Amazon-logistics

What’s the Deal with Amazon Logistics?

Since 2005, Amazon has been delivering products to its customers by way of its own logistics service appropriately named: Amazon Logistics. The service began as a pilot program more than 10 years ago in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City, but has now expanded to San Diego, San Jose, Oakland, Seattle, Chicago, Dallas, Austin, Phoenix and Philadelphia. With the goal to improve shopper satisfaction and reduce shipping time, Amazon may be falling short of the former.

How Amazon Logistics Works

Amazon Logistics claims to complement established logistics providers—USPS, UPS and FedEx—not replace them. Meaning, the service is there to provide shoppers with an alternative same-day delivery shipping option. The program, however, is only available within Amazon’s designated service areas. Same-day-delivery perks are available for Prime members but non-members can reap the benefits for an added cost. Deliveries are made seven days a week, throughout the day and include early mornings and late evenings, which is ideal for packages that require a signature.

Delivery drivers are treated like third-party service providers who are contracted through Amazon. There is no cost to join the program but Amazon has three basic requirements each company must meet to be considered a delivery provider. They are:

  1. A company must be an established last-mile business. Meaning the provider is fully licensed and has commercial and automotive insurance, workers’ comp and Cargo Legal Liability.
  2. A company must have trained and experienced drivers with documented driver safety policies, procedures and training.
  3. A company must have professional cargo vehicles—meaning at least 5 cargo vans/trucks that can hold at least 200 cubic feet of goods.

Shipments from Amazon Logistics appear in tracking as AMZL_US. Deliveries with this designation are sent to a specific sorting center where contracted companies pick up packages at a nearby facility and deliver the goods to shoppers’ doors. Amazon provides drivers with a mobile application and software they can use to plan, receive route guidance and handle customer service.

What Amazon Logistics Means for Third-Party Sellers

As you know, Amazon is a customer-first company, which means the benefits of Amazon Logistics weren’t intended for third-party sellers. Since Amazon Logistics relies on third-party providers, the level of service offered varies from one provider to another. Whereas, logistics provided by FedEx, UPS and USPS have a standard of service most shoppers are familiar with and expect. But the Amazon Logistics delivery experience can be hit or miss, which is why this service can be problematic for third-party sellers. Shoppers’ experiences with Logistics have been a mixed bag, ranging from over-the-top service to extremely unsatisfactory service.

Whether sellers like it or not, Amazon Logistics is here to stay. The direct-delivery service delivered a little more than 1% of all packages in 2014. It may seem minuscule compared to USPS at 38%, UPS at 32.5%, and FedEx at 7.46% of Amazon package deliveries for the same time period, but it still makes up millions of packages. AMZL_US is comprised of Amazon Lockers, Fresh, Flex, and Prime Air, which are all growing platforms—so this number will be on the rise.

Possible Negative Implications for Sellers

The Seller Feedback score is a massive component of a third-party sellers’ success on Amazon. It contributes into winning the Buy Box and shaping a shopper’s opinion of a seller when faced with multiple options where price isn’t a concern. Mishandled and damaged packages can result in negative seller feedback. Fortunately for third-party merchants using FBA—or those who use Seller-Fulfilled Prime—Amazon will handle customer support and item replacement if a package is lost or damaged. And Amazon’s A-to-z Guarantee Claim protects shoppers who purchase from third-party merchants who fulfill their own products.

Unfortunately, a shopper is more inclined to share negative experiences than positive ones based on frustration and anger. And sellers can’t choose which logistics providers they want to ship their goods. So what is a seller to do?

Sellers Need to Be Proactive

I know this has been said ad nauseum but it’s still important: sellers need to message every shopper at least once. Sellers can mitigate negative feedback and product reviews by simply following up with shoppers. An automated Amazon buyer-seller messaging system is the best way to accomplish this. In the case of mitigating risk due to a negative shipping experience because of Amazon Logistics, requesting seller feedback is the best approach. Here are some effective tips to get quality seller feedback.

  • Time your messages effectively. You don’t want your seller feedback message arriving too early or too late. Sending a message when a package has been marked as delivered is the best time because the delivery is most likely at the top of the shopper’s mind.

Amazon Logistics does not give sellers an exact time of delivery. Sellers must use the estimated delivery time to target messages, which is usually within an hour or two of what Amazon projects.

