Amazon continues to amaze: in an attempt to reduce costs in the 'last mile', the e-commerce giant is looking into the possibility of using public transport to deliver its parcels. Or how even one of the world's most advanced companies sometimes can benefit of old-fashioned solutions...
In many regions it is a thing of the past, but in certain areas with limited logistical possibilities (like sparsely populated Alaska or poor Albania) it is still common place to use public transport as a means to deliver parcels. Amazon now wants to bring the system back, as a solution to carry parcels to its customers even in a city like Seattle.
American newspaper Star Tribune has found out that the company has filed a patent that allows a delivery module to be attached to a bus. The patent also mentions a system in which the customer enters his location and receives a list of suggested bus stops. Upon selecting a preferred stop, the customer then receives the schedule of the participating busses.
Amazon says the scheme is a win-win situation: as American public transport revenue is hit by systems like Uber and Lyft, carrying parcels could be a life-saver for public transport companies. Amazon has already promised to invest 1.5 million dollars (1.3 million euros) in the frequency of Seattle busses. Another winner would be people who live far from current pick-up points, for whom a delivery by bus would be a welcome alternative: they would be able to flag the bus down at the stop of their choice and let the parcels - rather than actual passengers - get off.