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Better. Faster. Stronger. Could’s logistics network compete with the trucking industry?

BY BETHANY MAY & NT EDITORS Contributing Writer

Last December, news broke that Amazon.

com, the nation’s largest internet retailer, had purchased a fleet of shipping trailers. Within a few weeks, there were rumors that the e-commerce company had also acquired a fleet of cargo planes to connect its large network of warehouses around the country. And on January 15, the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission granted Amazon a license to operate cargo shipments between China and the U.S. Before many of us had taken down all the

Christmas decorations and remembered to hang the new calendar, Amazon had begun

to take control of its own operations on the land, in the air and at sea. And while there still is no clearance for commercial drones to operate deliveries in the U.S., the Seattle- based company has already been exploring that option in anticipation of the federal regulations that have yet to be written. Tere’s a lot of speculation about what

it means for transportation when one of the largest retailers in the country starts making logistical changes. Te headlines have ranged from “Here’s How Amazon Could Offer Its Own Delivery Service” and “’s Next Move Could Be Bigger Tan the iPhone,”

to “Amazon Logistics & the Soon to Fail Experiment.” What is hyperbole and what are the real

effects that Amazon’s operations decisions will have on the industry? Should we have expected these changes? Brent Williams, chair of the department of

supply chain management at the University of Arkansas’ Walton College of Business says, “I think in a lot of ways, it’s not surprising. “It’s not unusual for a large retailer to start

to bring some of their transportation needs under their own control,” he says. “We see

Continues NEBRASKA TRUCKER — ISSUE 2, 2016 — 7

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