Will Amazon Deliver Third


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Aug 22, 2023

Will Amazon Deliver Third

Six months after Amazon said it would begin drone deliveries in two American

Six months after Amazon said it would begin drone deliveries in two American towns by the end of the year, it's a reality. Local news media are reporting that delivery by drone began just days before Christmas.

Amazon spokesperson Paul Butler told news station KBTX it had started Prime Air deliveries to customers in College Station, Texas, and Lockeford, California – the station's news report includes footage from an Amazon promotional video showing the drones in action.

Other outlets picked up the story and quoted a statement from Amazon Air spokesperson Natalie Banke, who said, "Our aim is to safely introduce our drones to the skies. We are starting in these communities and will gradually expand deliveries to more customers over time."

An excerpt of our reporting from July has more information about how the controlled launch in the two communities would work:

"An Amazon spokesperson told EcommerceBytes it is now reaching out to customers in both locations, offering them an option to receive free and fast drone delivery on thousands of everyday items – the largest selection of items to ever be available for drone delivery. Deliveries will start later this year.

"The spokesperson explained, "Once onboarded, customers will see Prime Air-eligible items on Amazon. They will place an order as they normally would and receive an estimated arrival time with a status tracker for their order. The delivery drone will fly to the designated delivery location, descend to the customer's backyard, and hover at a safe height. It will then safely release the package, rise back up to altitude, and return to base."

"He also noted, "As Amazon launches the service, it will also be investing in the community, creating new jobs and building partnerships with local organizations.""

Sellers who use Amazon FBA fulfillment services may be wondering if their items will be included in drone deliveries – and if so, what protections Amazon will offer sellers if something happens to their items.

A more pressing concern for some FBA sellers, however, may be why it takes Amazon so long to make their items available for sale after they send their inventory to its Fulfillment Centers.

It's hard to believe it's been 9 years since Jeff Bezos revealed Amazon's delivery-drone ambitions to Charlie Rose on the television news program "60 Minutes."

One thing that jumps out in looking back at the 60 Minutes transcript is that there were 96 Amazon fulfillment centers back in 2013. It's also interesting to recall that eBay's answer to Amazon's delivery drones in 2013 was a same-day delivery service called eBay Now, which never made it out of pilot testing.