Amazon is hosting several open houses in major metro areas this month to recruit last-mile carriers as it expands its logistics operations to help bulk up its rapid delivery services ahead of the busy holiday season.
“We are hosting several Open House events for carriers who want to learn more about Amazon Logistics and how your company can partner with Amazon as a last-mile carrier,” the company said in a LinkedIn post from an account manager.
The open houses, being held throughout the month of August, are in Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Toronto, New York, Atlanta, Miami and Washington, DC. These open houses are geared toward finding new partners for Amazon’s delivery service provider program that taps local operators to handle Prime Now and parcel deliveries. Separately Amazon Flex uses independent couriers in an Uber-like model.
Even though Amazon has invested heavily in its own logistics operations, including thousands of tractor trailers, an air hub in Hebron, KY and cargo jets, as well as a number of new fulfillment and sortation centers, it still relies heavily on carriers large and small to handle deliveries. The U.S. Postal Service, in its most recent quarter, reported an 11.3% gain in parcel shipments, which is likely due in large part to its growing Amazon business, including Sunday deliveries.
The campaign to recruit new last-mile carriers will also help Amazon meet anticipated demand spikes during the upcoming holiday season. NetElixir is projecting the ecommerce giant will take 34% of an estimated $84 billion in U.S. holiday sales this year, up from 30% in 2016, for a total of $28.5 billion.
While many retailers and 3PLs are looking to bring on thousands of temporary seasonal workers to handle peak demand, Amazon is on a massive hiring binge as befits its heft. Earlier this month it received 20,000 job applications for work in fulfillment centers during a single day of job fairs held across the country. The company said it plans to hire 50,000 additional workers this year, and 100,000 by mid-2018.