Amazon.com Inc. plans to expand its driver contractor model to Europe, according to a published report on Thursday.
The Information reported that, under a program called Amazon Freight Partner, the Seattle-based e-tailer will collaborate with small trucking companies in five countries — Germany, Spain, Poland, France and Italy — and train them to haul goods exclusively for Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN). The goal is for Amazon to join with hundreds of would-be entrepreneurs in those countries, according to The Information, which said the expanded program could be rolled out by the end of this year.
Amazon has operated European ground delivery services primarily with larger contractors, starting with its U.K. operations. In 2019, Amazon launched ground delivery services in Germany with its own fleet of drivers.
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.
The program, if it comes to fruition, would mirror the company’s Delivery Service Partner (DSP) initative in the U.S. that was launched in 2018. Under that program, Amazon provides seed money and other up-front benefits to would-be entrepreneurs to form small delivery businesses and work as partners with Amazon. The delivery partners would be responsible for meeting Amazon’s delivery timetables and vetting, scheduling, hiring and firing drivers.
Amazon does not employ any delivery drivers in the U.S.