Amazon has sailed into the shipping world, with the online retail giant already successfully shipping at least 150 containers of goods on cargo ships over the last four months.
The company aren’t actually operating their own ships though. Instead, they are reserving space on containerships on the behalf of clients. Goods are then transported between ports and warehouses. According to the Wall Street Journal, the deliveries thus far have been to U.S. warehouses from Chinese merchants selling on the site.
Amazon previously had signed documentation to officially allow the overseeing of ocean transportation. This was a step towards allowing the company to serve as an intermediary for suppliers shipping merchandise in or out of the U.S.
Commenting on the expansion, Steve Ferreria, Chief Executive of Ocean Audit said “Amazon has integrated all those services into one basket”. Ferreria went on to say that having a comprehensive shipping scheme like this “offers a lot of strategic value”.
This move to ocean freight-forwarding is in line with Amazon’s lofty ambitions to expand its logistics and shipping in all areas. The company have leased cargo jets, bought semi-trailers and their intentions for a drone delivery service are well known. Essentially, Amazon wants to own as much of the logistics chain as possible so that they can cut down third party costs as well as improve efficiency.
This news comes after Amazon’s online competitor Alibaba, signed a deal with shipping line giant Maersk to allow the booking of space on vessels.