Amazon ‘On My Way’ Lets Regular Joes Deliver Your Expensive Packages

Amazon has been obsessed with figuring out ways to get packages into the hands of its customers at a faster pace, hence services like Amazon Prime that offer free two-day shipping on millions of items and the rollout of same-day delivery in select areas. However, Amazon's next initiative may be more focused on saving the company money as delivery costs skyrocket.

The reported service is known internally as "On My Way." Specific details are lacking, mainly because it's a concept at the moment and there's a lot that still needs to be figured out, but it would rely on regular people to delivery packages. They would be paid, of course, just like Uber drivers are compensated for trucking passengers to and fro. But they wouldn't be employees of professional delivery services like UPS or FedEx.

Amazon Box

Amazon's shipping costs jumped a gut punching 31 percent last year, a rate that outpaced the company's revenue growth. That's the reason why Amazon is even bouncing around the idea of using regular people to deliver packages, even if it seems like an absurdly bad idea on multiple levels. At the very least, it's a challenging one.

One of the hurdles Amazon would have to clear is figuring out how to vet delivery drivers. When you start relying on regular folk to do your bidding, you run the risk of inviting unsavory characters into your business. For example, a scammer could run off with a pricey package instead of delivering it, or even worse, commit a crime against the person who opens the door. That's a risk with professional delivery services too, but it's a far reduced one thanks to the interview process, background checks, and the driver making a living rather than just a few extra bucks.

The challenge doesn't stop there. Apparently Amazon would need the help of local retailers, which would hold the packages until a driver picks them up. Given that Amazon is a major competitor to the brick and mortar scene, it's not known how many local shops would be gung ho to give the online store a helping hand.

This isn't the first time Amazon has crowdsourced its package delivery. In 2014, the e-commerce giant paid cab and Uber drivers around $5 per package to make deliveries in San Francisco. It was a small experiment and nothing ever came of it.