Amazon to Experiment With 'Prime Now' Bike Messenger Option

Dec 09, 2014 08:00 AM EST | Matt Mercuro

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Amazon will experiment with bike messengers to provide deliveries in New York City within an hour, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, citing "sources familiar with the matter."

The company has not released an official comment yet.

The service, called "Amazon Prime Now," was created to replicate shopping at a physical store by delivering select items in just an hour or two.

Amazon has experimenting with three different courier services in order to choose the quickest and most careful for its deliveries, the Journal report said.

Amazon bike messengers will be paid around $15 an hour and work in eight hour shifts.

Amazon will use its West 34th Street location, where it recently signed a 17-year lease, as a base for the bike messengers, according to the report. The online retailer has created a lounge there with facilities including a pool, air hockey tables, and foosball tables, for messengers waiting in-between deliveries.

It is unclear if Amazon has plans to extend the service beyond Manhattan and into other areas, but it has enlisted some help to get packages out quicker around the country.

The company has installed nearly 15,000 robots at 10 different U.S. warehouses which should cut operating costs by one-fifth and get packages to customers more quickly this holiday season. The warehouses are located in five states- California, Florida, New Jersey, Texas and Washington.

The robots are orange, 320-pound and move around on wheels. The bots were created on technology developed by Kiva Systems, a company it purchased in 2012 for $775 million.

The robots use markings on the floor in order to navigate and form a big block of inventory.

The robots have allowed Amazon to get the packages out the door in 13 minutes in some cases from the pick stations, compared to an hour and a half on average in older facilities. 

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