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Amazon may be expanding driver model to Europe

Company looks to partner with would-be driver contractors in 5 countries, The Information reports

Amazon may soon expand its small driver contractor program to Europe (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves) 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.

Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.