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Sun Feb 24 2019 21:03:14

Amazon Expands Test of Its Own Shipping Service

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon is reportedly testing a service in which it will pick up and deliver your orders to customers - even orders you receive through other channels such as eBay or Walmart. And there are a number of issues that make this service compelling to online sellers - including delivery to customers 7 days a week.

There's been a lot of buzz about Amazon gearing up to compete with UPS and FedEx, but so far, Amazon has mostly used its logistical capabilities for delivering its own orders. However, a little information leaked out last year about a beta program that looks like the genesis of Amazon becoming a carrier in its own right. 

CNBC wrote about "Amazon Shipping" in November. "It currently handles only small package shipments between third-party merchants and Amazon warehouses in the Los Angeles area and does not include final delivery to customers' homes," the publication wrote. 

We're now hearing that more merchants in at least one new geography have been invited to participate in an expanded version of the beta program.

The unsubstantiated report indicates Amazon opened the beta program to direct merchant-to-customer deliveries, a big leap from merchant-to-Amazon warehouse deliveries.

A source told us that merchants participating in the beta program can add Amazon Shipping Services directly through an API or to their third-party shipping software program. One such company, Stamps.com, made waves on Thursday when it announced it was eschewing USPS exclusivity and was in discussions with "many of the new entrants into the U.S. shipping business." 

Stamps.com CEO Ken McBride gave no indication on whether any of his company's programs were currently integrating with Amazon Shipping's beta program, but he did say he was now operating under the assumption that Amazon would be a "big global player in shipping." 

According to our source, Amazon Shipping does not charge participants in the program any residential or fuel surcharges, which is a major differentiator from UPS and FedEx. However, it does have a "rural delivery" surcharge.

What would influence your decision to use Amazon Shipping? Cost? Delivery speed? And how important would 7-day delivery be to you when making a decision?



Comments (9) | Permalink

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Perminate Link for Amazon Expands Test of Its Own Shipping Service   Amazon Expands Test of Its Own Shipping Service

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Feb 25 08:17:45 2019

Amazon lost a load Saturday!

The pilot and 2 crew members all perished in the Boeing 767 crash. The Atlas Airlines aircraft was on contract with Amazon Inc.

Perminate Link for Amazon Expands Test of Its Own Shipping Service   Amazon Expands Test of Its Own Shipping Service

by: Junkminer This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 25 09:20:47 2019

Any true competitor in the shipping arena is welcome to me.  UPS/FEDEX are increasingly trying to grow their profit on the backs of small sellers. While the Walmarts and Targets can negotiate the price of shipping down small sellers are faced with ridiculous retail prices. The cost of some of our larger packages has skyrocketed to $200 for a delivery to CA from IL. Try offering free shipping on that order. Oh, and free return shipping if you want your TRS status and discount. The shipping duopoly doesn't compete on price, they have no incentive to slay their golden goose. Back in the day the cigarette companies operated exactly the same way. They would raise their prices every year no matter what, and they would all raise their prices the exact same amount. As long as no one breaks rank you have a legal monopoly and can charge what you want. Hopefully Amazon is big enough and rich enough to compete on price with the duopoly but I won't hold my breath.  

Perminate Link for Amazon Expands Test of Its Own Shipping Service   Amazon Expands Test of Its Own Shipping Service

by: Mark4 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 25 10:54:12 2019

YES PLEASE AMAZON, enter the shipping market and give us some relief from the ripoff shipping companies, UPS and Fed Ex. These two lousy companies have a monopoly and increase their rates together every year in what should be called criminal abuse. Used to cost us 25$ a year ago to ship a package to the west coast, not 45$!!!!  Our business cannot sustain the constant ripoff UPS and FED EX are putting on small business. To boot UPS could not deliver a block of granite to the construction site next door without breaking it. Very much need amazon to enter the market and are very much looking forward to it.  

Perminate Link for Amazon Expands Test of Its Own Shipping Service   Amazon Expands Test of Its Own Shipping Service

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 25 11:18:34 2019

Yes Yes Amazon can ship our packages anytime. Just gotta be better than FedEx, UPS and the overpriced USPS.

@toolguy........Accidents happen all the time. No one bothered broadcasting the USPS semi that erupted in flames last week in Michigan did they.

Sympathy for those lost and Amazon knows exactly what was on the plane. So they will fix it. Unlike Ebay that says SUCK IT UP ITS PART OF DOING BUSINESS

Perminate Link for Amazon Expands Test of Its Own Shipping Service   Amazon Expands Test of Its Own Shipping Service

by: ThebigR This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 25 19:18:54 2019

Shipping costs are paid by the buyer if your business hinges on making a profit on shipping you're already dead in the water and just don't know it..

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by: chipbagel This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 25 19:32:00 2019

The sooner Amazon has an alternative to its default shipper LaserShip aka LazyS..t, the better. Nothing could be worse than LS!

Perminate Link for Amazon Expands Test of Its Own Shipping Service   Amazon Expands Test of Its Own Shipping Service

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 25 20:45:25 2019

@The big

It's not about making money off of shipping get  it'set about how much a buyer will pay before they decide that they really don't need that item.  15 years ago 20% of my book sales were international and I was charging actual cost for shipping, then the ups raised international rates severely and now I rarely sell a book overseas.

The same could happen here with an East to west coast transaction.

Perminate Link for Amazon Expands Test of Its Own Shipping Service   Amazon Expands Test of Its Own Shipping Service

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 25 21:49:27 2019

Really?  I'm in Atlanta and I buy a lot on Amazon. Now about 25-30 percent of the items are shipped via Amazon's in house delivery. About 20 percent of those have delivery problems -- late delivery, but most often delivered to the wrong address.  

In the last five years I've never had a wrong delivery by UPS or USPS, only by Amazon's people. I am speaking of volume of 10-20 packages a month overall.

I, for one, do not think Amazon is ready to branch out with handling more deliveries.  

Perminate Link for Amazon Expands Test of Its Own Shipping Service   Amazon Expands Test of Its Own Shipping Service

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 26 07:27:22 2019

Saw one of those Amazon delivery vans on the interstate yesterday.  They're nice.  Dark flat gray with the swoosh smile logo and the word Prime on the sides.  Driver in a reflecto-vest...

But it was a Mercedes.  

Can't see them saving 'costs' that way.  

And while buyers may indeed be paying shipping costs on their orders, guess who pays the back office logistics costs of maintaining a shipping department - even when it may not be used?

It will be awhile before anything - if anything - 'significant' in the form of a competetively 'Bezos' shipping option becomes widespread enough to impact market share significantly.  Consider UPS, who has an infrastructure, but still hands off a large chunk of their contracted deliveries to the USPS for that last mile.  Even FedEx Ground and Express don't play well together backstage.

Drones and smart carts and guilded carriages may advertise well, but it's a big country, with lots of nooks and crannys where ppl sit pantless to order their 'stuff' these days.  And expect it in hand like a pizza.



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