Another sector conquered: Amazon Logistics is now the UK’s second-largest courier

Reports | Retail | Transport & Distribution
Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.
Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

Amazon Logistics is now the second-largest UK courier and delivery firm ParcelHero says its growth won’t stop here.

Amazon’s rapid climb to become the UK’s second-largest courier should surprise no one. ParcelHero’s 2015 report, Amazon’s Prime Ambition, predicted that the e-commerce giant would become a major logistics company, overtaking many of the most-established UK delivery companies.

ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT, says Amazon is the world’s number one market disruptor and that its ambitious delivery plans are set to expand further – in the UK and worldwide.

“Amazon is the ultimate innovator. It has conquered almost every market it entered, from its beginnings as a bookseller, to electronics, cloud computing and television. Now it is the turn of the delivery market.

“The latest update to Pitney Bowes authoritative Parcel Shipping Index has revealed that Amazon Logistics has snatched a podium position, becoming the second- largest UK carrier by volume. Top came Royal Mail (35%), followed by Amazon Logistics (15%) and then Hermes (10%), UPS (8%) and DHL (7%).

“Together, this new ‘Big Five’ account for 75% of UK parcel shipments by volume. The success of Amazon Logistics is a remarkable result for an operation, launched in 2012 in the UK, that started as something of an experiment. Amazon used Britain as a test bed for developing its own delivery capacity and, at the time, few couriers took the new service seriously. Today, Amazon Logistics – with its own aircraft, chartered ships and delivery operations – has been rolled out worldwide.

“In 2015, we published our in-depth look at the growth of Amazon and predicted that a global roll-out of Amazon’s new logistics service was inevitable, as it would save the company millions in the UK and billions worldwide. At the time, its payments to third-party delivery companies were spiralling, so creating its own delivery network was clearly a sensible, long-term solution.

“It was also clear that, in order to develop its Prime next day and planned same day deliveries, Amazon had to move away from traditional carriers. In 2014, Amazon Logistics held only 3% of the UK parcels market, but it already looked as if it was set to grow exponentially.”

The then-head of Amazon UK, Christopher North, insisted he had no intention of undermining existing parcel delivery companies with his own delivery business.

He declared: “Amazon Logistics is not about replacing a carrier, it is about complementing. It is about expanding the total capacity in the UK for fast delivery.”

Amazon’s Chief Executive Jeff Bezos commented: “There is more innovation to come.”

Jinks concluded: “In Amazon’s Prime Ambition, we predicted that Amazon Logistics would ultimately become a delivery company in its own right. Sure enough, in 2020 the company announced Amazon Shipping in the UK, a new parcel pick-up and delivery service available to any business, whether they use Amazon’s e-commerce platform to sell on or not. Amazon Shipping picks up parcels seven days a week and delivers them to UK customers the next day. At Amazon Logistics’ current rate of growth, how long before even the Post Office starts looking over its shoulder?”

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