Amazon.com Inc. is, in fact, pushing to recruit big-rig contractors to haul goods across its warehouses which is colliding with a trucker shortage. Therefore, the e-commerce company is moving what is expected to be record numbers of packages this holiday season.
Amazon Freight Partners
The Amazon Freight Partners (AFP), its project, will enlist the independent trucking companies to move the goods between the Amazon facilities. Therefore, the companies, or AFP’s, are exclusive contractors, who also move the packages to and from the company’s fleet of 85 owned or leased North American airplanes.
Amazon has, in fact, recruited 250 AFP’s around the globe since 2019. Therefore, it has made it possible for the companies “to start and then scale their own transportation businesses and then go on to create job opportunities for thousands of the drivers,” an Amazon spokeswoman said.
Amazon: Shopper’s Packages
There are separate from the army of home-delivery contractors that do drop packages on shoppers’ doorsteps. That is the trucking network. Then put small AFP’s in tough competition for drivers against Walmart Inc and the United Parcel Service Inc.
Driver Shortage and Good Drivers are Needed, too
“There is a shortage of drivers in general, additionally for the good drivers,” said Ebony McKinley. McKinley is the owner of family-run Seven Strong Trucking. This firm was among the first to join the AFP program. It was in April 2020. Moreover, it now does have 20 Amazon-branded semi-truck tractors as part of AFP. It also employs 45 drivers.
The logistics unit of Amazon has bought 1,395 Amazon=branded big-rig tractors to pull the trailers of the goods in the United States, according to Department of Transportation data. Then Fill seats in those vehicles do fall primarily to independent contractors like McKinley. It is at a time when the industry has a record shortfall of 80,000 big-rig drivers. “Moreover, everybody is going to feel the heat,” she said.