- Amazon delivers packages to over 100 million Amazon Prime members in the US as well as many other customers.
- We’ve identified 10 vehicles Amazon uses or will use to get its packages from its fulfillment centers to customers’ front doors.
- From two kinds of home-delivery vans to autonomous robots, Amazon’s methods of delivery in its growing logistics empire are varied.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Amazon has been increasingly relying more heavily on its own delivery systems of late.
The e-commerce retailer has over 100 million Amazon Prime members in the United States, according to a January report from the Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.
Fulfilling the company’s two- and one-day Prime shipping promises for these members has meant Amazon Logistics has needed to streamline and expand its delivery services, resulting in the company relying on both conventional and unconventional ways to deliver and transport goods.
The company has faced other issues, including FedEx opting not to renew its contract in June, meaning it can’t rely on some delivery partners as it once did.
From its own cargo airline to autonomous drones, here are all the vehicles Amazon uses to deliver its packages to your front door.
This is in addition to the fleet of 50 Boeing 767 freighter aircraft Amazon has been building up since 2016. The company also announced plans to increase its fleet to 70 planes by 2021 in preparation to continue to fulfill its Prime delivery promises.
Amazon Air’s hub is in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, and it also has more than 20 gateway operations around the US, including in Chicago and Riverside, California.
Amazon handles imported goods from China by reserving space on ocean vessels and organizing its own logistics. Wholesalers that manufacture in China can reserve spaces in these containers through Amazon to ship to the West Coast of the US.
In 2018, Amazon shipped more than 5,300 containers from China to the US, according to USA Today.
This eases some of the retailer’s reliance on global shipping companies. Amazon does not own any of its own ships.
Amazon truck trailers
Amazon purchased several thousand truck trailers in 2015 to transport goods between fulfillment centers.
It may have only about 300 tractor portion of the trucks to move those trailers, however, according to Transport Topics News. It mostly relies on trucking partners to supply that capability, according to Recode.
Embark driverless trucks
Amazon has been moving a limited amount of cargo with self-driving trucks developed by Embark on Interstate 10, according to a CNBC report from January.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans
In 2018, Amazon purchased 20,000 new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans to use for its last-mile delivery program.
This purchase made Amazon the largest operator of Sprinter vans at that time.
Utilimaster Walk-In Vans
Amazon ordered 2,237 large delivery walk-in vans from Spartan for use in home delivery. The vans are expected to be built during the second half of 2019.
These vans are larger than the Mercedes-Benz Sprinters and are being built custom for Amazon’s last-mile program.
Amazon employs drivers to deliver packages through the Amazon Flex program. This allows the drivers to use their own vehicles so long as they are midsize sedans or larger.
Amazon has been testing Scout, an electric, wheeled, autonomous delivery device, since January. Scout is the size of a small cooler and travels at a walking pace on sidewalks.
Testing has been taking place in Washington state’s Snohomish County, making deliveries to nearby customers’ homes.
Amazon Prime Air
Amazon has been testing drone delivery under the Prime Air delivery system with the goal of delivering packages to customers in under 30 minutes. The company began making very limited deliveries to customers in a rural area of England in 2016.
Amazon unveiled a new autonomous drone design in June it says can go as far as 15 miles, delivering packages as heavy as 5 pounds.
The company also recently received a certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration giving it permission to test their drones, which the company says will start “within months.”
Rivian electric vans
- Dave Clark/Twitter
Amazon placed an order for 100,000 electric delivery vans from electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian, the company announced on September 19. A Rivian representative told Reuters that the first vans will be ready by 2021, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos projects all vans will be in use by 2024.
The first prototypes will be arriving in 2020.