(WHDH) — Amazon is ordering 20,000 Sprinter vans from Mercedes-Benz for its new delivery program, about four times more than was expected when the company announced the program in June.
The company hopes to see a hundred small delivery businesses with thousands of vans up and running by the end of the year.
Delivery partners will lease the vans through third-party fleet management companies for an undisclosed amount.
Amazon was able to negotiate lower costs for the vans, which retail for nearly $34,000.
The company says thousands of people nationwide have applied for the “Delivery Service Partners” program.
Individuals would run their own delivery business for Amazon, picking up at fulfillment centers and dropping off at customers’ homes.
The program is part of Amazon’s plan to gain more control of the delivery network at the core of its Prime business, which ships five billion packages a year globally.
Currently, the United States Postal Service handles about 40 percent of what’s called “last-mile deliveries.”
Amazon also relies on logistics giants UPS and FedEx.
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