Amazon is suspending its shipping service because it needs those workers for more pressing tasks, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Tuesday (April 7).
A competitor to UPS and FedEx, Amazon Shipping rolled out in beta in London and Los Angeles, but due to staff shortages triggered by the pandemic, the eCommerce giant is pausing the service to use those workers elsewhere.
The service delivered packages directly from businesses to consumers, sidestepping Amazon warehouses.
“We understand this is a change to your business, and we did not take this decision lightly,” Amazon said in a note to shippers reviewed by the WSJ. “We will work with you over the next several weeks so there is as little disruption to your business as possible.”
A source told the WSJ that Amazon needs those workers to help with more pressing tasks as the country battles the coronavirus. The company recently said it will hire 100,000 warehouse workers to meet shipping demand for goods deemed essential.
Demand for home deliveries has been nonstop for FedEx and UPS as most of the world remains on lockdown to contain COVID-19. Delivery services are also stretched by having to contend with virus-related safety precautions, protective gear, and less help as some employees test positive for coronavirus.
FedEx told the WSJ that it is in good shape to manage the increased workload and safety measures. “We are continuing to work with our small business customers during this time to support their growth,” a FedEx spokeswoman said.
FedEx and UPS have said that the pandemic might affect the shipment of products and potentially impact their Q1 results. FedEx said it keeps running flights in and out of impacted countries, however, limitations on travel could hold up some shipments.
More than 1.4 million people have contracted the coronavirus across the globe as of early morning on Wednesday (April 8). In the U.S. alone, there are almost 400,000 cases.