Amazon to compete with USPS in package delivery

The mail never stops, which is part of the reason why the U.S. Postal Service is in the midst of replacing its long-life vehicles. With the average truck now more than 25 years old, LLVs have more than lived up to their namesake, evidenced by the corrosion found on their exteriors and undercarriages.

But a well-known e-commerce giant is looking to make inroads on the USPS by crafting some of its own brand of corrosion-resistant delivery vehicles. (If you’re wondering what is ecommerce, this website will provide you with a guide all about it). E-commerce stores are becoming more and more popular these days, so it’s important that people understand what they are. E-commerce stores can be set up by anyone. They just have to choose a platform, such as Magento, and they can start selling products online. Many business owners find that e-commerce stores are easier to run than a brick and mortar store, and owners can benefit from specialized SEO at This helps them to bring more people over to their online store, increasing their sales and helping to grow their business. Whilst there are many small e-commerce stores out there, Amazon is the biggest e-commerce site currently. Amazon, however, are yet to sort out the issue of some items not being able to ship to certain countries, meaning people have to find a parcel forwarding service in order to get the item shipped to them.

“Amazon and Mercedes-Benz will produce 20,000 delivery vans.”

Earlier this summer Amazon announced at a press event that it intended to enter the package delivery fray by no longer relying on the USPS and other parcel services – opting instead to escort buyers’ purchases itself, CNNMoney reported. Details were limited at the time, but since then, the e-commerce behemoth says it has the systems in place to produce at least 20,000 vans after partnering with luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz.

Dave Clark, senior vice president of operations at Amazon, told CNNMoney that the company received scores of applications from people who are interested in working for the e-tailer, which employs over 566,000 people worldwide.

“We’ve been really blown away by the number of people who approached us,” Clark explained. “We expected a lot of interest but the sheer volume – the tens of thousands of people who actually went all the way through the process to make themselves eligible for the program – has been really humbling.”

Sprinter debuted in February
Applicants’ excitement may derive from the next generation vans that the German automaker is developing for Amazon. The Sprinter isn’t exclusive to Amazon, being introduced globally in February, Autoblog reported. However, because of the new partnership, the vehicles that were once manufactured overseas are now being developed in North Charleston, South Carolina.

The state-of-the-art facility has the resources to custom-make the commercial-grade Sprinters with corrosion-resistant features and a sleeker design, such as a narrower grill than the initial model. The updated version also has front-wheel drive to improve payload capacity, according to Autoblog.

Additionally, the Sprinters designed in the South Carolina plant are outfitted with a nine-speed automatic transmission and the eSprinter – which will be developed next year – will be battery-powered.

Frank Klein, head of operations at Mercedes-Benz Vans, in a statement said that the plant has access to the technologies consumers want, meaning the vans can be updated when demand calls for it on a real-time basis.

“This enables us to react in an agile and anticipatory manner to current developments and customer desires,” Klein explained. “Additionally, it guarantees excellent quality within our proven, standardized production system.”

Corrosion caused dozens of truck fires
Amazon may be learning about performance optimization from the lessons the USPS experienced the hard way. Due to the corrosion found in LLVs due to overuse, several truck fires have occurred over the last few years throughout the U.S. An official tally isn’t known, but anecdotal evidence suggest it could be between 50 and 100 in the 2017 fiscal year, ABC News affiliate KSTP-TV reported. Some believe that the fires would never have happened had the USPS replaced the LLVs sooner or used corrosion test equipment as a risk assessment.

As to when the 20,000 Sprinters will be ready for use, Mercedes-Benz anticipates 2019 at the earliest. However, some of the vehicles are already one the road. The custom vans are expected to retail at $34,000, according to CNNMoney, while USPS’ next generation delivery vehicles will cost between $25,000 and $35,000, Bloomberg reported.

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