Uber and Lyft let drivers use their own cars to provide rides for customers who hail a car using a mobile app. Now it looks like Amazon may be working on a similar service, except instead of letting participants use their own cars to taxi passengers from place to place, Amazon would let anyone become a delivery person.

This would allow Amazon to have packages delivered to your door without relying on UPS, the US Postal Service, or other traditional delivery providers. That could allow for cheaper delivery costs, faster delivery times, or weekend or evening deliveries in areas where those options might not otherwise be available.

On the other hand, there’s a lot that could go wrong: would users trust random individuals to deliver their packages? What’s to keep those individuals from walking off with the packages? And would this actually be any cheaper or more convenient than existing solutions?

amazon prime packing

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3 replies on “Lilbits 296: Amazon may launch an Uber-for-package-delivery”

  1. I do something similar with auto parts right now. I goto various dealerships and get parts to take to customers. I guess the drivers insentive to deliver the parts is to get paid

  2. Sounds like, if Amazon is sponsoring this, they probably intend to use it. In that case, they probably would assume the risks associated with drivers stealing packages. I imagine there’s probably going to be some kind of “trust” level that drivers would earn, and Amazon would probably be able to use their existing subscriber data to identify trustworthy drivers for the initial startup of the service. Maybe they’ll only allow drivers who have been Prime subscribers for a certain amount of time, using good purchasing and delivery history as initial “goodwill” and then letting the “trust” system build from there.

    Who knows, but if anyone has the clout and data to pull this off, it’s Amazon.

    1. Yeah, there would have to be some kind of vetting and background checks to ensure that applicants are going to be trustworthy. There is also the incentive of getting a regular paycheck to keep most people honest. Amazon wouldn’t do it unless they can guarantee all but a very few packages will be delivered on time.

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