French shipping exec on Amazon: 'It is in the process of becoming our largest competitor'

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Jeff Bezos

Michael Seto/Business Insider

Amazon has been rumored to be stepping into the global parcel delivery space for some time now by lauching its own in-house logistics service.

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Amazon does some local shipping on its own, but most of the deliveries are done through third party services, like UPS or FedEx. That means third party shippers could potentially lose one of its biggest customers, if Amazon does end up launching its own delivery service.

While we still don't know what exactly Amazon has in mind, at least one of its shipping partners is saying the writing on the wall is clear.

"Amazon is our biggest customer. It is in the process of becoming our largest competitor," said Philippe Wahl, the CEO of the French government-owned parcel company La Poste, according to French English newspaper The Connexion.

Wahl's comment was made in response to a question about Amazon's rumored acquisition of Colis Privé, a French private parcel delivery company. Amazon already owns 25% of Colis Privé, but some reports said it's in the final stages of buying the company's remaining 75% stake. If the deal goes through, it'll be the first major sign that Amazon is indeed getting into the delivery market.

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Some analysts believe Amazon has much broader ambitions. Baird Equity Research analyst Colin Sebastian says Amazon's shipping service will start with its own deliveries, but will likely expand to other companies, getting itself into the $400 billion delivery and logistics market.

"They will start small, mostly to add capacity for their own business, but then, over time, as they gain more expertise, they will offer extra capacity to other companies," Sebastian told us.

When Amazon's Olsavsky was asked about its logistics plan during earnings call, he simply shrugged it off as a complementary service, saying it's intended to supplement, not replace, existing delivery companies.

"What we found in order to properly serve our customers at peak, we've needed to add more of our own logistics to supplement our existing partners. That's not meant to replace them," Olsavsky said.

Despite the assurance, there are still a lot of indications that point to the other direction. For one, Amazon has started to call itself a "transportation service provider" for the first time in its latest annual report filed last month.

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Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

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