Amazon has restarted a shipping service it paused in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and that competes with carriers like FedEx and UPS.
Amazon Shipping, which allows sellers to ship Amazon orders or products sold on other sites, has relaunched, the company confirmed Friday. Businesses must sell on Amazon to be eligible for the service, according to a company spokesperson.
The Seattle-based retail company already provides shipping to merchants who use its storage and delivery service, Fulfillment by Amazon. Amazon Shipping allows sellers to use the company’s delivery services without storing their products in its warehouses. It operates only for domestic shipments.
The e-commerce giant tested the program in the past. But the company paused it in 2020 to better handle orders that were being made on its own platform amid the pandemic-induced surge in online shopping.
“We’re always working to develop new, innovative ways to support Amazon’s selling partners, and Amazon Shipping is another option for shipping packages to customers quickly and cost-effectively,” Amazon spokesperson Olivia Connors said in a statement.
“We’ve been providing this service for a while with positive feedback so we’re now making it available to more selling partners,” Connors said.
During the pandemic, Amazon beefed up its logistics footprint in an effort to handle orders that were flooding its site. But as the worst of the pandemic eased, the company had an excess amount of warehouse space across the country, a problem it later addressed by subleasing some, ending leases and deferring construction on new buildings.
Meanwhile, Amazon’s shipping speeds have also accelerated. During the second quarter of this year, more than half of Prime orders across the top 60 U.S. metro areas arrived the same day or the next, the company said last month, touting what it called its fastest Prime speed ever. The company also publicized its plans to double the number of same-day delivery sites in the coming years.