Amazon is working to increase delivery speeds and will now offer employees up to $10,000 in startup costs who quit their jobs and start their own business helping the company deliver packages.
The Associated Press reported that Amazon made the announcement Monday as the company is looking into how it can offer one-day delivery for Prime members, down from the current delivery time of two days. From the AP:
Amazon says it will cover up to $10,000 in startup costs for employees who are accepted into the program and leave their jobs. The company says it will also pay them three months’ worth of their salary.
The offer is open to most part-time and full-time Amazon employees, including warehouse workers who pack and ship orders. Whole Foods employees are not eligible to receive the new incentives.
Amazon is trying to get away from relying on others to deliver its packages. Last year, it began allowing people to “apply to launch an independent Amazon delivery business and provided $10,000 in reimbursements to military veterans,” the AP reported. This latest announcement is an expansion of that program, which resulted in the creation of more than 200 delivery businesses opened to deliver for Amazon.
The AP spoke to Milton Collier, who opened one such business in Atlanta, GA, eight months ago. His company now has 120 employees, a fleet of 50 delivery vans, and makes up to 200 deliveries a day. Collier told the AP he was hiring more people to prepare for the one-day shipping goal, saying his company is “ready.”
Also on Monday, Reuters reported that Amazon is looking to automate part of its boxing process by installing machines at warehouses that would cut 24 jobs per warehouse.
“The company started adding technology to a handful of warehouses in recent years, which scans goods coming down a conveyor belt and envelopes them seconds later in boxes custom-built for each item, two people who worked on the project told Reuters,” the media outlet reported.
Each machine costs around $1 million, but the company expects it will recover those costs within two years, Reuters reported.
“We are piloting this new technology with the goal of increasing safety, speeding up delivery times and adding efficiency across our network,” a spokeswoman told Reuters in a statement. “We expect the efficiency savings will be re-invested in new services for customers, where new jobs will continue to be created.”