Amazon truck at fulfillment center

How Has Amazon Survived the Shipping Disaster Where USPS, FedEx and UPS Have Failed?

Much of the talk around eCommerce for the past few weeks has been unsurprisingly focused around the current shipping crisis across America, or as some have named it #shipageddon.

This has forced many retailers to drastically bring forward their last shipping date for guaranteed Christmas delivery in some cases to as early as the first week of December, in preparation for what they knew was coming and to avoid disappointing customers.

With just a few days left until Christmas the situation across the main couriers is looking bleak, with USPS appearing to face the worst of it, as FedEx and UPS started routing their excess packages through the USPS system.

This thread on Twitter does a good job of summarising the current situation:

The Amazon Ecosystem

This then leads to the question why on the 19th December, Amazon are still able to offer not only delivery before Christmas, but also next day delivery for a children’s toy.

Meccano toy Amazon Xmas delivery

This test was conducted using Orlando Florida as the location and obviously it stands to reason that shoppers in more rural areas wouldn’t have this same experience.

However knowing how strategic Amazon are with their fulfilment centres you can bet that large population centres will have access to the Amazon logistics network.

With Amazon being responsible for approximately 40% of all eCommerce sales in the US this makes it even more impressive how they are able to manage the current demand whilst others are folding under the pressure.

Back in the early days when Amazon was not turning a profit, what they were doing was building an incredible network, that covered the entire journey of a product. It was in these early years where the development of fulfilment centres and eventually their own delivery and logistics network which has allowed them today to have full control over their business.

Amazon truly sees itself as the best seller in the world, and in order to maintain that high reputation, they couldn’t risk anyone else interfering with the full experience. So whereas other retailers have to trust the delivery with UPS, FedEx, USPS or another third party, Amazon for the most part now own this experience themselves.

You can get a better perspective of their warehouse operations by taking a look at the video below.

Ultimately it all boils down to control. Amazon learned from the early days that if they wanted to ensure the perfect buying experience, to what was their expectations, they had to have control over the entire ecosystem of the selling/buying journey.

Amazon’s focus on putting the customer first throughout its lifespan has what has led the company to thriving in even troubling situations. The fact that less than a week before Christmas, Amazon is still one of the few retailers that is promising before Christmas delivery means they are the safe haven for those last minute Christmas shoppers, and those still sheltering and avoiding physical stores due to Coronavirus.

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