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Amazon has purchased 20,000 Sprinter model vans from Mercedes-Benz for its new Amazon Delivery Service Partner programme, which recruits third-party entrepreneurs for last mile parcel deliveries.

This is more than four times as many as the retailer initially anticipated when they launched the programme in June, giving an estimate of around 4,500.

The Delivery Service Partner programme invites people to set up their own business for Amazon, recruiting and organising their own drivers, with a start-up fee “as low as $10,000”. Each business is permitted 20 to 40 vans and 40 to 100 employees. They are able to use local Amazon delivery stations and are granted access to Amazon discounts for a range of services.

Amazon orders 20,000 Sprinter vans

The businesses are Amazon-branded, from vans to uniforms, owned by the entrepreneurs but contracted exclusively to Amazon. The vans will be leased by fleet-management companies and contractors will have to go through an application and training process.

Amazon expects to have more than 100 contractors set up through the programme by the end of the year.

The announcement coincided with the launch of a new generation of Mercedes-Benz Sprinters and the opening of a new manufacturing plant in North Charleston, South Carolina.

Source: The Seattle Times

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