- Amazon deliveries are overwhelmed amid the COVID-19 outbreak
- The company announces it is hiring for 100,000 new positions
- You can still order a swimsuit
- Truckers told to keep their distance
Same-day, even two-day delivery not guaranteed
Amazon.com Prime Now and Amazon Fresh are straining under the recent demand for delivery services. With entire cities being ordered to shelter in place, few consumers are venturing out to brick and mortar stores during the health crisis. Nor should they.
Last week, Amazon warned customers that both services have been overwhelmed and to expect longer than usual delivery times.
Job openings across the country
On Sunday, the company announced it is hiring 100,000 part-time and full-time workers across the U.S. for its distribution centers and delivery services, and boosting pay through April by $2/hour. This is welcome news for employees who face layoffs in affected industries.
Unlike Cyber Monday, an annual shopping event for which companies scale up months in advance, no one was truly prepared for this sudden, consistent, and high volume of online ordering.
Amazon acknowledges that not all 100k new job openings will be permanent. On the Day One blog, the company posted: "We also know many people have been economically impacted as jobs in areas like hospitality, restaurants, and travel are lost or furloughed as part of this crisis. We want those people to know we welcome them on our teams until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back."
It will be interesting to see how many people return to brick-and-mortar stores once we become used to the convenience of home delivery.
Rumors and non-essential orders
Trucking and trucker restrictions
Meanwhile, as the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, truckers are facing increasing numbers of obstacles in delivering goods. Truck-stops have closed. Bathrooms are off-limits. Customers are asking drivers to wait in their cabs and to handle all documentation electronically.
The American Trucking Association industry group has contacted the Trump administration asking for its support by easing travel restrictions for drivers with essential deliveries, opening rest stops and offering virus testing.
“Absent policies like these, it will be more difficult to ensure that the shelves are stocked and emergency supplies reach first responders and medical personnel,” ATA Chief Executive Chris Spear said in the letter.
We hope that all of the actions undertaken by businesses and governments, plus what each of us is doing to curtail our public contact, will help flatten the curve. As a nation, we must deal with the medical crisis at hand so that we may eventually achieve a new, post-pandemic normal.