Amazon considering turning customers into couriers

According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is working on a mobile app internally that would pay consumers to pick up their packages at various retail locations and deliver them to their final destination.

The project, tentatively titled “On My Way,” would join several firms utilizing crowdsourcing to deliver packages and follow a model similar to what Uber and Instacart are currently testing.

According to the article, Amazon would contract with brick-and-mortar retailers in urban areas to store the packages, either renting space from them or paying a per-package fee. The service could give Amazon more control over the shopping experience and help contain shipping costs.

The Journal reports that Amazon’s shipping costs jumped 31% last year, while sales only grew 19.5 percent. While they could save costs through freelance delivery, this idea faces serious logistical, legal, and business partnership challenges.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal.