How Amazon Changed the Last Mile Shipping Industry

Amazon is one of the leading retail companies in the world and has managed to successfully revolutionize the field of ecommerce. The exemplary performance of Amazon over the past few years has left most of its competitors on their knees. A huge chunk of the success is owed to its invaluable investments in logistics. The steps taken by Amazon in the past years, especially with regards to its shipping strategy, portrays the evolution of the entire industry.

Here are some of the shipping strategies pursued by Amazon in the past few years which have enabled it to successfully transform the last mile of the logistics industry.

2009: Introduces Same Day Delivery 

As most retail companies were still busy looking for suitable delivery solutions, Amazon understood the needs of its customers early. It realized the rising need for shoppers to find the products that they need at their convenience. Although their ‘Local Express Delivery’ was initially only available in select cities, Amazon was able to rapidly roll it out across the country in the years that followed.

2013: Takes Charge of its Entire Supply Chain

As Amazon continued to build on its same day delivery provision, it also laid out plans on how to take control of its supply chain. A secret document leaked from the company in 2013 revealed Amazon’s plan for becoming a full-fledged shipping organization. The plan, called ‘Operation Dragon Boat’ was aimed at creating a global shipping network.

In 2014, Amazon brought its plan for owning the supply chain to reality when it acquired 25% stake in two logistics companies: Colis Prive and Yodel. According to Amazon, Colis Prive was a worthy investment since it moved on to buy the whole company in 2016.

2015: Launched Amazon Prime 

The company also introduced a one to two hours delivery plan called, ‘Amazon Prime Now.’ This service has been instrumental in Amazon’s commitment to getting products to clients quickly and without a lot of hassle. It has also been effective in developing an efficient shipping network for time critical shipments.

2015: Amazon Flex Introduced 

Amazon Flex is a delivery service introduced by Amazon, which operates similarly to Uber for courier. Through the services, independent drivers pick up packages from the company’s warehouses for delivery.

2016: Amazon Launches Drone Delivery and Leases Aircraft 

Although Amazon’s plan to use drones for delivery started in 2013, it only began in 2016 after overcoming controversy from stakeholders. In the same year, Amazon also signed a contract with Air Transportation Services Group, which saw it lease a fleet 20 Boeing 767s. These have played a critical role in enabling the company to shift the last mile shipping industry towards ensuring global delivery solutions.

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