

“All you need is your car, an iPhone or Android smartphone, and some free time,” the posting says.

Flex has been active for more than a year, but was initially limited to Amazon’s same-day delivery program. Earlier this year, the company expanded the service to all deliveries, a move analysts say could cut costs and make it easier to add more deliveries at peak times of year, such as the holidays.

“It makes total sense, they are so reliant on third-party providers to be able to able to deliver their packages,” said Ani Collum, a retail consultant with Retail Concepts. “They can better manage the flow and aren’t at the mercy of big organizations like UPS or FedEx.”

The service differs slightly from Uber and Lyft in that drivers are paid hourly and sign up for dedicated shifts instead of being able to turn the app on and off at will. Flex is targeting the “gig economy” and people hoping to make a little money on the side.

“They’re totally capitalizing on the dynamic Uber has created with this kind of workforce,” Collum said....MORE