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Amazon adds semi-truck fleet to its expanding transportation network


Amazon drones may still be in the future, but Amazon trucks are ready now.

The Internet giant on Friday said it has purchased thousands of trailers that it will deploy in shipments to shuttle inventory along its supply chain, but not to customer homes. The Amazon-branded trailers will be pulled by tractor trucks provided by existing third-party transportation partners.

Amazon made the announcement at an event in Chicago where employees prepared 2,000 care packages to be sent to soldiers overseas. The packages included Amazon Fire tablets.

“I couldn’t be more pleased that our very first Amazon trailer headed out on the road carrying such special packages — thousands of boxes filled with beloved holiday items and Amazon Fire devices to support troops abroad this holiday season,” Amazon’s VP of North America operations Mike Roth said in a release.

According to Re/Code, which first reported the news, the shipments will occur between Amazon fulfillment centers and other internal fulfillment centers or sortation centers. At least for now, Amazon trailers will not be used for any customer deliveries.

Amazon has been slowly expanding its direct control of shipments with pilots such as the Amazon Flex service, which uses independent couriers to deliver items to customer homes. The company has also used its own trucks for some Amazon Fresh grocery deliveries.

Amazon is clearly angling to lessen its reliance on outside partners for delivery, the one key area of its operation where it does not have established internal competency. Given the company’s track record, expect it to quickly develop expertise in the physical side of order fulfillment, at the expense of third-party logistics providers and delivery services like UPS and FedEx.

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