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Amazon adds Flex to hire drivers for same-day delivery

September 29, 2015 02:31 PM
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Amazon.com Inc. is hiring part-time delivery drivers as another way to deliver orders quickly.

The program, called Amazon Flex, will pay delivery drivers $18-$25 an hour to deliver packages ordered through Amazon’s Prime Now one-hour delivery service. Amazon is hiring only in Seattle now, but will soon expand Flex to the nine other Prime Now markets: Chicago; Manhattan; Baltimore; Dallas; Miami; Atlanta; Indianapolis; Austin, Texas; and Portland, Ore.

On the Amazon Flex website, the company says it’s looking for drivers to choose set windows of time in which they are available to work in two-, four- and eight-hour shifts. An Amazon spokeswoman declined to say how many drivers are going to be hired and when they will be expanding Flex to additional cities.

Prime Now is available on all mobile operating systems, but drivers for Amazon Flex must have an Android phone. Additionally, drivers must be 21, have their own car and pass what Amazon calls "a comprehensive, multi-state criminal background check."

This is Amazon’s latest move to expand its rapid delivery services. Two weeks ago, Amazon announced it had begun offering its Prime Now delivery service in Los Angeles and Orange County, Calif., bringing to 14 the total number of markets where the service is offered.

The move to use contract drivers has been made popular by ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. Uber has also gotten into product delivery, offering food delivery from restaurants via its drivers in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, plus Barcelona and Toronto. It also has a bicycle courier operation, UberRush, in New York. In July, Uber delivered Xiaomi Corp. smartphones in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to customers ordering the Mi Note with a 5.7-inch screen through Uber’s application. Users could pay through the app and have the phone delivered in minutes.

Earlier this month, Amazon began offering Prime members in Seattle delivery of food ordered from dozens of area restaurants, provided the food is ordered through the Amazon Prime Now mobile app. Seattle, Amazon’s home town, is also where Amazon in 2007 first tested AmazonFresh, its e-grocery delivery service.

Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide. Through the year ended June 30, Amazon reported a profit of $35 million, compared with an $18 million loss during the same time last year.

 

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