Amazon exams utilizing Flex drivers to make mall deliveries

Contractors working for the Amazon Inc. Flex program load packages into automobiles to ship to clients in San Francisco.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Photos

Amazon is popping to its legions of contracted Flex drivers to ship packages from mall-based retailers, permitting sellers to ship merchandise from their very own shops utilizing the e-commerce large’s supply service

Amazon has been notifying some Flex drivers in current months that it is testing a brand new program the place staff fetch packages from retailers of their space and drop them off at clients’ doorsteps, Amazon mentioned in a discover to drivers that was seen by CNBC.

“Amazon Flex is testing a brand new provide sort close to you,” the discover says. “Retail supply provides will will let you choose up and ship pre-packaged orders instantly from non-Amazon retail shops in taking part native purchasing facilities.”

The discover was despatched to drivers in Las Vegas and solely contains orders positioned at shops in Trend Present Mall, a 2-million-square-foot shopping center positioned on the Las Vegas Strip. It is unclear what shops are taking part within the take a look at.

Amazon can be testing the service in Chandler, Arizona, and Tysons Nook, Virginia, in response to Bloomberg, which first reported on this system. The corporate additionally seems to be trialing this system in Friendswood, Texas, a metropolis positioned southeast of Houston, in response to a publish on a well-liked Reddit group for Flex drivers.

Kate Kudrna, an Amazon spokesperson, mentioned a handful of “current Amazon sellers” are taking part in this system, and that Flex drivers function as regular, however choose up orders from retail shops, quite than Amazon supply stations or supermarkets.

“We have now been delivering from third-party shops for years,” Kudrna mentioned in an announcement. “That is one other approach we’re capable of join Amazon sellers with clients by way of handy supply choices.”

Amazon Flex, launched in 2015, is a element of the corporate’s fast-growing in-house logistics arm. This system makes use of on a regular basis drivers to ship packages from their very own automobiles and operates in over 50 cities. They earn between $18 and $25 an hour, relying on the kind of shift, and are accountable for prices like fuel, tolls and automobile upkeep.

Amazon has made logistics a serious focus because it seeks to shuttle packages to clients’ doorsteps at quicker speeds. In 2019, earlier than the coronavirus pandemic upended its achievement and supply operations, Amazon mentioned it could spend $800 million over a three-month interval to increase one-day delivery within the US

Just lately, the corporate opened up its huge delivery and achievement community to different retailers, permitting them to use Prime advantages to orders locations on their very own websites.

Amazon is not the one firm providing quick supply to retailers. On-demand supply suppliers like DoorDash, Uber’s Postmates and Instacart have expanded past meals and grocery to supply different merchandise from native and nationwide retailers.

WATCH: As Prime One Day delivery expands, here is what it is prefer to be an Amazon Flex supply driver

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