Amazon is never far behind when it comes to innovation and getting involved in other lines of business and it has recently made a major move forward by getting involved in the sea freight business.
The company already have their own range of planes and lorries and now they are making use of ocean-going vessels instead of contracting the work out to others. Obviously, a company of their size does not want to have to rely on or spend vast amounts by making use of third-party delivery company systems; not only does this leave them wide open to hold ups and delays but it also costs far more. Now they have bitten the bullet and gained full control of a shipment of their own goods.
Shipping from China to the US
Based in Seattle, Amazon is a vast e-commerce company and it has begun its sea freight operation by shipping goods from its retailers in China to its gigantic warehouse in the US. Before doing it this way, the shipments were handled by global freight-transportation companies.
Since October of last year, Amazon has shipped 150 containers of goods from China to their US warehouse, according to shipping documents collected at the entry ports.
With shipping being an industry worth trillions of dollars, Amazon has invested cautiously; they don’t yet own any of the ships being used. Instead, they are reserving large amounts of space on ocean vessels, acting not as a shipper but more as global freight operator and logistics organiser.
Other freight operators that work in this way include UPS and FedEx.
The very deep pockets of Amazon
The CEO and founder of the logistics platform Freightos said in a recent statement: “Logistics companies have been eyeing Amazon suspiciously for years. Yesterday, their fears were confirmed, with the revelation that Amazon has been quietly arranging China to US ocean shipments……Amazon’s deep pockets mean the trillion-dollar freight industry is now coming up against the very same disruptors that changed the name of the game for retailers, manufacturers and computer storage.”
Only last August, Amazon announced the use of its very first branded cargo plane. This was just one of forty jetliners which are making up the Amazon air-transportation network. In addition to this, Amazon already has its own large fleet of branded delivery trucks and are looking at getting involved in the use of delivery drones; they are currently running tests with these on land just outside Cambridge USA.
It looks as if Amazon is going to be a major player in the sea freight business; during the 2016 holiday season they were known to ship over a billion items. Although they have not commented directly on their new operation in the world of freight as a shipper, this year they look set to make a very big name for themselves as global freight operators and logistics organisers.