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Move Over UPS: Amazon Delivery Vans to Hit the Streets

Olaoluwa Abimbola, who was part of Amazon's test of the program, said that the amount of packages Amazon needs delivered keeps his business busy

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Move Over UPS: Amazon Delivery Vans to Hit the Streets
Amazon India to host online sales event for SMBs. Pixabay

Your Amazon packages, which usually show up in a UPS truck, an unmarked vehicle or in the hands of a mail carrier, may soon be delivered from an Amazon van.

The online retailer has been looking for a while to find a way to have more control over how its packages are delivered. With its new program rolling out Thursday, contractors around the country can launch businesses that deliver Amazon packages. The move gives Amazon more ways to ship its packages to shoppers without having to rely on UPS, FedEx and other package delivery services.

With these vans on the road, Amazon said more shoppers would be able to track their packages on a map, contact the driver or change where a package is left — all of which it can’t do if the package is in the back of a UPS or FedEx truck.

Amazon has beefed up its delivery network in other ways: It has a fleet of cargo planes it calls “Prime Air,” announced last year that it was building an air cargo hub in Kentucky and pays people as much as $25 an hour to deliver packages with their cars through Amazon Flex.

FILE - Packages move down a conveyor system were they are directed to the proper shipping area at the new Amazon Fulfillment Center, Feb. 9, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif.
FILE – Packages move down a conveyor system were they are directed to the proper shipping area at the new Amazon Fulfillment Center, Feb. 9, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. (VOA)

Recently, the company has come under fire from President Donald Trump who tweeted that Amazon should pay the U.S. Postal Service more for shipping its packages. Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations, said the new program is not a response to Trump, but a way to make sure that the company can deliver its growing number of orders. “This is really about meeting growth for our future,” Clark said.

Through the program , Amazon said it can cost as little as $10,000 for someone to start the delivery business. Contractors that participate in the program will be able to lease blue vans with the Amazon logo stamped on it, buy Amazon uniforms for drivers and get support from Amazon to grow their business.

Contractors don’t have to lease the vans, but if they do, those vehicles can only be used to deliver Amazon packages, the company said. The contractor will be responsible for hiring delivery people, and Amazon would be the customer, paying the business to pick up packages from its 75 U.S. delivery centers and dropping them off at shoppers’ doorsteps. An Amazon representative declined to give details on how much it will pay for the deliveries.

Also Read: Portuguese Tech Firm Uncorks a Smartphone Made Using Cork

Olaoluwa Abimbola, who was part of Amazon’s test of the program, said that the amount of packages Amazon needs delivered keeps his business busy. He’s hired 40 workers in five months.

“We don’t have to go make sales speeches,” Abimbola said. “There’s constant work, every day. All we have to do is show up.” (VOA)

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Echo Input- New Device by Amazon Now Available in India

The device adds to the Echo Dot, Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Spot and Echo Sub family of Amazon products

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Google , US, Alexa, Amazon, Drones, e-commerce
The logo of Amazon, online retailer is seen at the company logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, France. VOA

Amazon on Thursday announced the availability of its new device — Echo Input — that would enable users to add Alexa support to their existing speakers via an audio cable or Bluetooth, for Rs 2,999 in India.

The device features a four-microphone arrangement to allow users to talk to Alexa from across the room using the Alexa app that is available on both, iOS and Android, the company said in a statement.

Using the device, users would be able to add their speakers to a new or existing multi-room music group and adjust volume parameters using voice commands.

Amazon, online retailer, Drones
The Amazon warehouse in San Fernando de Henares is seen during a 3-day walkout to demand better wages and working conditions, on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain. VOA

“With Echo Input, we are giving users even more options to choose the best Echo device for their needs and adding it to your existing speakers is the easiest way to begin your voice-first experience with Alexa,” said Jayshree Gururaj, Director, Amazon Devices.

Also Read- Tobacco Vendors Eye Schools For Sale, Says Study

The device adds to the Echo Dot, Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Spot and Echo Sub family of Amazon products.

The company also announced that in addition to Amazon Prime Music, Saavn and TuneIn, users can listen to music from Hungama and Gaana as well, which are now available on Alexa starting Thursday.  (IANS)