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Amazon recruits drivers for Uber-style delivery option

22 February 2016 - 13:37 by Graham Miller

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The app-based taxi service, Uber, has become an international hit in recent years, proving that there is an alternative to traditional cabs and shaking up the industry in the process.

Now Amazon is following in the footsteps of Uber by initiating a recruitment drive, to find drivers who want to participate in what it is calling an ‘on-demand’ delivery service, according to the Guardian.

The idea is that Amazon will be able to cut the amount it spends on distributing the products that its customers order via safe shopping online, while also improving the speed with which items are delivered.

Since the firm is rolling out same day and even one hour delivery in a number of countries at the moment, it is certainly in need of finding new and innovative ways to get goods to customers’ doorsteps. And along with the introduction of short range autonomous drones, the new Amazon Flex system involving freelance drivers could help it achieve its aims.

Last year, Amazon had to spend over £8 billion to cover the costs of shipping items to consumers, representing an 18 per cent year on year increase. And so, it is frantically looking for ways to prevent this rising further.

Trials of the on-demand delivery of items using drivers who are not official employees of Amazon have been ongoing in the US. And it is not just Prime Now orders that are being fulfilled by these operators, but also standard deliveries.

Of course, this approach is best used for fulfilling the last few miles of the delivery process, with Amazon still relying on its existing distribution infrastructure to get products to regional hubs. But in terms of local delivery, this could be a revolutionary new introduction into a fast moving market.