Internet giant takes on UPS and FedEx as it seeks full control over package delivery
Amazon delivery lorries could become a more common sight
Amazon is reported to be testing a service to ship its sellers' goods directly, putting it into competition with delivery firms such as UPS and FedEx.
According to an unnamed source quoted by Reuters, Amazon has just started running its "Shipping with Amazon" service in Los Angeles amid reports that trials are already under way in London.
The new scheme is thought to be due for a full launch later this year.
Under "Shipping with Amazon", the company will send a lorry to pick up sellers' packages, and take them either directly to an Amazon fulfilment centre, or to postal services or couriers depending on what's most cost-effective, according to the Reuters source.
Considering Amazon's size, scale and reach, such a delivery service could encroach on the businesses of established courier companies. Indeed, the rumours about "Shipping with Amazon" sent shares in UPS and FedEx tumbling on Friday.
However, if Amazon believes it can take a large chunk of their business it is mistaken, said FedEx spokesman Patrick Fitzgerald. Amazon's plan "demonstrates a lack of basic understanding of the full scale of the global transportation industry," he said.
"There is tremendous opportunity in the business-to-customer market and more growth coming to the sector and UPS, irrespective of how other companies shift strategies," said Glenn Zaccara, a spokesman for UPS.
While it has not yet commented on the reports this would not be the first time Amazon has tried to change the way goods are delivered. Ongoing plans include the use of drones and self-driving cars. Drones have already been tested in the skies of the UK and have the potential to be much faster and cleaner than the current use of trucks, especially in cities, according to Amazon.
In 2016, the UK government gave permission to Amazon for the testing of drones, covering deliveries in rural and suburban areas. That approval followed similar permissions by the US Federal Aviation Authority.