Amazon is launching a new shipping service and hiring thousands of drivers, with a warning against 'peeing in bottles'
- Amazon is hiring its own fleet of full-time drivers to deliver packages to Prime customers.
- Amazon will manage these drivers directly, meaning the company will set their wages, provide them with delivery vehicles, and schedule their routes.
- Amazon has previously relied on delivery services provided by UPS, FedEx, and USPS, as well as contractors employed through its Flex delivery program and third-party courier companies called Delivery Service Partners.
- At a recent Amazon training for the new program, drivers were told "they didn't want people peeing in bottles," a source told Business Insider.
Amazon is launching a new last-mile shipping service this holiday season.
For the first time, the company is planning to hire and manage thousands of full-time drivers to transport packages to customers from Amazon delivery outposts across the US, the company confirmed to Business Insider on Monday.
Amazon will manage these drivers directly, meaning the company will set their wages, provide them with delivery vehicles, and schedule their routes. The drivers are seasonal, but will have the option to apply to continue their employment with Amazon following the holiday season.
"Seasonal employees have long been utilized to supplement capacity during peak shopping periods," an Amazon spokeswoman said. "This holiday, thousands of full-time, seasonal Delivery Associates will deliver to customers during the busy retail shopping season."
In the past, instead of hiring its own drivers, Amazon has relied on delivery services provided by UPS, FedEx, and USPS, as well as contractors employed through its Flex delivery program and third-party courier companies called Delivery Service Partners.
The company's move to hire its own drivers follows a recent push to expand its network of Delivery Service Providers. Amazon has been trying to grow its delivery options as the company's shipping costs explode, nearly doubling between 2015 and 2016 to $21.7 billion.
The new delivery roles could create some competition between Amazon and its own contracted Delivery Service Providers, however.
Drivers employed by Amazon will qualify for the retailer's recently-implemented $15 minimum hourly wage - unlike drivers employed by its Delivery Service Partners.
Job postings for the new Amazon delivery jobs advertise hourly wages of $16.25 per hour to $17.25 per hour.
This could put some pressure on Amazon's Delivery Service Partners to raise their own wages to at least $15 per hour.
Amazon also appears to be trying to create a more reasonable working environment for its own drivers.
At a recent training last week for new hires of the delivery program, an Amazon manager addressed Business Insider's reports of Amazon-affiliated drivers urinating in bottles and skipping breaks on their delivery routes, according to an attendee of the training who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution.
"They said they didn't want people peeing in bottles," this person said. "They also said that people weren't taking lunch breaks, and they said we have to take those."
Work shifts could still be strenuous and long, however, with the potential to last up to 12 hours, according to job postings for the new roles.
"Under tight deadlines, drives a delivery van up to 10,000 pounds to many customer residences and businesses, climbs in and out of van, and walks up and down stairs as required to deliver packages according to established procedures in all weather conditions," reads a job description for Amazon's new delivery role. "Ability to lift, bend, reach above the head, kneel, crouch, and/or stretch during shifts up to 12 hours long."
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