With the goal of shortening its two-day shipping guarantee for Prime members down to just one day, Amazon is now offering its employees money to quit their jobs and start up their own package delivery businesses.
The new employee incentive is part of a program Amazon started a year ago that let anyone apply to launch an independent Amazondelivery business and provided $10,000 in reimbursements to military veterans.
Amazon says it will pay up to $10,000 in costs for employees who are accepted into the new delivery program.
Amazon launched the Delivery Service Partner program in June 2018 and has more than 200 small business started out its creation.
According to Dave Clark, Amazon's senior vice president of worldwide operations, many Amazon employees have expressed interest in being business owners but were deterred by the financial uncertainties surrounding the shift to self-employment status.
Amazon delivered more than five billion packages under its Prime subscription service in 2017, which continues to attract customers with benefits that include free shipping, streaming video and music.
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The offer is open to most part-time and full-time Amazon employees, including those working in warehouses and other places where products are stored. "Now we have a path for those associated with an appetite for opportunities to own their own businesses".
Under a previously announced feature of the DSP program, Amazon pledged $1 million to reimburse up to $10,000 in startup costs for qualified US military veterans. Participants will get "consistent delivery volume" from Amazon, ensuring that there will be packages for them to sustain their business.
That's where the new financial incentives for employees come into play.
Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc. declined to say how many employees it expects to take them up on the offer.
Amazon said it would offer access to the company's delivery technology, training, and discounts on assets and services, including Amazon-branded vans and uniforms and insurance. Amazon said it plans to add "hundreds more" new businesses in 2019, and has expanded the partnership offering to the United Kingdom and Spain. Because more sales are happening online and more companies are trying to compete on service as well as sales, delivery drivers are in high demand.