Daytona Beach, FL - It's official. Amazon is planning to open a "delivery station" in Daytona Beach. A spokeswoman
Amazon officially confirmed plans to open a “delivery station” in Daytona Beach this year that will create “hundreds of job opportunities.”
“The new station will power Amazon’s last-mile delivery capabilities to speed up deliveries for customers in the Daytona Beach area,” Shone Jemmott, a spokeswoman for the Seattle-based Internet retail giant, wrote in an email to The News-Journal.
“The delivery station will create hundreds of job opportunities from full-time associates with comprehensive benefits starting on Day 1 to independent contractors who can ... make up to $25 per hour delivering packages on behalf of Amazon,” Jemmott wrote. “We expect the site to open in 2019.”
Amazon has not sought economic incentives from either the city, county or state, according to Kent Sharples, president of the CEO Business Alliance. The group of local business leaders assisted the project’s developer VanTrust Real Estate in quickly securing permits from the city to begin site work.
“They did not ask for any and I am not aware of any incentives being offered,” Sharples said.
The announcement by Amazon comes after weeks of wide-spread speculation that the project recently begun by VanTrust directly behind the Trader Joe’s distribution center was for the eCommerce giant.
John Albright, the CEO of Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co., which sold the 20-acre site to VanTrust in December for $13.8 million, told shareholders at his company’s annual meeting here on Wednesday that the project, in fact, was for Amazon.
Reports on Amazon’s last-mile delivery stations in other parts of the country offer insights on what could be coming here.
Those insights include the capability of Amazon’s last-mile delivery stations to provide same-day delivery to customers within a 40-mile radius and the utilization at each of the centers of a fleet of small Amazon-branded delivery vans.
It is also likely that most of the shipments to the center by larger 18-wheel semi-trucks will occur at night when traffic is at a minimum, according to a Denver Post report on a last-mile delivery station that recently opened in that Colorado city.
Most of the work at the center that opened in Denver, including the sorting of individual packages, occurs at night so orders to homes and businesses can be sent out for delivery via the smaller Amazon vans and/or vehicles driven by independent contract drivers in the morning, according to the report.
The 80,000-square-foot delivery station in Denver employs more than 300 workers, not counting drivers, according to the Denver Post.
A 60,000-square-foot delivery station that Amazon plans to open this year in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is expected to employ 460 workers, according to a report by The Oklahoman.
A planned 84,200-square-foot Amazon delivery center scheduled to open in South Bend, Indiana, later this year is expected to employ 100 workers, according to a South Bend Tribune report published Wednesday.
In Daytona Beach, a site map filed with the city for the distribution center project that VanTrust is developing here, along the west side of the Mason Avenue extension, north of Dunn Avenue, shows an initial 68,000-square-foot building planned on the south portion of the property.
The site plan also shows the outline for “future development” on the north half of the land parcel that could be a second building.
The plans filed by VanTrust did not indicate who the distribution center was being built for.
The Denver Post article published in November of last year described the new Amazon last-mile delivery station there as a “cavernous warehouse with 30-foot-high ceilings.”
“Workers scan packages and software groups them so they can be delivered in the most efficient way. Workers place the packages in bins on racks that are then rolled onto delivery vans,” according to the article.
The advantages Amazon gains in operating its own delivery centers, as opposed to using third-party carriers, include the capability of having photos taken and sent to customers to provide proof a package was left on their porch, as well as “the ability to leave packages inside a house or car trunk for customers who sign up for that,” as well as Sunday delivery, the Denver Port report stated.
Retail consultant Shep Hyken of Shepard Presentations LLC told industry trade publication Retail Dive in an article published in January that Amazon sees “controlling last-mile delivery” as a key to controlling the overall experience for customers.
“The investment that Amazon is making in logistics, which includes planes, vans, drones, sidewalk robots and more, is about keeping control of the experience they provide their customers as much, if not even more, than trying to find a less expensive solution,” Hyken said.
Investor website Motley Fool reported in February that Amazon’s new “Flex” delivery program “allows (independent contract drivers) to use their own cars to deliver packages” while also providing a fleet of 20,000 Amazon-branded Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans nationally to lease to third-party delivery companies to handle the increased demand for goods.
“Since 2016, the company has been furtively building the third leg of its master plan for complete control of a package, allowing it to further dominate the market,” according to the Motley Fool report.
Amazon spokeswoman Shone Jemmott told The News-Journal that its planned Daytona Beach delivery station will offer “small businesses the opportunity to deliver for Amazon as well as independent contract(or)s the flexibility to be their own boss, create their own schedule and make $18 to $25 per hour delivering for Amazon.”
She added that the planned Daytona Beach delivery station “will join (Amazon’s) existing seven fulfillment and ‘sortation’ centers, three Prime Now Hubs, two Amazon Air hubs and 29 Whole Foods Market locations (where Amazon grocery orders can be picked up).”
Kent Sharples of the CEO Business Alliance said adding Amazon to the area’s growing collection of distribution centers that already includes Trader Joe’s, B.Braun and Costa Del Mar, could help efforts to recruit more, thanks to Daytona Beach’s location at “the confluence of I-4 and I-95.”
“With Amazon setting the standard for quick delivery, I think some other companies are likely to follow suit by opening distribution centers here,” he said.