Changes in consumer shopping habits have resulted in a record number of vans on Britain’s roads, but Amazon prefers to work with a raft of vehicle delivery firms rather than operate its own fleet.
The United States-headquartered retailer has set up Amazon Logistics in the UK and unveiled a string of initiatives designed to ensure goods ordered online by consumers are delivered as quickly as possible via its own delivery service.
However, while that service embraces 13 delivery hubs and two sorting centres in Hemel Hempstead and Manchester, the packages are delivered by 45 local and regional courier specialists.
The rise of Amazon in the UK and the continuing growing trend towards more internet shopping and home deliveries means the number of light goods vehicles on the UK’s roads has increased every year since 1996 when there was 2.174 million licensed, according to the Department of Transport.
By the end of the century there were 2.34 million vans and the volume has continued to accelerate breaking through the three million mark in 2006, reaching 3.2 million in 2010 and by mid-2014 the figure had reached 3.46 million.
As online shopping further expands and retailers continue to refine their home delivery service then demand for vans to deliver goods will increase.
A spokeswoman for Amazon UK said: “Amazon Logistics is a technology and logistics platform that empowers local and regional delivery companies across the UK to deliver Amazon packages to customers seven days a week. This platform complements our current large, national delivery partners and provides additional capacity as more and more customers enjoy Amazon Prime’s next day delivery benefits.”
Last month Amazon extended its long-standing partnership with Royal Mail with an expansion of its PickUp Location Programme to include more than 10,500 Post Office branches, taking the total number of customer parcel pickup points across the UK to more than 16,000.
Existing Amazon PickUp Locations include ‘Pass My Parcel’ stores, Collect+ stores and Amazon Lockers. ‘Pass My Parcel’ is the result of a collaboration with newspaper and magazine distributor Smiths News, a division of Connect Group.
Launched in October, the same-day collection service is available at more than 500 newsagents and convenience stores.
Amazon recently added Birmingham International Airport and a number of London tube stations to its ever-expanding list of locker pick-up locations and Christopher North, managing director of Amazon.co.uk, said: “Our intention is to keep rapidly adding to the many thousands of existing pick-up locations to ensure that customers all over the UK are provided with as much choice as possible when it comes to the delivery of their Amazon order.”