The Retail Giant Wants Its Employees to Become Independent Deliverers
Usually, employers want to retain their employees. Many, in fact, will go to great lengths to do just that. But Amazon is actually giving its employees an incentive to leave.
The company is not only offering its employees 3 months of salary if they quit and become independent deliverers for the company, but it is also offering them up to $10,000 to cover the costs of starting a new business.
The news comes on the heels of Amazon's intention to reduce shipping times for Prime customers to one day, and it is part of an expansion of the company's Delivery Service Partner program. The program includes a slew of benefits, such as training and access to advanced technology as well as discounts on a number of items such as branded vans, uniforms, gas and vehicle insurance.
Last year, Amazon indicated that people who had started their own delivery service affiliated with the company were able to do so with just $10,000 of capital. To help make the possibility of business ownership more affordable, the company at the time reimbursed the startup expenses of employees who were military veterans. Now, most of Amazon's full- and part-time employees in the United States, the United Kingdom and Spain are eligible for the perk. Though employees of Whole Foods — which Amazon owns — are not eligible.
Before Amazon started its Delivery Service Partner program last year, it depended on a service it called Amazon Flex, which utilized crowdsourcing to help it reduce shipping costs. But this service suffered from a number of problems its drivers faced. This included gas and insurance costs as well as difficulties relating to delivering packages from normal passenger vehicles.
With this new program, Amazon believes that its partners could earn as much as $300,000 per year in profit. Though to achieve this, they would have to increase the number of vehicles they use to 40 and hire local drivers to drive them.
The company insists that this type of expansion has already begun. They say that, since the partnership program began a little less than a year ago, in excess of 200 partners have hired thousands of local drivers. A man named Milton Collier runs one of these companies. He started his Atlanta-based business 8 months ago, and now has 50 vans as well as 120 employees, which can handle 200 deliveries a day.
Many Amazon employees may find that they have no choice but to take the company up on its offer, as the company is currently automizing its warehouses to the extent that lots of jobs will soon become obsolete. It is being reported that the company is currently introducing machines that will automatically box its customers' orders. This could lead to thousands of workers becoming laid off.
While Amazon will be investing considerable sums of money into the partnership program, it could be an investment that will pay off in the future. This is because as their own delivery network expands, their reliance on major shipping entities such as UPS, USPS and FedEx will be reduced significantly. They will also have far more control over package delivery.
The company's soon-to-be-former employees may benefit as well.