Amazon may be taking a new approach to keep its rising shipping costs under control.
As Reuters reported Tuesday (Feb. 9), the eCommerce giant is looking to broaden its logistics operations in China, which are outlined in filings that include plans for handling cargo and customs for products being shipped to Europe, Japan and the U.S.
While a company spokesperson declined to provide a comment to Reuters on the matter, analysts see the move as a potential step towards Amazon providing shipping services for other companies as well.
This could potentially put it in direct competition with the likes of FedEx, UPS and DHL Worldwide Express.
In the documents Amazon filed with Chinese regulators, the company registered its Chinese subsidiary, Beijing Century Joyo Courier Service, as a freight forwarder, Reuters said.
While a freight forwarder would typically not own any ships, it can still export cargo out of the country and handle customs and other documentation. Beijing Century Joyo Courier Service reportedly submitted a similar application back in November with the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission.
Amazon also filed an application to serve as a shipping broker for numerous trade routes with the Shanghai Shipping Exchange, including Shanghai to Los Angeles and Shanghai to Hamburg, Germany.
“These are major gateway ports,” John Manners-Bell, head of logistics analysis firm Transport Intelligence, told Reuters. “They appear to be laying the foundation for a large forwarding operation.”
Amazon filing papers in China is just the latest news in the ongoing updates about the company’s ambitions to launch its own logistics network, which have slowly leaked out over much of the past year.
Via whispers of drones, planes and ships — and even remarks during Amazon’s earnings calls with analysts — the eCommerce juggernaut has made it clear that it wants to rely less on third-party companies, like UPS, and instead invest more into building its own shipping empire.