With Delivery Ambitions, Amazon Takes on Industry Giants UPS, FedEx
Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg News
Within a few weeks, Amazon.com Inc. will begin competing directly with longtime partners UPS Inc., FedEx Corp. and DHL.
But not in the United States. At least, not yet.
During the first quarter, Amazon is expected to acquire the 75% of the French package-delivery company Colis Privé that it doesn’t own. Though the French company is small relative to the multinational giants that move Amazon parcels around the globe, the acquisition will be the biggest step yet that the online retail giant has taken to move into the business of delivering packages for others, as well as itself.
Amazon has said little about its intentions. In 2014, it bought a 25% stake in Colis Privé. A spokesperson told French newspaper Le Figaro last year that the deal to acquire the rest of the company would close early this year. And the unidentified spokesperson said Colis Privé will continue offering package delivery for all customers, not just Amazon.
“This purchase doesn’t call into question our work with all the other logistics providers [UPS, La Poste, DHL, FedEx],” the spokesperson told the paper. “And it’s out of the question for Colis Privé to only deliver for Amazon. The company will continue developing its commercial portfolio.”
Amazon’s top spokesman, Craig Berman, declined to comment on Colis Privé or the company’s plans for the shipping business.
But some analysts believe that Amazon is putting together the pieces across the globe to launch a package-delivery service that one day will compete with UPS, FedEx and others. In addition to the Colis Privé deal, Amazon in 2014 acquired the right to purchase 4.2% of Yodel, a United Kingdom parcel-delivery company. Last month, Amazon announced adding thousands of trucks to its U.S. fleet to handle the growing load of packages it is shipping.
The Seattle Times also reported last month that Amazon is negotiating to lease 20 Boeing 767 cargo jets. Those jets would represent a significant expansion of an Amazon cargo trial in Wilmington, Ohio, operated by Air Transport Services Group on Amazon’s behalf.
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|By Jay Greene|
The Seattle Times
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