Amazon.com is reportedly developing mobile technology so it can schedule and track truck shipments of its products with a few taps or clicks.
According to the Wall Street Journal, this represents the next step in the e-commerce giant’s bid to become its own global freight broker and compete with companies in the $150 billion business of booking transportation.
Sources familiar with Amazon’s business said the company may be looking to acquire or build an application capable of matching available trucks to shipments, for instance, from a seaport hub to a distribution center or from a warehouse to a parcel-delivery facility. The news was first reported by Business Insider.
Analysts said if the service works for Amazon, the company’s next step could be to make it available for a fee to non-Amazon shippers as an easy-to-use option for business-to-business freight shipping.
“This is the next piece in the jigsaw puzzle,” said Cathy Roberson, a shipping industry analyst. “It’s all falling into place for Amazon as a logistics provider.”
Late last year, Amazon announced a plan to roll out thousands of branded semi-trucks to help shuttle inventory between its facilities.
For Amazon, bringing freight-brokerage in-house and giving it the company’s signature tech-friendly functionality would allow the company to drive more volume toward its own cargo-handling arm and offer excess space to other shippers—a potential new revenue stream that would trim the cost of the operation, analysts say.
A spokeswoman for Amazon declined to comment.
Read full WSJ story here