In another idea to find ways to stem its growing shipping costs, Amazon tried to leverage newspaper routes to make deliveries in Chicago this fall, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The experiment, which used Tribune Publishing Co trucks, lasted just a couple of weeks, sources told the Journal. Tax issues involved with hiring the people to add the Amazon duties to their newspaper routes stymied the effort.
But the company hasn’t given up the idea and may try it again in Seattle, or elsewhere.
Of the challenges that Amazon faces, the expense of shipping has become a particular thorn in its side. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company’s shipping costs increased a whopping 28% to $4.6 billion in the first half of the year compared to the same period a year ago.
That has Amazon scrambling to apply the kind of innovation it has to e-commerce—its marketplace, the smooth tech of its website, its customer service, its low prices and huge assortment, its Prime program—to bring efficiencies, speed, and savings to its delivery, a key benefit to its Prime members.
The company has built vast fulfillment centers, separated out sorting centers and built more of those. And it’s experimenting with how to conquer the last mile of delivery, testing delivery with Uber-like contract drivers and now newspaper couriers to lower costs without sacrificing speed.