Amazon tests 'Uber-style' delivery scheme: Car owners become posties

22/07/2016

Amazon is testing a new scheme where it pays ordinary people to deliver its packages.

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The UK launch means car owners can deliver Prime Now/Same Day items directly to customers’ homes using the new App.

The 'Flex' trial, set to launch in Birmingham, will see it pay non-professionals up to £15 an hour. Payments will be made based on how many parcels drivers deliver.

The online retail giant is already advertising for positions on the website Craiglist, looking for recruits in the UK city.

The Flex program is similar to Uber, which allows drivers to work as and when they want, paying them based only on the amount of work they do.

The lisitng on the jobs board reads:

“Earn £13-£15 per hour including tips delivering packages with Amazon. All you need is a vehicle, an Android phone, and some free time. This is a great opportunity to be your own boss: deliver when you want and make some extra cash.”

To take part in Amazon’s trial, you just need to be aged over 18 and legally able to work in the UK. Drivers will also be made to undergo a background check.

“We aim to ensure that the number of packages you are assigned to deliver within your block is realistic, taking into account congestion and the primary requirement to drive safely,” Amazon wrote. “However, the actual time taken per delivery may vary (because it could, occasionally, take less time or a little more time than expected) so the earnings per hour may vary.”
Delivery experts ParcelHero say Amazon’s Uber-inspired scheme that turns car owners into delivery drivers will transform deliveries.

ParcelHero’s Head of Public Relations, David Jinks MILT says: ‘By launching its new crowdsourced driver scheme in the UK Amazon steals a march on Uber, who have been slow to get their UberRUSH ‘Uber for things’ delivery service off the ground here. Turning its local customers into delivery drivers means Amazon can give even more delivery choices to shoppers while slashing its own logistics overheads.’

Amazon’s Prime Members are 50% more likely to order items through Amazon than elsewhere, and it is the choice of delivery options that keeps them loyal. By turning local motorists into delivery drivers even swifter deliveries can be achieved.

David adds: ‘Last year our report, Amazon’s Prime Ambition highlighted Amazon’s far-sighted plans for its beta ‘My Way’ App: which enabled everyday people to deliver items. It led to the successful roll-out of Amazon Flex in cities across the US. UK cities such as London and Birmingham are an ideal scale for Prime Now one hour deliveries, so the UK is a natural fit for the expansion of Flex.’

Predicts David: ‘Crowdsourcing and the so called gig economy are ideally suited to local deliveries and it’s a certainty Amazon won’t be the only big name to turn its own customers into delivery drivers.’

Read the Craigslist ad here

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