Amazon expands aggressively in Germany

Amazon has announced plans to open 11 more distribution centres in Germany and to hire its own drivers as part of an expansion in the company’s second biggest market.

The move is part of the development of the Amazon logistics business. “If we have last-mile in our own hands we can offer more services like same-day delivery,” Bernd Gschaider, Germany director for Amazon Logistics, told Reuters at a distribution centre outside the southern city of Mannheim.

Gschaider argued that the volumes handled by Amazon overwhelm third party delivery firms like DHL, Hermes and DPD and its growing volumes can be better delivered with via the in-house delivery business.

Amazon currently operates four sorting centres in Germany as well as 11 distribution centres. It plans to add two sorting centres to its estate this year. 

Ahead of the coming peak season, Amazon is hiring delivery drivers in Munich, aiming at 200 for the city to begin with. Given the strong economy locally and low unemployment, as well as a recent scandal where delivery firms were under-paying freelance drivers this is not going to be easy.

“We want to support drivers delivering Amazon shipments better. Employing drivers ourselves will help us to better understand their needs and allows us to further improve the experience of all drivers,” Gschaider said. As such the company is planning to pay well above market rate at €12.80 per hour for new drivers.

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