E-Commerce

Amazon IS Santa Claus

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Illustration by Clara Kirkpatrick

The decades-long process of Amazon taking over consumer products sales continues this holiday season with the company’s dominance achieving daunting levels. The online retailer expects its peak volume this year to be 10% greater than last year, and its fourth quarter revenue is expected by analysts to be around $44.7 billion, a full 25% more than last year.

Amazon added 120,000 seasonal employees just in the U.S., and as the Wall Street Journal reports, has developed touch-screen and other tools to train them in as little as two days. The company added 18 warehouse/delivery locations just in the third quarter, more than it created in all of 2015. It now has five fulfillment centers in New Jersey alone, including a new 600,000-square-foot facility just to “serve customers in the greater Trenton area.”

The company now owns thousands of its own branded truck trailers, has leased at least 40 full-size jets to fly purchases around the country, and is rumored to be building a full-fledged software system to match buyers and outside shippers. In creating its own full-service logistics service, Amazon is in effect competing with Fedex and UPS, and some analysts say its total shipping volume will exceed those two giants within just a few years. Wal-Mart, struggling to compete with a company it more or less dismissed in its early years, spent over $3 billion this year to buy Jet.com as a hail-mary effort to catch up online.

In New York City, the superintendent offices in apartment buildings have been struggling this season to contain all the huge volume of online-ordered boxes arriving in mounds. Most are from Amazon. The techonomic transformation of yet another industry continues apace. And Amazon continues to show itself to be among the most amazing companies the world has ever seen. Maybe that’s what the first four letters of its name were always meant to signify.

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