Amazon ramps up 3PL competition with launch of 'Hub by Amazon'
- Amazon announced the launch of its Hub by Amazon service, which will serve as a safe storage solution and pick-up location for apartment-dwellers ordering goods online from Amazon or any other company.
- Amazon expects the service to lower pressure on apartment buildings' front desks to handle package sorting, storage and delivery, according to the press release.
- With the new service, "apartment residents no longer need to wait for property staff to deliver a package or adjust their schedules for limited pickup windows at front desks. Property owners and managers also benefit...[Hub by Amazon] declutter[s] lobbies and allow[s] onsite staff time for other priorities."
A rumored Shipping with Amazon (SWA) was reported months ago, and the newly launched Hub by Amazon is another step by the e-commerce giant toward gaining more control of logistics and microdistribution.
The flexible "hub" plan embodies the idea of "logistics as a service" but requires hefty logistics prowess, round-the-clock customer service (which Amazon says it will provide) and the ability to adjust to and customize individual and apartment-specific needs.
Hub by Amazon will give Amazon greater control over not only its own inventory, but also its third-party sellers and any other companies using Hub by Amazon to reach apartment dwellers.
"Apartment and condo delivery has been a challenge for many years," said Charles Dimov, vice president of marketing for OrderDynamics in an email. "Will retailers feel comfortable supporting another Amazon initiative? This might this be an even greater opportunity for a new last mile player to emerge who doesn’t directly compete with other retailers."
But there are broader implications for the logistics industry. This move could prompt other 3PLs to examine how they provide B2B and B2C services and prompt them to rethink distribution and freight forwarding. 3PLs may also have to find new ways to differentiate themselves from Amazon's logistics arm to not only keep working with Amazon, but also other customers.
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