Looking to offer same day deliveries without expensive logistics, a new report suggests that Amazon is turning to taxis to do the trick.
In this day and age of downloadable music, books and games and Internet speeds that see things load in an instant, we want things now. That’s especially the case of online shopping as while free delivery might be the cheapest option, it’s usually the slowest and so it’s not uncommon for online shoppers to chip in a few quid/dollars more to have the goods delivered the very next day.
But what of those shoppers who are more impatient than that? And for whom 24 hours seems agonisingly long? Amazon has been considering same day delivery for some time, and while their plans to use drones as a logistics alternative to vans and postmen and women on foot, the online retailer is now said to be looking at taxis.
Taxis: not just for people! It may seem surprising or nigh on ludicrous for our packages to show up in the back of a minicab in the same way we’d ferry ourselves around a city but the benefits are definitely there for shoppers and Amazon alike.
How it would work is that the taxis would drive to a specific neighbourhood with 10 or so packages on board and would then drop them to our doors. Sound simple? It is and on top of this it also means that packages wouldn’t be hampered by delays such as those that occurred last Christmas when UPS and Fedex’s slow delivery of Amazon products led to customer disgruntlement.
The price of luxury could come be an expensive one though. It’s being estimated that to get the package delivered within an hour (as the service would mandate) it would cost people $5 per package which seems a little pricey when the alternative is walking to the shops for free and buying it yourself.
Other concerns arise in the security of the deliveries. What if I order a plasma TV as big as my wall and a reckless taxi driver accidentally puts a crack in the screen thanks to a sharp right turn? And what of reasonably sized neighbourhoods where there are 5 people looking to take advantage of same day delivery but Amazon doesn’t deem that worth their time?
The scheme appears to be in the development stages with tests being set-up in San Francisco and Los Angeles using taxi-hailing service FlyWheel. We’ll know more should those initial tests prove to be successful.
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