Amazon is experimenting with taxis to speed up package delivery. This fall, the company used the mobile app Flywheel in San Francisco and Los Angeles to test package delivery by licensed cabs.
Amazon is researching the broader use of taxis to speed up shipments to allow the company to compete more directly with brick-and-mortar stores and seek alternatives to UPS and Fed Ex. Using the Flywheel app, Amazon is able to summon cabs to mini-distribution centers and load each taxi with as many as 10 packages. The packages are bound for a single zip code and cost about $5 a package for delivery within one hour.
Taxi delivery is not the only experiment Amazon is testing, Amazon has tested its own delivery service, increased their use of regional couriers, partnered with the Postal Service to deliver fresh groceries and expects to open its first storefront in Manhattan.
With Amazon's increased research for faster delivery, brick-and-mortar retailers are competing with them by converting their stores into mini warehouses, offering same day, one hour delivery and in-store pickup. Amazon created the market for faster and fastest delivery methods, and retailers must keep up with the online retailer if they want to continue to compete.
Google, eBay, and startups are Amazon’s top competitors in same-day delivery. Google Express, Target and Costco are able to offer same-day delivery. Startups send couriers to brick-and-mortar locations to collect orders and deliver them to the customers’ doorstep. Same-day delivery remains a niche service but is continuing to see growth and increased competition.