Amazon Expands One-Hour Delivery

Amazon’s one-hour delivery service Prime Now has arrived in “select zip codes” in Miami and Baltimore, the eCommerce giant announced on Thursday (March 19).

Amazon launched the service for its $99-a-year Prime members in New York City in December, with initial deliveries in only a few Manhattan neighborhoods. By mid-February it covered the entire island, and days later Amazon announced it was starting deliveries in some parts of Brooklyn.

That’s the pattern that can be expected in Miami and Baltimore too: Deliveries started in a few neighborhoods on Thursday, and will ramp up to cover additional zip codes in each city in short order. The price for deliveries is the same as in New York — $7.99 for one-hour deliveries, or free for delivery in two hours — but unlike the New York service, where deliveries are available from 6 a.m. to midnight, in the new cities the window is narrowed to 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

And as in New York, all ordering has to be made through a special Prime Now mobile app, which offers a more limited selection of items than the standard Amazon inventory, but does include small items such as paper towels, shampoo, books, toys and batteries.

“Customers in Manhattan and Brooklyn love Prime Now — it means you can skip a trip to the store and get the items you need delivered right to your door in under an hour,” Amazon senior VP of worldwide operations Dave Clark said in a prepared statement. “Since launching, we’ve seen high demand on everything from essentials like water and paper towels to more surprising deliveries like getting a customer a hard-to-find, top-selling toy in 23 minutes — we are excited to continue delivering to customers in record-breaking time.”

Amazon said it plans to keep rolling out the service to more cities over the course of 2015, although it’s not clear how or whether the service will primarily expand out from current cities — for example, from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. — and when Prime Now will finally be available more than a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean.