Amazon aim to roll out SWA (Shipping with Amazon) at pace in the UK

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Having launched Shipping with Amazon – SWA – in the US in Los Angeles last year, before rolling it out across the US, Amazon have turned their attention to SWA in the UK and are now preparing to rapidly expand the service.

When Amazon first launched their marketplace, merchants were expected to ship their own products and many still do. Then FBA came along and Amazon started to fulfil merchants products from their own warehouses and gave a boost in visibility to products fulfilled by Amazon. Over the years Amazon built out their own courier network which has expanded to such an extent that they are a serious competitor to traditional couriers – with Amazon in the US owning half of all online shopping their courier network is vast with a fleet of around 70 Boeing airliners to enable fast delivery.

Then Amazon launched Seller Fulfilled Prime enabling merchants to keep their stock in their own warehouse with Amazon or third party couriers collecting it as soon as it was sold to delivery to the end user. SWA is an extension of this service but includes collecting and delivering products not sold on Amazon. The merchant may sell on a competing marketplace or on their own website but Amazon will deliver on the merchant’s behalf.

It’s now been revealed in a job ad that Amazon are building a team to scale Amazon Shipping at pace in the UK. They are looking for a UK Shipping with Amazon Network Operations Centre Operations Manager – effectively a UK Collections Dispatch Manager. They will be part of the core team that will design, build and implement a Collections Network which Amazon state aims to exceed customer’s expectations. One of the key aims is to provide resiliency and business continuity planning to minimize risk to pick-up operations.

Why might you want to us SWA?

There are many couriers available to choose from in the UK and in recent years they have all upped their delivery experience to a level where there’s not much room left for improvement. Where they are not so good is on the collections side – they generally still only collect Monday to Friday at a set time unless you are a ginormous retailer. If you are a small SME you may get a collection time relatively early in the day even if you’d be happy to despatch and have an evening or weekend collection.

Amazon Logistics are aiming to disrupt the entire courier network and are likely to offer seven day a week collections, options for evening collections, a plethora of delivery options covering everything from home and office delivery, safe places, lockers, counter collection, delivery to inside the home, garage or car and all at an unbeatable cost.

You may not wish to entrust your entire business to SWA and Amazon, but even if you decide to continue to use alternative couriers it’s likely that they too will have to look at their collection networks and start to serve their customers instead of dictating which days and at what times they are willing to pick up your outgoing shipments.

2 Responses

  1. Odd US idea (big country, poor universal service provision) coming to UK. With a large national carrier providing next day delivery for not much money, it seems an odd market to ‘disrupt’.

    Solution looking for a problem?

  2. They would be better to use their time addressing the length of time it takes them to dispatch and deliver multi channel fulfilment orders. I deliver to my customers Next Day with Royal Mail 6 days a week. It can take a week for a customer to receive their delivery if I have to create an order from FBA stock it is a dreadful service.

    Amazon are always trying to fix something that is not broken while totally ignoring things about their processes that are poor at best.


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