Amazon – The Most Audacious Logistics Plan in History?


Keeping up with Amazon.com’s many moves in eCommerce and eFulfillment is almost a full time job, and as I have written before, whether Amazon is a friend, a foe, or something in-between for your business, we should all take our hats off to its incredible pace of innovation, much of it in the boring old logistics space.

But none of Amazon’s many moves has topped the news Bloomberg broke last week on Amazon’s plans for an end-to-end global logistics and delivery capability.

Amazon quietly rolled out no less than 43 smaller urban distribution facilities (Prime Now hubs and Fresh Delivery stations) in the US last year, with the goal to enable delivery to a customer’s doorstep in 60 minutes or less. It also opened up four university bookstores and entered into the world of retail brick and mortar.

Rest assured that this is just the tip of the iceberg, as the company is only getting started on its national quick response assault,

“Amazon’s main weakness is that it doesn’t have any stores for people to shop at but they are quickly working on eliminating this barrier.”

If you thought that Amazon was a game changer in 2015, hold onto your hat. The company has built an impenetrable moat that cannot be replicated by any other company.

Amazon will open an incredible 7.2 million square feet of new fulfillment center space in the US in the next two years, an investment of some $1.2 billion in fulfillment space alone.

In late 2015, Amazon was reported to be in talks to lease 20 cargo jets from Boeing. It is also widely assumed Amazon is behind the daily air cargo flights being flown out of the air park in Wilmington, OH, a wonderful facility that once served as DHL’s US hub before it shut down US domestic service, and before that for Airborne Express before it was acquired by DHL.

That “test” started with two daily flights, and has now expanded to five. The company behind the flights is also asking the third-party carrier Air Transport Services Group if service could be expanded to flights to Europe and China – and was told Yes.

Amazon opted to purchase the 75% of French package delivery company Colis Prive it didn’t already own, which puts it in direct competition with FedEx and UPS in that country. Many believe Amazon will use this acquisition to better understand the parcel delivery business – and look for opportunities to innovate well beyond France.

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