Many of have seen UPS delivery trucks forging through flooded streets, and most of us have seen what happens when a FedEx freight plane tries too hard to reach its destination and ends up crashing near a deserted island. Amazon is giving true creed to the phrase “planes, trains, and automobiles” by hitching a ride on the New York City subway to shorten the delivery times on its same-day delivery services, the Financial Times reports.
Amazon has been rolling out its Prime Now service in a number of test cites comprised of Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, New York, Baltimore, and Miami. The idea behind Prime Now is that customers will receive their packages within a very tenacious one-hour window. Now, a city as sprawling as New York City, which is known to the world round for its angry taxi drivers fighting its even more maddening traffic, would surely be a crazy place to try one-hour delivery times from storage facilities. Amazon, however, not to be deterred, has looked to the NYC subway for help.
Amazon has begun using pushcarts in the subway to get its Prime Now deliveries out as quickly as possible. Among the items sold via Prime Now are a lot of household usuals like cat food, soap, and shampoo. Some of these deliveries are promised within the hour for as little as $8 per hour. Driving in NYC isn’t always efficient, so Amazon decided to use the subway system — just like every other New Yorker.
“In Manhattan, our folks bike, walk or use public transportation,” Amazon reasoned. “They only drive if the item is large like a flat screen TV.”
As exciting as subway riding with cat food might be, this is hopefully only a precursor to the true future of instant delivery. Amazon has been experimenting with drones to deliver packages to nearby customers, which may prove even more efficient. As any New Yorker will tell you, the subway system isn’t much more efficient than a taxi sometimes.