Amazon has long downplayed its delivery ambitions, claiming its own shipping and delivery services are only intended to "supplement" existing partners such as UPS and FedEx.
Now, Amazon is making it clear that it's competing with those companies, as it added "transportation and logistics services" to its group of competitors for the first time in its annual filing last week. Here's the section of its filing under "Risk Factors" (emphasis added):
"Our businesses are rapidly evolving and intensely competitive, and we have many competitors in different industries, including physical, e-commerce, and omnichannel retail, e-commerce services, digital content and electronic devices, web and infrastructure computing services, and transportation and logistics services, and across geographies, including cross-border competition."
The Risk Factors statement in its September 2018 quarterly report was identical except for the bold-faced words. The company did not mention transportation and logistics services under Risk Factors in its 2017 annual report, either, although it did mention "companies that provide fulfillment and logistics services for themselves or for third parties" under "Competition" in last year's report.
The new language suggests the importance of Amazon's growing shipping and delivery services, and that it should be considered a more serious competitor to bigger logistics players such as FedEx and UPS. The change follows Amazon's disclosure to call itself a "transportation service provider" for the first time in 2016.
In recent years, Amazon has significantly expanded its logistics footprint. It has leased dozens of aircraft and thousands of trucks to handle parts of its massive amount of shipments. It's also delivered more packages through independent contractors and new initiatives such as Amazon Flex, which depends on hourly drivers.