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31 Jan – 4 Feb 2018
However, according to the website Freightwaves, concerns surrounding data use are keeping merchants at bay.
Ryan Petersen, founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Flexport, said businesses are not lining up to use the service because the Seattle-based e-tailer could use the information that is required to process goods at US ports of entry to gain valuable insight into their customers’ supply chains. Armed with data that includes the names of every supplier and the prices paid for goods, Amazon could acquire the intelligence needed to develop competing products, according to Ryan.
Amazon’s plan is to deliver goods ‘freight on board’, meaning it assumes the shipping costs from the time the products are loaded aboard a vessel in China to when they reach one of the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) facilities in the US. Most goods are stored at an FBA location for a brief time before they are picked, packed and shipped to the end-customer. Under the initiative, which was rolled out under-the-radar, the merchant would be freed from the costs and the difficulties of the international distribution process, and would charge a lower selling price than if the merchant had to pay for shipping.