Amazon’s rocky holiday deliveries may change their future
2013 was a very good year for Amazon – so good that there were so many items ordered on the site this holiday season, that the UPS could not keep up with the volume of shipments, despite Amazon’s promise of on-time delivery. Amazon recently announced a $20 gift certificate to any customer whose package was delayed, and the UPS is issuing refunds.
This was particularly challenging for Amazon Prime members who pay a monthly fee to guarantee two-day shipping on Prime-eligible products year round. Many went without. The UPS has said they expected to ship roughly 7.75 million packages on Monday, the 23rd, and while they have not stated their final tally, they have stated that air package volume exceeded their delivery capacity.
While these are all honestly first world problems, what it highlights is that Amazon’s flirting with creating their own delivery systems could become a reality. If the UPS can’t handle the volume, perhaps Amazon can, especially since they don’t want another year of issuing any gift card apologies at a loss.
They are already building the capacity to do this
Amazon has already launched Sunday Delivery in San Francisco and New York, with Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, and New Orleans soon to follow. In Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, the company already offers AmazonFresh services, which delivers fresh produce and food to homes on the same day or within 24 hours.
In recent weeks, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said that in the future, they will be implementing delivery drone technology, offering half-hour delivery to any Prime customer, and the holiday debacle may have expedited plans for the online retailers’ plans.
So let’s do some math, shall we? Failed deliveries on Christmas, plus existing Sunday delivery and AmazonFresh, plus plans for drone delivery, equals Amazon on their way to handle their own deliveries. They’re already on their way, but this holiday season may have expedited some of their plans.