Amazon.com is quietly inviting drivers for its new "on-demand" delivery service to handle its standard packages, as the online retailer known for low prices and razor-thin profit margins looks to speed up delivery times and tamp down its growing multi-billion dollar logistics bill.
The move, which has not been announced publicly, is the latest sign that the world's biggest e-commerce company wants to control more of its own deliveries.
Media reports have said the company plans to lease its own fleet of jets, and CEO Jeff Bezos eventually wants to use drones to get packages to customers.
Amazon outlined details of its latest plan over the last few weeks in an email to contract drivers who deliver parcels for Amazon Flex, a program launched last year to handle speedy deliveries of common household goods to customers using Prime Now, a mobile app that comes with Amazon's popular $99-a-year Prime membership. They are not Amazon employees.
If the gambit works, industry analysts said it could help Amazon contain its shipping costs, which grew more than 18 percent to $11.5 billion last year.