There’s no denying it: Amazon has grown, and it’s grown quickly.
Last year, Amazon’s annual revenue hit $107 billion. Compare that to 2010, when it was $34 billion. In that same time period, the number of employees grew from just under 34,000 to almost 300,000.
As for units, check this out: Amazon is expected to sell 7.2 billion items this year, and by 2020, that number is expected to grow to almost 13 billion items.
Across the world, Amazon has had an impact on consumers receiving goods at a faster rate. In India, some speculate that Amazon has displaced Flipkart in the retail space. It expanded food delivery service in Houston and opened a brick-and-mortar store in Chicago. And Amazon seems to be driving into the car-purchasing market.
It’s clear customers want those items on their doorsteps quickly. So, those items need to be transported, and that piece of Amazon is a hefty one. Last year, Amazon spent just under $12 billion on shipping. Analysts said that’s double over last year’s shipping spend.
Amazon’s Prime service has been popular — for good reason. And the company just launched a new delivery service — Prime Air, which allows for more items to be shipped faster. Consumers in cities across the country and world can have these items delivered when they want — as quickly as in a hour or expedited one- or two-day shipping. How it does it may seem remarkable, but Amazon is employing a boat load of resources, with the help of FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, has said that the company is not trying to put these potential competitors out of business but rather add them to its network.
Trains, planes and automobiles — these shipments are moving fast in a vast number of ways. This year alone, Amazon leased about two dozen jets from Atlas Air and about the same amount of Boeing 767s from Air Transport Services Group. About 4,000 truck trailers were added to Amazon’s fleet, as it opened about 60 delivery stations and 30 sorting facilities. In China, Amazon secured a license allowing it to sell space on container ships heading between Asia, Europe and the States.
Some analysts argue that Amazon’s shipping practices may develop into an entirely separate business, which, if it would happen, wouldn’t be for at least a decade. They go on to say that this evolution could be a rough change for FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service, the latter of which is increasing rates this December.