Amazon announced today that it has purchased “thousands” of branded trailers to help speed up package delivery for customers.
The trailers will be white and will feature the familiar Amazon side smile logo.
Trailer Purchase Could Signal Beginning of End of Partnership With UPS and FedEx
The new Amazon trailers won’t be used for customer delivery but instead to move packages between fulfillment centers. Amazon says that they’ll continue their partnership with UPS and FedEx, and will continue working with third party trucking companies to oversee management of the new trailers. However, experts note that acquiring their own fleet means Amazon will likely rely less on their partners as they move forward. In fact, former Amazon employees report that Amazon hopes to cut ties with UPS and FedEx completely.
Why Trailers and Not Trucks?
Some have asked why Amazon only acquired trailers instead of trucks too. Sources have speculated that Amazon wants to avoid having to register as a commercial trucking company, incurring cost and liability risk.
The Wall Street Journal calls the move, “partly a marketing effort” to raise Amazon’s brand visibility.
The trailer acquisition could be part of a larger scheme. In 2014, Amazon filed a patent application that would turn truck trailers stocked with products and stationed in urban areas into mini-distribution centers.