Sign up to receive 5 free days of our daily summary for tech news.

Amazon Uber/Lyft E-commerce

To Bypass UPS, Amazon Mimics Uber Tactics

Amazon has rapidly expanded same-day and overnight delivery service in recent years, an expensive proposition for the online retailer. To control rising costs, the company has enlisted hundreds of thousands of independent drivers who use their own cars to deliver packages to consumers.

The driver initiative, dubbed Flex, is one of the ways in which Amazon has sought to reduce its reliance on third parties like UPS and the U.S. Postal Service. Launched in 2015, Amazon in recent months has made changes to the program, adopting Uber-inspired pricing strategies for paying drivers, people familiar with the matter said. The stakes are high for Amazon, which is competing with Uber and Lyft as it seeks to build its driver network. While Flex still accounts for only a fraction of Amazon deliveries, the program could one day help Amazon achieve what might be its Holy Grail: handling not only its own packages but also those of other businesses.

“People tend to buy a lot of Prime stuff on Monday,” one person familiar with Flex deliveries said. “No one’s buying stuff on Saturday. They’re all out and about.”

3 total comments
Justin Gerard, David Benitez and 1 other commented on this article.
Read comments from top tech and industry leaders
Joe Lonsdale
Joe Lonsdale
Founding Partner, Eight
Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya
Founder & Managing Partner, SocialCapital
Tina Sharkey
Tina Sharkey
CEO, Brandless
Jonah Peretti
Jonah Peretti
CEO, Buzzfeed
Adam D'Angelo
Adam D'Angelo
CEO, Quora
Brit Morin
Brit Morin
Founder & CEO, Brit + CO
Dustin Moskovitz
Dustin Moskovitz
Co-Founder, Asana
Christina Miller
Christina Miller
President & General Manager, Turner
Max Levchin
Max Levchin
CEO, Affirm
Adam Mosseri
Adam Mosseri
Director of Product, Facebook
Alex Mather
Alex Mather
The Athletic
Martha Josephson
Martha Josephson
Partner, Egon Zehnder
James Murdoch
James Murdoch
Co-Chief Operating Officer, 21st Century Fox
Andrew Kortina
Andrew Kortina
Founder, Venmo
Ben Chestnut
Ben Chestnut
Co-Founder & CEO, Mailchimp
Ruchi Sanghvi
Ruchi Sanghvi
VP Operations, Dropbox
Login or Subscribe to follow the discussions happening here and real-time in our   Slack Community.
Amazon has ramped up Flex rapidly since it launched the program in 2015.