Amazon Is Making An App To Connect Drivers To Packages In Need Of Delivery

Amazon is reportedly working on an app that will match truck drivers with shippers to help deliver packages faster, according to a report from Business Insider.

According to the report, which cites an unnamed source that Business Insider qualifies as having direct knowledge of the matter, the app is expected to make it easier for drivers to find people with packages that need to be moved in a fashion similar to how Uber connects drivers with riders.

The app will reportedly display real-time pricing, plus driving directions and recommendations for for truck stops and personalized routes that includes truck stops and loads for pickup and drop off. The report also speculates the app might display tracking information and payment options to expedite the shipping process.

Amazon has long been rumored to be interested in developing a crowdsourced approach to shipping, but the rumored app would be its biggest move into the field, which is largely dominated by third-party companies that often charge commissions of up to 15 percent for acting as middlemen in the process.

Prior to the report of the app, Amazon had already put a significant amount of investment into extending its delivery infrastructure. The company purchased thousands trailer trucks and several dozen of cargo planes to help serve the delivery process.

The company also began testing last year on a last leg delivery service called Amazon Flex. The service also drew on Uber’s model to connect packages in need of delivery to people available to take the shipment from a storage center to the buyer’s doorstep.

According to Trucker Path, a startup in the trucking industry, truck driving is the most common job in 29 states in the U.S. but many companies in the field are small businesses, maintaining just six or fewer trucks in their fleet. Amazon’s app could be a unifying force for those businesses and others interested in entering the space.

The ecommerce giant plans to ramp up development on the app, according to the report, with a team of more than 100 engineers working out of the company’s Minneapolis office focused on the effort. The app is expected to arrive come the summer of 2017.

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