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Meet Amazon’s new delivery driver: you

Amazon warehouse

Amazon working on ambitious plans to recruit citizen delivery drivers via a mobile app

Amazon is reportedly working on an app that will recruit members of the public to deliver its parcels, instead of dedicated couriers. In the same way Uber has turned car owners into taxi drivers, so Amazon intends to hire members of the public to drop off its packages.

The service is known internally as On My Way, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Amazon reportedly plans to hire space in retail stores to store its packages and recruit local people to drop them off, when necessary. 

The plan faces all manner of logistical hurdles. It’s not clear what happens, for instance, if the person isn’t home to accept the delivery or who bears responsibility if a package goes missing in transit. Such an ad-hoc delivery scheme could also wreak havoc with delivery schedules if Amazon cannot recruit enough local drivers to fulfill orders. 

The Wall Street Journal says that Amazon hasn’t definitely decided to progress with On My Way and the company refused to comment on the proposed scheme when approached by the newspaper.

Amazon is, of course, not afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to delivering its boxes. In December 2013, the company unveiled its plans to deliver parcels using unmanned drones. Amazon is currently engaged in a battle with US regulators over the permissions required to fly the delivery drones, which it argues will one day be as “normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today”. 

Delivery costs are a growing problem for Amazon, which works on profit margins that are so slim that the company frequently dips into the red. The company’s shipping costs increased by 31% last year, faster than its growth in revenue, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Amazon has been taking on more deliveries itself in the UK, following the collapse of one the country’s biggest courier firms, City Link. The company went into administration on Christmas Day last year. 

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