Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has created a unit dedicated to the home delivery business for heavy goods ordered online, looking to capture share of a fast-growing and increasingly crowded market.
The service, called AMXL Delivery & Transportation, will be designed to deliver, and if necessary, provide such inside-the-home services as carrying the items into the room of choice, installation, assembly and the takeaway of the old item, the e-tailing giant said in an Oct. 2 job description for a program manager of transportation operations. The posting framed the service as a worldwide offering. Amazon has advertised for other positions within the unit over the past six to eight weeks, based on a search of job openings.
In the posting, Amazon promoted the unit as a “fast-paced and quickly growing segment” that needs leaders capable of “bringing new capabilities to our customers for the heavy, bulky business.” The chosen candidate will “work across the AMXL Delivery Services and (third-party) carrier management functions” within the AMXL team, according to the posting. The candidate will also work with Amazon’s less-than-truckload (LTL) transportation team “to ensure consistently superior customer experiences,” the job description said. Amazon did not respond to a request for comment at press time.
Amazon customers can order heavy goods online. However, the company had not developed a dedicated unit to fulfill and deliver those types of products. XPO Logistics Inc. (NYSE:XPO), the acknowledged leader in heavy-goods home deliveries, has long anticipated that Amazon would move into the category. XPO was unavailable to comment at press time.
Heavy-goods deliveries have been growing rapidly in the past few years, though its revenue pales in comparison to the parcel-delivery category. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated demand for heavy-goods deliveries as more consumers spend more on items such as exercise equipment, furniture and other items to enhance their at-home experience.
According to data from consultancy ShipMatrix, heavy-goods delivery revenue in the U.S. will hit $11.8 billion in 2020, an 18% growth rate over 2019 levels.
J.B. Hunt Transportation Services Inc. (NASDAQ:JBHT) and FedEx Freight, the LTL unit of FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX), are just two of the carriers from across the trucking spectrum that have entered the heavy-goods market for online orders. Virtually every asset-based carrier has at least considered a jump into the segment, lured by the prospects of double-digit growth. Unlike residential parcel delivery, which is dominated by four companies — FedEx, UPS, Amazon and the U.S. Postal Service — the heavy-goods delivery segment is extremely fragmented and far less mature.
However, the segment has been a relatively tough nut to crack for most providers. LTL and truckload carriers accustomed to business-to-business deliveries with fixed routes now must restructure their networks, or in the case of Hunt, create a dedicated last-mile network. In addition, drivers accustomed to “bumping docks” need to be trained to enter homes with heavy and bulky items, interact professionally with homeowners and ensure a seamless and damage-free experience in setting up and assembling often expensive items.
Separately, Amazon disclosed that subscribers to its Prime ordering and delivery service can get same-day deliveries during the holiday season without a minimum purchase. U.S. customers can also pick up their holiday orders from any Amazon retail store, according to the company.