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The Associated Press reports that Amazon has placed an order for 20,000 vans - all of which will be built at a Mercedes Benz plant in South Carolina - that will be used in its new delivery program.

That program, announced earlier this summer, will actually help outside contractors build their own delivery businesses, giving them access to Amazon’s technology, training, and affordable leases on vehicles and equipment.

The goal of the program is to give Amazon greater control over the delivery function, and make it less reliant on companies such as FedEx, UPS and the US Postal Service.

The AP writes that Amazon says that "tens of thousands" of people have applied to be part of the program - enough to prompt it to increase its initial van order of 4,500.
KC's View:
And speaking of investments…

This is such an interesting way to go about getting more control over the delivery process. Amazon creates the system, but empowers outside contractors to put it into motion … and while they’ll be delivering Amazon items exclusively in the beginning, it isn’t hard to imagine that eventually they’ll be competing with those other delivery companies … but always as part of Amazon’s ecosystem.