amazon free christmas prime shipping, flex delivery and hiring thousands of drivers to deliver packages this holiday season

How Amazon is preparing for the 2018 holiday rush

Amazon is causing quite a stir in the news recently with its plans to dominate the holiday season. From free shipping to its own delivery fleet, Amazon is looking to shape the logistics and e-commerce industries by adopting new solutions.

Amazon announces free shipping for the holidays

Beginning Monday, November 5, millions of items on Amazon will be eligible for free shipping. This promotion is an attempt to boost sales and entice non-Prime members, who normally must spend a minimum of $25 to get free shipping, to buy more products and switch to Prime accounts. The offer expiration date has not yet been announced.

Is Amazon breaking up with its carriers?

Amazon is launching a new last-mile delivery initiative this holiday season. It’s not surprising that Amazon continues to make decisions that give greater visibility over its products movements. Last year Amazon wasn’t too happy with the number of delayed packages UPS caused its customers around Christmas.

Read more: Why last-mile delivery is a big deal

As shipping costs continue to rise and other carriers provide unreliable service, Amazon is looking internally to develop its own logistics systems. The e-commerce giant is planning to hire thousands of full-time drivers to complete peak season deliveries for Prime members. These seasonal drivers will be managed directly by Amazon.

Flex Delivery and Delivery Service Partner program

Amazon is also currently exploring other delivery service options through its Flex Delivery and Delivery Service Partner program. According to a Mercedes-Benz press release, the partnership with Amazon includes the delivery of 20,000 vans for small businesses across America. Third-party fleet management companies will own these Amazon-branded Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

The Amazon Flex delivery program, which only operates in select markets, invites the average Joe to deliver packages in their personal vehicles as long as they can make it within the specific delivery-time window. Both programs deploy thousands of people to deliver Amazon goods to customers without Amazon having to incur the cost of hiring and managing employees themselves.

Read more: Soon Amazon may be delivering your product directly with Seller Flex service

Amazon still has some kinks to smooth out

However, according to a Business Insider report, Amazon still has a lot of progress to make in creating favorable working conditions. Some sources have complained of having to cut out lunch breaks, bathroom stops and exceed speed limits to meet deadlines. These third-party couriers feel pressure to comply with Amazon’s demands, yet Amazon doesn’t have to protect these outsourced jobs.

Share a Refund highlights supply chain savings

Shippers must be prepared for Amazon’s entry into the third-party logistics market. If the service continues to develop, the question then becomes, “How do shippers leverage Amazon services to negotiate better rates with UPS or FedEx?”

In this rapidly evolving logistics space businesses that move fast need shipping solutions that can keep up. Share a Refund deploys proprietary solutions developed after years in the logistics industry to audit shipments, optimize carrier agreements, file lost and damaged claims and track transportation analytics all with the purpose of saving businesses valuable time, amplifying financial returns and providing critical transportation data for decision making.

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