Amazon launches delivery service for entrepreneurs

Amazon launches delivery service for entrepreneurs

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Amazon now wants trucks with its logo that are owned by small businesses to bring packages to customers’ door.

The news comes days after Channel 9 reported that an Amazon distribution center in Charlotte will bring 1,500 new jobs to the area.

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Eyewitness News anchor Blaine Tolison spoke with company leaders about how the deliveries will work.

Tolison found out Amazon is already testing the delivery service in Charlotte, but company leaders said the project is about to get much bigger.

Companies such as UPS Inc. do most of the heavy lifting for Amazon, and the U.S. Postal Service makes 40 percent of Amazon's deliveries.

The world's largest online retailer now says it is looking to let small businesses handle the load.

Udit Madan, with Amazon, spoke to Tolison from the company's headquarters in Seattle about the impact to the Carolinas.

"These businesses will, in turn, create tens of thousands of delivery jobs across the U.S," Madan said.

The company is already building a facility in Charlotte to support delivery service partners.

Madan couldn't say if a new distribution center on 108 acres near the Charlotte Douglas International Airport is part of the plan but he said Amazon is looking for candidates there.

"Entrepreneurs can start their business for as little as $10,000 in annual profit, offering a fleet size of about 40 vehicles," Udit said.

Business owners can start with five vans and drivers sporting Amazon logos.

Channel 9 has already seen the vans in south Charlotte and the Lake Norman area.

Although they're not Amazon employees, Madan said, owners and drivers will be held to high standards.

"They, along with their drivers, will be thoroughly vetted,” Udit said. “They'll go through a multistate background check, as well as comprehensive motor record reviews."

If everything checks out, Amazon said, a business owner can grow to 40 vans and 100 employees and could earn $300,000 a year.

Amazon is taking applications for delivery.

Amazon said it's committing $1 million in startup costs for military veterans and would offer $10,000 reimbursements for qualified candidates to build their own businesses.

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