Its no secret Amazon.com Inc. wants to control the delivery process—and toward that end, it has inked partnerships with some of the nation’s biggest landlords.
Citing a person familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon has signed contracts with apartment owners and management companies covering more than 850,000 rental units around the country to install Amazon lockers in the buildings. The Seattle-based e-commerce giant will ultimately place the lockers in thousands of buildings, with many arriving before the holiday shopping season kicks off. Some of the national landlords the company is contracting with include AvalonBay Communities Inc., Equity Residential, Greystar and Bozzuto Group, reported the Journal. (See also: Unwrapping Amazon’s Logistics Moves.)
The move by the country’s biggest online retailer comes at a time when it is aiming to control more of the delivery process. Installing Amazon lockers where customers can pick up packages also makes a lot of sense for apartment building owners who continue to struggle with managing all the packages that are delivered each day. According to the Journal, the staff at the properties often spend several hours each day sorting through the mail in an environment where packages are piled up everywhere. The paper noted that many landlords cite the situation as one of the biggest problems they have to deal with.
Expanding Two-Day Shipping
The lockers will be accessible 24 hours a day and will accept packages from all carriers, not just Amazon’s. Residents will receive an alert and a code to open the locker when a package arrives at the fully automated system. The building owners have to pay an upfront cost of $10,000 to $20,000 but won’t have to pay a monthly fee. Most of the landlords plan to make the service free to their renters, noted the report.
This isn’t the first move Amazon has made in recent weeks to control more of the delivery process in the U.S. Pushing further into the territory of United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp., Bloomberg reported earlier this month that it is testing a delivery service aimed at making more products available for two-day free shipping. Citing people familiar with the plan, Bloomberg said the idea behind the new service is to reduce some of the congestion in the company’s warehouses, as well as provide more products that can be shipped quickly. Dubbed Seller Flex inside Amazon, under the program, Amazon will pick up third-party merchants packages from warehouses and handle delivery to customers. By doing that, Amazon not only controls more of the delivery process, but it can reduce costs with volume discounts and lower the overcrowding in its warehouses by keeping the products at the merchant’s own locations. What’s more, Seller Flex will provide Amazon will further insight into how its third-party merchants house their products and deliver them.