Called Amazon Flex, the service will hit the streets in Sydney and Melbourne, enabling the online e-commerce giant to expand its delivery network, ramp up at peak times and ultimately speed up deliveries for customers.
The gig economy model is offering an opportunity to interested delivery partners in Sydney and Melbourne, with their own vehicle, to sign up, choose delivery blocks that fit their schedule and deliver packages guided by the Flex smartphone app.
With other similar services under scrutiny over pay and work conditions, the company confirmed on Wednesday that it will give delivery partners transparency around their earnings and make payments weekly by direct deposit.
“Amazon Flex puts delivery partners in the driver’s seat, enabling them to earn extra money with the flexibility to choose their own schedule. With visibility of how much they will be paid for a block before they accept it, delivery partners ensure their time on the road is well spent,” explained Craig Fuller, director of operations, Amazon Australia.
Amazon Flex launched in the US in 2015 as an on-demand contract service; however, it has received some negative feedback, with drivers complaining of poor pay in the local media.
Australia is the ninth country to get Flex, with the service also on the streets in Canada, Japan, Singapore, the UK, Germany, Spain and India.
Mr Fuller explained that Amazon’s chief inspiration behind Flex was to deliver convenience to customers.
“As customer demand and delivery needs continue to grow in Australia, Amazon Flex gives us the agility to supplement the work we do with our existing carrier partners so we can speed up delivery times and respond to peaks in demand,” Mr Fuller said.
Amazon has also said it is interested in drone delivery services, after Google’s parent company launched a world-first commercial air delivery business in Canberra last year.
Amazon.com.au launched in Australia in December 2017 and now offers customers 125 million products across 29 different categories including Amazon devices.
Amazon has launched a number of products and services, such as Fulfilment By Amazon, Global Store, Prime, and in August 2019 Amazon Launchpad, a program aimed to help Aussie start-ups and entrepreneurs bring innovative products to local customers.