Amazon delivered 26 percent of its own packages in 2018, and that's just the beginning of the company's shift to become self-reliant for shipping and delivery. As the E-Commerce giant transitions from two-day Prime shipping to one-day turnarounds, it is depending more and more on its own crowdsourced last-mile service called Amazon Flex. The make-your-own-business concept allows for anybody to create their own work. CNBC recently dug deeper into the service and talked to people who participate.
Chasing after the holy grail of ultimate convenience, Amazon is inching closer and closer to nearly instant deliveries. Its latest push toward one-day Prime shipping has required massive spending and further implementation of an entirely new branch of the business. One-day shipping is already available for more than 10 million products, in part thanks to the $800 million set aside in Q2 of 2019.
Amazon relies heavily on delivery services such as UPS and USPS, but it's looking to create its own network. Last-mile delivery is the most expensive part of shipping, and prices continue to rise due to increasing fees. According to CNBC, Amazon shipping costs rose to $9 billion in Q4 2018, up 23 percent from $7.3 billion in Q4 2017.
So, Amazon Flex was created to recruit on-demand contract workers to do the tedious task of picking packages up from the distribution center and dropping them off at customers' homes. According to the Amazon Flex homepage, drivers can set their own schedule during any of the seven days in the week and will get paid between $18-25 per hour. However, once the packages are handed over to the driver, they must be delivered within a specific time frame.
The main guidelines require the driver to be 21, have a valid driver's license, have auto insurance, and have a four-door mid-size sedan or something bigger. The driver still pays for any and all costs regarding vehicle maintenance and paying for gas.
As with everything, Amazon Flex has its positives and its negatives. Watch the full video to see the driver routines and what they think of the service.