Forget FedEx or UPS: Amazon is the world's largest logistics company. As a result of this focus, Amazon is also the quickest parcel delivery company in the United States.
Almost unbeatable logistics
Amazon is "almost unbeatable", according to trade journal Supply Chain Dive, which was given access to the data of a report by Rakuten, nicknamed the "Amazon of Japan". Amazon now has 390 warehouses, 50 planes, 300 trucks and 20,000 delivery vans at their disposal. It has 648,000 employees working in logistics, which is about 50 % more than FedEx (450,000) or UPS (481,000). As a result, Amazon currently carries out approximately 45 % of its deliveries itself.
This approach results in an unparalleled speed: this year, the average total delivery time was under three days in the United States. For competitors such as Walmart and Target, the average delivery time was around five days. Amazon already gets a headstart in its distribution centres: most orders are shipped within the day, while other companies often have a lead time that is twice as long.
Network of hubs and shops
Investments in robotics to automate processes in the distribution centres play a major role in this, in addition to the distribution of stock into a network of hubs that are closer to the customer. Over the second half of 2019, the retailer succeeded in reducing the time between dispatch and home delivery to less than two days.
Competitors in the USA take almost three days to do the same, although other players (including Target) also benefit from bringing more stock to their physical stores. By using the stores as small distribution centres, the American chain claims they are able to deliver orders more quickly to customers and, above all, are able to save a lot of costs.
However, no one else has yet taken the step of also taking deliveries into their own hands. According to Rakuten, neither Target nor Walmart use their own transport fleet to cover that last mile to the customer. This is good news for the U.S. Postal Service, but the latter lost the title of being Amazon's leading parcel delivery company since this year... to Amazon itself.