What is Amazon Shipping?
Last year, Amazon introduced its own in-house delivery network, known as Amazon Shipping, in an effort to cut costs and create greater efficiencies when fulfilling orders. While Amazon had previously relied on third parties to deliver its products, Amazon Shipping allows the e-commerce giant to cut out the middleman and fulfill orders on its own.
Better yet, the program allows participating companies to use Amazon Shipping for any deliveries, not just Amazon shipments. This is all part of Amazon’s larger vision to eventually launch its own third-party logistics service and compete directly with the likes of FedEx, USPS and UPS.
What are the Benefits of Amazon Shipping?
Amazon touts this new in-house delivery program as premium ground shipping at economy prices. Specific seller benefits are highlighted as:
Amazon does not charge additional fees for weekend or residential deliveries or peak fees.
Easy Custom Rate Quotes
You can quickly request a quote and see Amazon Shipping’s seller rates upfront.
Sell More With Less Hassle
Your seller rating isn’t impacted if Amazon makes a delivery error. The program also offers one-click submissions for claims and quick reimbursements.
Who is Eligible for Amazon Shipping?
Right now, Amazon Shipping is available to current Amazon sellers by invite-only via warehouses in select US cities. Amazon Shipping picks up packages directly from the seller’s warehouse and delivers orders via ground nationwide to most US destinations within five days, including weekends.
If you are a Prime-eligible seller, Amazon Shipping can fulfill your Prime orders, but only to customers who are accessible from your warehouse within 2 days via ground service. Sellers who wish to ship their Prime-eligible products outside of this 2-day radius must continue to do so through third-party networks.
How do I Ship and Track my Packages?
Once you’re enrolled, Amazon provides all the tools you need to print your shipping labels, process your orders and track your deliveries. You can quickly print labels via the Amazon Shipping website, Seller Central or integrate any third-party tool via Amazon’s Merchant Fulfillment API.
Once your package has been shipped, you can track it online until it is safely delivered.
In the event of a lost or stolen package, you can easily submit a claim via the Amazon Shipping website and get reimbursed quickly with auto-approval. For each order, Amazon offers sellers reimbursements to repair or replace the item, up to $100.
How Does this Shipping Compare to Third-party Networks?
In 2013, Amazon shipped all of its orders through third parties like FedEx, USPS and UPS. Now, just six years later, Amazon Shipping accounts for more than a quarter of the platform’s total deliveries. But how does Amazon compare to these third-party networks? The answer to this question is a topic of much debate.
A recent report from Rakuten Intelligence shows that late Amazon deliveries have become more and more common since the launch of Amazon Shipping. While around 4.6% of Amazon products were delivered late from January to June of 2017, that number has spiked to 16.6% in 2019. Amazon continues to dispute these numbers, saying that Rakuten’s data is inaccurate and that Amazon Shipping’s on-time delivery rates continue to improve each year.
So, is Amazon Shipping Worth it?
Amazon has a long history of jumping into new ventures and figuring out the kinks as they go. If Rakuten’s data is correct and Amazon Shipping does come with its fair share of delivery issues, it is likely that this is just another kink. Amazon Shipping is still in its infancy and growing pains are an almost inevitable part of the process. For now, delayed deliveries may be the temporary price customers, sellers and Amazon pay for more cost-effective deliveries in the long run.
This delivery dispute aside, the primary benefit of Amazon Shipping is its cost savings. Eliminating the middleman and fulfilling orders on its own allows Amazon to lower transportation expenses and deliver products at a lower cost to customers, sellers and Amazon itself. The question then comes down to which is more valuable, reliable on-time deliveries or lower costs? We hazard a guess that Amazon would say lower costs.