  • Give shoppers options. Give the shopper multiple ways to contact you in case there is a problem and to provide a channel to leave seller feedback. Give them a link so they can contact you through Amazon, a link to your Amazon store, a package tracking link, a feedback link and an excellent feedback link.
  • Have a single call to action. Calls to action are traditionally located at the bottom of messages, but if you want to skip to the top, add your CTA at the beginning of your message. These kinds of messages are typically designed to receive 5-star seller feedback the quickest way possible.

You can send messages manually through Seller Central’s buyer-seller messaging system, or you can use Feedback Genius to automate all of your messages.

Takeaway

Amazon Logistics is growing every month; we believe the service now delivers approximately 2% of all Amazon packages. Sellers need to utilize every tool available to help them succeed in the ever-changing Amazon marketplace. Proactively messaging shoppers and asking for their feedback and opinions is crucial for succeeding on Amazon.

Take control of your Amazon reputation with Feedback Genius. Try it for free for 30 days, no credit required.

Cory Checketts

Cory is the content marketing manager at Seller Labs. He has more than five years of experience doing strategic communications and professional writing. When he’s not writing he’s getting dropped off the back of amateur cycling pelotons or yammering incessantly about Porsche 911s.

  • Proteus72

    AMZL_US Is a joke! I have had dozens of packages delivered to a mailroom that UPS, FedEx, and USPS never had problems with. These jokers could seem to figure out when the place is open…for the last 3x they tried to deliver it! If only the hours where posted in plain sight, oh wait they are! What a pathetic roll out of a service. I hope they hold the person responsible for this mess accountable – I intent to. I’m not ordering another thing from them until I buy $645.50 (10x the price of my order) from other online retailers that I would have normally ordered from Amazon. When I called customer service about this they didn’t volunteer the info that it was their in house attempt as a delivery service – no wonder with the amount of bad comments on the forums.

    • Cory Checketts

      It seems there are more sellers and buyers unhappy with AMZL_US than there are those who are happy. Not to mention how it complicates automated buyer-seller messaging. Unfortunately, sellers can’t select their preferred shipping service. Your complaints are echoed across the web.

      Thanks for reading.

      • OUIJA WONDER

        I just had a major issue with Amazon Logistics. Order a lot with Prime & never had an issue until yesterday. Waiting for my order, 2 items, to arrive I checked email as normal. Email from Amazon stated that my address can’t be located. Been here almost 20 years. I had to have them call me. I get the call in 5 mins and surprise I get someone in India. She has no idea and xfers me to another person in India with no clue. She xfers me back to Amazon. By now I’m hopping mad. She said it’s not my address but someone put my stuff on the wrong truck headed to a Tampa station. I asked when will it be delivered as I needed it right away. Guess what I’m not getting b/c someone sent it back to where ever it came from. Absolutely unacceptable. Amazon screwed it up so instead of trying to get the order to me they just sent it back. I’m still so mad too. Horrible customer service, no apology or try to rectify it. Then they want to refund me via gift card..that was not happening. Just had to vent on this. Wow they need to seriously rethink this delivery system.

        • Cory Checketts

          Thanks for reading and for the comment.

          Sorry to hear you had such a horrible experience with Amazon Logistics. The program is a bit of a loose canon in terms of it working or not. Many shoppers have expressed similar frustrations with the program. Let’s hope Amazon can figure it out or kill it altogether.

  • Hunter

    Amazon Logistics is worse than a joke and they’ve gotten worse in recent months. The last three or four deliveries by AMZL have taken at least three, sometimes four days to get to me. I pay for Prime and I expect my deliveries in two business days. Yesterday I called to complain about a late order and the CSR put me together with a rep at AMZL who apologized and swore that my package was right there and that they’d have it to me by five o’clock that day. Well, they didn’t; I’m still waiting. So not only are they incompetent, now they’re liars. They’re also too lazy to deliver some packages to your door. They left one of mine in my building’s mail area, which is open to to anyone to come in and steal anything that might be loose. Incompetent and unprofessional.

  • Cindy Christensen Mogensen

    I’ve had 5 packages delivered by AMAZON Logistics. Only one was actually delivered the day they said it was due to be delivered. I contacted Amazon and they don’t really seem to care. I order hundreds of orders per year and have a prime membership. I think that I deserve better service than that! This is one thing that Amazon is not getting right. Time for them to give it up!!

  • Yaroslav Czykalovsky

    gotta love it when AMZL delivers to the “mailroom” at your address. I think this is the independent couriers’ catch-all category actually meaning that they didn’t find the address, they just didn’t feel like delivering anything that day, or they just randomly dropped some stuff off who knows where!