Watch out, UPS: Amazon orders 20,000 vans in bid to build its own delivery fleet
The firm says it has ordered 20,000 vans for its new delivery program, in which contractors around the country can launch businesses that deliver packages for the online retailer.
The company says 'tens of thousands' of people have applied for the program it announced in June, and it had to increase its van order from 4,500.
The vans, which feature a blue smile logo, can be used by contractors to deliver packages.
The delivery program is part of Amazon's plan to gain more control over how its packages are delivered.
With it, Amazon.com Inc. can rely less on other delivery services, such as UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service.
The move means your Amazon packages, which usually show up in a UPS truck, an unmarked vehicle or in the hands of a mail carrier, may soon be delivered from an Amazon van.
With these vans on the road, Amazon said more shoppers would be able to track their packages on a map, contact the driver or change where a package is left -- all of which it can't do if the package is in the back of a UPS or FedEx truck.
Amazon has beefed up its delivery network in other ways: It has a fleet of cargo planes it calls 'Prime Air,' announced last year that it was building an air cargo hub in Kentucky and pays people as much as $25 an hour to deliver packages with their cars through Amazon Flex.
Recently, the company has come under fire from President Donald Trump who tweeted that Amazon should pay the U.S. Postal Service more for shipping its packages.
Dave Clark, Amazon's senior vice president of worldwide operations, said the new program is not a response to Trump, but a way to make sure that the company can deliver its growing number of orders.
Through the program, Amazon said it can cost as little as $10,000 for someone to start the delivery business.
Contractors that participate in the program will be able to lease blue vans with the Amazon logo stamped on it, buy Amazon uniforms for drivers and get support from Amazon to grow their business.
Contractors don't have to lease the vans, but if they do, those vehicles can only be used to deliver Amazon packages, the company said.
The first book sold on Amazon was 'Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought' by Douglas Hofstadter.
1994: Jeff Bezos incorporates what would become Amazon under the name 'Cadabra Inc.' He later re-named the company under its current name.
Bezos chose the name Amazon in reference to the Amazon River, the biggest river in the world, as he hoped Amazon would be the biggest bookstore in the world.
1995: Amazon opens up shop as a bookstore. The first book sold on Amazon was titled 'Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought' by Douglas Hofstadter.
1998: Bezos begins selling more than just books on Amazon. The firm opens up sales of music, movies, consumer electronics, video games, toys and more.
2000: The firm introduces its now-famous logo, which features a curved arrow leading from A to Z, with an arrow shaped like a smile. The logo is meant to suggest that Amazon sells every kind of product from A to Z.
2001: Amazon turns a profit for the first time ever, proving to investors that the firm's business model could stick.
2002: The company launches Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a service for internet traffic data, but it would go on to grow into the firm's cloud computing behemoth.
2006: Amazon rolls out Fulfillment by Amazon, its massive logistics unit that now threatens the likes of UPS and FedEx.
2007: Amazon releases the first Kindle e-reader, in a move that was perceived as a disruption to the traditional publishing industry.
2012: Amazon doubles down on consumer hardware, launching the Amazon Fire HD tablet.
2014: Amazon launches the Fire phone, meant to be a competitor to the iPhone, which ends up flopping. The firm discontinued the device a year later.
2015: Amazon launches the original Echo speaker, a groundbreaking device, due to its speech recognition and AI capabilities.
Later that year, Amazon announced it would purchase Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. The move has only strengthened its stronghold over the retail market.