Amazon to Test a New Delivery Service for Sellers

SEATTLE — Amazon is planning to test a program this year that would replace some delivery services now done by United Parcel Service and FedEx.

Under the new service, known inside the company variously as Ship With Amazon and Shipping With Amazon, company couriers would pick up products from businesses that sell goods through the internet retailer and deliver that merchandise to Amazon warehouses. Now, those goods are delivered to the warehouses by UPS, FedEx and other companies.

Amazon’s test, which could start in several months, will probably include only a handful of independent Amazon sellers in Los Angeles. A person briefed on the program, who asked for anonymity because the plans are confidential, provided details about the project.

The Wall Street Journal first reported Amazon’s plans for the test.

As is often the case with experiments by Amazon, the program will be limited in scope at the start. But it could expand over time into more of a threat to established delivery companies.

“We’re always innovating and experimenting on behalf of customers and the businesses that sell and grow on Amazon to create faster, lower-cost delivery choices,” the company said in a statement when asked about the program.

In the initial trial of the service, the person said, Amazon will still rely on its current network of couriers, like UPS, FedEx and the United States Postal Service, to get orders from its warehouses to customers.

Depending on how the test goes, the service could expand to include more sellers in more areas and allow sellers that do not store their inventory in Amazon warehouses to ship orders entirely through Amazon’s own delivery network, bypassing other carriers.

Content originally published on https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/09/business/amazon-delivery-service.html by NICK WINGFIELD