NY Times Reports Amazon’s shipping faster than ever… but at what cost?

There’s an article in the New York Times entitled, “Amazon Pushes Fast Shipping but Avoids Responsibility for the Human Cost.”

The New York TimesWhat the article talks about is how Amazon is using small shipping companies, sometimes with rented trucks, to deliver its products in that last mile where Amazon is controlling the deliveries that are made, the routes that are taken, the hours that are worked, the speed at which these deliveries must be made, yet Amazon is trying to avoid responsibility for when people get hurt.

When truck drivers are given routes that they’ve never driven before and making left turns into oncoming traffic, where drivers are rushing to make sure they get the deliveries done, and where drivers are reporting in the New York Times that they can even be terminated if they don’t get their deliveries done fast enough.

So I want to talk about the nine month old that was killed when a driver was driving a 26 foot rented box truck to deliver products for Amazon, where an 85 year old woman was killed, where a 22 year old former Temple University student was crushed when a contractor, when someone delivering products for Amazon, made a left turn in front of his motorcycle. An 89 year old former Macy’s Herald Square sales woman was hit and an 89 year old Pennsylvania grandmother was killed in front of an Outback Steakhouse.

In all of these cases, according to the New York Times, Amazon is trying to avoid responsibility despite the control that it maintained over the delivery process and over these drivers.

There’s cases mentioned in this New York Times article where companies went out of business and the drivers haven’t been paid. The drivers are looking to get paid from Amazon and Amazon is trying to avoid providing the livelihood to these drivers who did nothing but try and deliver products for Amazon.

To me, this mimics sales tax issues where Amazon controls where your products are, how many FBA warehouses they send your products to, how many states they send your products to, how many tax jurisdictions your products are delivered to, yet in many cases, denies responsibility to collect and pay those sales tax.

Also, it reminds me about how Amazon tries to avoid responsibility for products it purchases from Amazon vendors. Now, Amazon is clearly a Goliath and are certainly huge opportunities, but I think it’s time that Amazon takes more responsibility and treats its Amazon sellers, it’s Amazon vendors, it’s Amazon delivery drivers, and also all of the sales tax jurisdictions fairly by collecting the sales tax and paying the sales tax, filing the sales tax returns and steps up its game. Not just in delivering products at cheap prices, but in terms of its social responsibility to the sellers, to vendors, to the states and the municipalities.

The time has come for Amazon to accept responsibility in light of the tremendous amount of profits it’s making from all of you selling products on Amazon.

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