With the goal of shortening its two-day shipping guarantee for Prime members down to just one day, Amazon is now offering its employees money to quit their jobs and start up their own package delivery businesses.
Amazon said in a press release Monday it was expanding its Delivery Service Partner program in the United States, Spain and the United Kingdom "with a new incentive for current employees to start a small business owning and operating a package delivery company".
TIME reports that the program started past year and it's part of the company's plan to launch an independent Amazon delivery business.
According to Dave Clark, Amazon's senior vice president of worldwide operations, many Amazon employees have expressed interest in being business owners but were deterred by the financial uncertainties surrounding the shift to self-employment status.
Amazon offers up to $10,000 to join the program.
Since a year ago, some 200 people have begun Amazon delivery start-ups, and the company said it expects "hundreds" more with the added incentives, available in the United States, Britain and Spain. The company said it will also pay them three months' worth of their salary.
The offer is open to most part-time and full-time Amazon employees, including warehouse workers who pack and ship orders.
The expansion is part of the company's plan to gain more control over its deliveries rather than rely on UPS, the post office and other carriers. It includes hands-on training, on-demand support, Amazon's existing delivery technology, access to leased Amazon Prime-branded delivery vans, and discounts on fuel costs, insurance cover, and branded uniforms for delivery personnel to wear.
Still, Schlactus also said there's never been a better time to be a delivery driver or operate a delivery business. He started the business in Atlanta, Georgia about eight months ago. His company now has 120 employees, a fleet of 50 delivery vans, and makes up to 200 deliveries a day. "We expect the efficiency savings will be re-invested in new services for customers, where new jobs will continue to be created".
"We're ready", Collier said.
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