15-16/2016 All in one
The major internet trading firm Amazon has been good for many surprises over the years. The US corporation frequently presents ideas to the public that may at first glance sound downright fantastic. Its drone project is a prime exhibit in this context. Whilst most people associate military applications or spectacular aerial images with the flying units, Amazon presented it as a mode of parcel transport – thus prompting others to seek to emulate the firm. On top of this Amazon offers products that may not immediately be associated with a «traditional» online trader; for example its own tablet; or its fire stick, which makes it possible to connect conventional TVs to the internet and enables Amazon to sell its own productions to consumers.
But to get back to transport, a field on which the internet giant has also focused of late. In this segment the company has undertaken efforts to master the last parcel delivery mile itself; and it has a foot in the door in China with its new licence there to run a shipping line. And then there is airfreight: just a few weeks ago, Amazon leased several full-freighters and now apparently has plans to transform the US airport of Wilmington OH into its hub.
Rapid delivery is another subject dear to Amazon’s heart. It wants to radically shorten distribution periods for its prime-now customers, aiming for 1–2 hours until the goods reach them. One-hour delivery started in 20 US cities in December 2015 – and it’s having an effect: a series of local competitors are said to have got their feet in the starting blocks in the USA to try and beat the 60-minute barrier.
Amazon is going for it all: be it «traditional» internet sales, technology or transport – it manages many different segments under one roof. I wonder whether the US firm can set an example for the transport industry – for instance in the in-sourcing field. For a long time, specialisation in selected fields was considered the passport to success.