philipp's blog

5 Years of Amazon Logistics

Almost 5 years ago I started noticing shipments directly done by Amazon. It’s surprisingly difficult to find out when exactly Amazon Logistics started doing last-mile delivery. The earliest date I found pegs the development of this service at 2017 - so my observation in 2019 might just have been one of the first deliveries in the German market.

Anyways, with almost 5 years gone, I wanted to briefly reflect on how it’s going these days.

First and foremost, the huge disruption I wondered about in 2019 hasn’t visibly happened. DHL is still the king of the playground, Hermes the shady kid to keep away from, and Amazon Logistics has located itself right in the middle of the two.

They’re no longer using rental cars and drive around in snazzy Prime-Vans instead. Signing documents is also a thing of the past. They’re fast, efficient and friendly, but so is DHL.

True to form, Amazon Logistics doesn’t compromise on customer satisfaction, and their service is amazingly frictionless, especially compared to Hermes. This ranges from where the parcels are put over how carefully they’re handled to the friendliness of the drivers.

So in a nutshell, they’re okay. And they can afford to be only okay - their delivery service is not under direct competition, and customers who are experiencing it have already placed their order - there is nothing to gain here in terms of money and reputation from going beyond the absolute bare minimum. Consequently, Amazon exploits its drivers the same as other shipping companies exploit theirs.

If the internal numbers add up and their operating costs for their own shipment stay below their previous shipping contract cost, I believe Amazon Logistics must be a success.