Amazon made national news this past weekend when it unveiled the first plane in its new shipping fleet, meant to add more reliability and volume to its one- and two-day shipping options. Amazon is known for shifting its stock around, using algorithms that have allowed the company to become one of the fastest shippers in the world. Up until now, Amazon has depended on third-party carriers such as UPS and FedEx to fulfill these shipping needs, but now it would appear that the company is branching out into doing some of its own shipping. This change shouldn’t come as a surprise to those who have been following the numbers — Amazon’s sales rose 31% last quarter, while their shipping costs grew by 44%.
If you live in or near Seattle, chances are you saw some of the aircraft on display during the Seafair Air Show last weekend. It is even possible that you saw Amazon’s new pride and joy: a Boeing 767 with ‘Prime Air’ painted in shiny letters down the side. This plane, christened ‘Amazon One’ by the company, is the first aircraft in Amazon’s new branded line. This line will still be operated by Amazon’s air cargo provider, which will provide the crew, insurance, and maintenance, but the new fleet of planes will belong to Amazon instead of the carrier, so the company can be assured they have dedicated cargo planes when they need them. The fleet, which is planned to grow to a total of 40 over the next few years, will help Amazon fulfill orders faster and keep up with demand during peak shopping season.
It is worth noting that despite Amazon’s reliance on outside carriers, the company does already have a ground fleet of couriers that often carry the package the last few miles to its destination, most often in urban areas with large sales volumes.
Changes Coming for Sellers?
What does this mean for FBA sellers? Nothing but good things, assures spokesperson Amanda Ip. She told EcommerceBytes, “These planes will be used to supplement and secure additional capacity to support one and two-day delivery for our rapidly growing number of Prime members.” This means that more items will be available for faster shipping, so you may see more sales to Prime members who might otherwise have been unsure of shipping times and gone to the store instead.
Will you notice any changes? Not immediately. In fact, eleven of these planes are already in the air — Amazon One is just the first one to get its new paint job. However, as Amazon moves forward with developing their own transport fleet, it’s possible that more of your items may qualify for Prime delivery, which could give you a noticeable bump in sales. As always, keep a close eye on your stock, as slow sales increases could possibly sneak by you at first, and you want to be sure you have enough in stock to allow your customers to take advantage of the one- or two-day shipping.