Should UPS worry about Amazon buying 25,000 vans?

Last week brought the news that Amazon.com had ordered 20,000 delivery vans from Mercedes-Benz. CNN reports that this deal is a big leap from the Seattle-based e-commerce company’s first order of 5,000 vans. Amazon will lease these to third-party partners, who will operate them for last-mile delivery — basically, getting packages from a shipping hub to your house.


This is yet another step in Amazon’s plans to build its own delivery service, and it’s worth watching to see how it will affect United Parcel Service Inc. Amazon also is allowing allow people to use their personal vehicles for delivery in some cities…

…20,000 shipping vans is modest, as Market Realist points out. It notes that UPS has 119,000 vehicles and FedEx has 160,000 vehicles that do last-mile delivery.

And the United States Postal Service has 190,000 vehicles in their total delivery fleet. The sum of those three = 469,000 vehicles. While, Amazon may get some play for its portion of the gig economy popular in current culture, the sum of those two purchases = a little more than five percent of the rolling stock of established carriers.

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