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Different Types of Amazon Logistics

By Hannah Harrigan

In this blog post I will talk about the different types of logistics and transportation within Amazon when working with customers. There are several types of transportation within the Amazon warehouse such as sprinter vans, personal vehicles, and electric vehicles. Along with these vehicles Amazon uses multiple facilities to sort and distribute their products as well, but each serve their own purpose. Throughout innovation Amazon will be able to increase delivery speed while continuing to provide the most efficient service possible.

First off let’s define what Amazon truly is. Amazon is an online retailer who delivers to consumers around the world. Their CEO is Jeff Bezos who works to constantly better Amazon to be more effective. [1] He comes up with strategic operational plans to make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible. One strategic plan they have is they created six types of facilities to help them accomplish this. There are sortable fulfillment centers, non-sortable fulfillment centers, sortation centers, delivery centers, receive centers, and specialty centers. Amazon uses both fulfillment and delivery centers to maximize production and increase delivery speed. The fulfillment centers pick, and pack orders then ship them to delivery centers. [5] The delivery center then loads up the packages into vehicles and they are delivered directly to customers.

The first type of logistics that Amazon dealt with was the typical Mercedes, Ram, and Ford Sprinter vans.[2] These vehicles are used in their Delivery Service Partner program which is ran by small businesses hired by Amazon. The Amazon drivers are able to load their van full of packages and can then deliver to customers. These employees work out of 1,137 delivery centers which are located throughout the country. [7] This process can be overwhelming for employees. It is required that it is completed in a timely manner with many different guidelines or performance measures. A weekly scorecard is used to monitor each separate DSP. [8] Performance then impacts the revenue generated by each individual company which can cause the company to become mad at Amazon. One specific guideline that is hard to follow is that the employees have 20 minutes to load their van. This causes the drivers to stress right before getting on the road to provide good customer service while staying on track with deliveries.

The second type of logistics that Amazon uses is called Amazon Flex.[3] These are drivers who are hired by Amazon to deliver packages using their own personal vehicle. This helps Amazon to not be liable for damages to the driver’s vehicle if there were to be any issues. Guidelines are also in place for these employees. They must be 21 years or older, have a valid driver’s license, pass a background check, have a large vehicle, and have a smartphone.[9] The drivers still wear Amazon uniforms while being paid by Amazon. Packages are still picked up from the distribution center just like any DSP driver.

Moving forward Amazon hopes to bring in electric vehicles that can be used for delivery. Rivian is going to be providing these high-quality vehicles for the company to use. Rivian is an electric automotive company who is newer to the industry. For Rivian this is a big step. They focus on safety, technology, sustainability, and performance. Each of these ideas will help our Earth to stay healthier longer. By 2030 both companies hope to have 100,000 electric vehicles used as the new Amazon delivery van. [4] This change can help Amazon to become more sustainable and have a smaller carbon footprint.

In conclusion, by having this vehicle upgrade it not only helps our environment, but it causes Amazon to be more efficient. With the safety and sustainability changes the company can increase their brand reputation and work towards innovation. Just like innovation delivery speed is a key component to online retailers and Amazon is hopeful this continues to improve. With these different types of transportation Amazon is able to increase delivery speed while focusing on improving their strategy. Transportation and logistics are a constantly changing environment but with innovation and improvement it can be used in a positive way.

References:

[1] https://www.techtarget.com/whatis/definition/Amazon

[2] https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/transportation/amazon-orders-20-000-vans-for-small-businesses

[3] https://hiring.amazon.com/job-opportunities/flex-driver-jobs#/

[4] https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/transportation/amazons-electric-delivery-vehicles-from-rivian-roll-out-across-the-u-s

[5] https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/operations/inside-amazons-fulfillment-centers-what-you-can-expect-to-see-on-a-warehouse-tour

[6] https://www.aboutamazon.com/workplace/facilities

[7] https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/article/amazon-warehouses/

[8] https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-delivery-service-partner-performance-metrics-squeeze-profit-ahaji-amos-2022-1

[9] https://www.ridester.com/amazon-flex-requirements/

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