Amazon said in a press release Monday it was expanding its Delivery Service Partner program in the United States, Spain and the United Kingdom "with a new incentive for current employees to start a small business owning and operating a package delivery company".
Amazon did not say how many employees it expects to accept the new incentive program.
In launching the program, Amazon said the total revenue potential for Delivery Service Partner companies would be $1 million to $4.5 million a year once a company reaches critical mass.
Amazon employees who take the plunge will receive funding for "startup costs, up to $10,000, as well as the equivalent of three months of the former employee's last gross salary".
Since previous year, some 200 people have begun Amazon delivery startups, and the company said it expects "hundreds" more with the added incentives, available in the US, Britain and Spain.
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The program was announced just two weeks after Amazon announced it would end its standard two-day shipping for Prime members, in order to lower it to next-day shipping.
Amazon created the Delivery Service Partner program a year ago, and it has reportedly resulted in the creation of more than 200 small businesses since its inception.
Thomson declined comment on the specifics of Amazon's announcement, but said it was well-timed if the company wants to reach out to individuals who drive for Uber Technologies Inc. or Lyft Inc. and who are upset about the way they are treated and how much they are being paid per ride. Startup costs start at $10,000 and contractors that participate are able to lease blue vans with the Amazon smile logo stamped on the side.
That's where the new financial incentives for employees come into play. It is part of the company's plan to control more of its deliveries on its own, rather than rely on UPS, the post office and other carriers. "It would be interesting to see what your pay would work out to on an hourly basis". It is trying to speed up product delivery times.
One of them is run Milton Collier, a freight broker who started his business in Atlanta about eight months ago. Since then, it has grown to include 50 vehicles and about 120 employees. It has already been preparing for the one-day shipping switch by hiring more people.