Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is developing a mobile application that would pay ordinary people, rather than a carrier service, to drop off packages while en route to other destinations. For the program to work, Amazon would also use brick-and-mortar retailers to store the packages, paying the retailers to rent space or a fee per package.
The project is being called "On My Way," the Wall Street Journal reported. Amazon has declined to comment on whether or not this project will move forward.
The idea would be to save Amazon on the rising cost of shipping, which grew 31 percent last year, faster than the company's revenue. On My Way might also force larger carriers to renegotiate better deals with the e-commerce retailer.
The idea still has many obstacles to consider. For instance, will retailers, almost all which are rivals of Amazon, agree to work with the company? In addition, Amazon ships about 3.5 million packages a day, so that would require a lot of local couriers. And about 50 percent of all those purchases are by Prime members, many of which use free, two-day shipping.
If Amazon pushes forward with the idea, it would join several other companies now using crowdsourced delivery methods, or in other words, contract laborers. For example, Uber, Instacart, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Deliv use contracted workers for same-day delivery.
Last year, Amazon briefly tested using Uber vehicles to deliver packages for about $5 an item.
-See this Wall Street Journal article
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