Amazon has begun shipping products from Chinese merchant partners to its U.S. warehouses via its own ocean freighters.

Amazon used to outsource exclusively.

Question: How long will it be before Amazon has minimal to no staff on self-guided transports?


Supply Chain 247 reports Amazon Enters Trillion Dollar Ocean Freight Business.

Amazon doesn’t want to have to rely on (and pay) third-party delivery companies. It’s already taken control of lorries and planes and now it’s taking control of ships, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Specifically, the Seattle-headquartered ecommerce giant has started handling the shipment of goods from Chinese retailers that sell on its platform to its vast US warehouses.

Previously it left this to global freight-transportation companies.

Since October, Amazon has helped to ship some 150 containers of goods from China to the US, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cites shipping documents collected at ports of entry.

“Amazon has integrated all those services into one basket,” said Steve Ferreira, chief executive of Ocean Audit, in the report.

He noted that, for Amazon, creating this type of shipping service will give it “a lot of strategic value.”

Shipping is a trillion dollar industry, according to MIT Technology Review.

Supply Chain 247 Comment

I appreciate these supply chain articles. In contrast to Bloomberg, Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and essentially all of mainstream media, Supply Chain 247 links to its sources.

If you want to see the MIT review, the link is handy. Much of mainstream media would mention the article but not link to it.

Some of mainstream media would not credit the source at all.

In comparison, Bloomberg Econoday economic reports are a complete joke. Never, and I mean never does Econoday actually link to the BLS, BEA, Commerce, or Census report on which they base their economic commentary.

Question of the Day

With that slam out of the way, here’s my question that once again: How long will it be before Amazon has minimal to no staff on self-guided transports?

Self-guided ships has to be easier than self-driving cars. There will not be collisions. Risk of a cat or a human running out in front of the ship is zero.

There is hijacking risk, much greater than with cars or trucks, simply because help is far away. So, some minimal security crew will be needed, unlike trucking.

Guidance crew and maintenance crew, say goodbye, except perhaps a token person or two.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock