Amazon have announced that they will pause Amazon Shipping in the US. Unlike the UK where it was a full launch, in the US Amazon Shipping was effectively a beta trial starting in a few areas including Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York/New Jersey.
“At Amazon, we regularly evaluate the requirements of our businesses to ensure we are structured in the best way possible to meet the evolving needs of our customers. After careful consideration, we have decided to pause our Amazon Shipping service in the US. Our last day for pick-ups will be June 5th.”
Sellers using the service have started to receive emails notifying them of the intention to pause Amazon shipping in the US with the final collection date being the 5th of June. Amazon say that they are giving plenty of notice to give sellers several weeks to arrange for contracts with alternative carriers. Merchants will have been using Amazon Shipping for both items sold on Amazon and crucially also items not sold on Amazon. To pause Amazon Shipping will force merchants to seek alternatives and push prices up as Amazon Shipping can be as much as 50% cheaper than alternatives depending on your shipping profile of both weight and quantity.
“We understand this is a change to your business, and we did not take this decision lightly. We will work with you over the next several weeks so there is as little disruption to your business as possible, and encourage you to take the next several weeks to find alternative shipping providers.”
It’s not known if to pause Amazon Shipping means that it will be relaunched as a full US wide service or if ‘pause’ really means cancel permanently. Here in the UK, Amazon Shipping only launched in September last year and although it’s not fully featured (for instance they don’t have a robust tracking page, just a unique URL for each order), many sellers use the service and it would be pretty disruptive if it was to end.
Whilst giving two months notice that the service is to be withdrawn in the US would seem ample time to prepare, we are not living in normal times and, coming on top of the difficulties businesses face due to the Coronavirus, the timing couldn’t be worse. Just at the time sellers will have massive interruption to their businesses they need stability from suppliers and to pause Amazon Shipping at this point in time just as the pandemic is ramping up towards it’s peak in the US is the last thing merchants need.