Amazon has launched a new same-day delivery service option out of its new Brooklyn Park warehouse.
While the online giant already offers one-day options for Prime members, including Prime Now two-hour service, the newest is available only in about a dozen markets. It launched in the Twin Cities, Atlanta, Miami and parts of the Chicago metro this week.
Under the same-day delivery, items will be delivered in an average five-hour window. If you order items before you go to bed, they will be on the doorstep between 4 and 8 a.m. Items available under the service mostly cover everyday needs, such as diapers, electronics accessories, kitchen items and beauty supplies.
The service is free to Prime members who order more than $35 worth of items and $2.99 for orders below that threshold. Non-members pay $12.50 for the service.
Amazon has been expanding options for delivery to respond to consumer demand and increased competition from retailers like Minneapolis-based Target and Walmart. It has opened more than 350 centers in the U.S. this year, many with specialty purposes, including its 100,00-square-foot center on Setzler Parkway in Brooklyn Park.
A new 350,000-square-foot Lakeville center opened in August that focuses on large items. Amazon also has a larger fulfillment center on Wyoming Avenue in Brooklyn Park. Its largest operation continues to be in Shakopee.
The new Brooklyn Park facility is 100,000 square feet, much smaller than the fulfillment centers, said spokesman Scott Seroka. The Prime Now warehouse in Minneapolis also has a smaller footprint.
Locations for the new five-hour service were chosen based on research and demand, Seroka said.
A pilot project started about a year ago, and the service officially launched in the spring in Philadelphia, Phoenix, Orlando and Dallas.
"The evolution of our same-day delivery program is driven by our partnership with local communities and made possible by the people who live there," the company said.
While those who work within the facility will be Amazon employees, the company will use independent contractors to deliver the items in a system that works much like Shipt or Uber. Amazon said it is looking for more drivers. Seroka said drivers make an average of $18 to $25 an hour delivering from the same-day centers.
In September, Amazon said it was looking to hire 125,000 more U.S. employees, including 2,700 in the Twin Cities.
The internet retailer, like many employers hoping to attract workers, has upped its employee benefits recently by offering full tuition coverage, higher starting wages and hiring bonuses that are double or sometimes triple the amount seen a year ago — reaching as high as $3,000 for some warehouse jobs. Starting pay in the Twin Cities now averages about $18.
The company said the shorter-window delivery also helps with sustainability goals because goods are closer to the customers.
"While it may seem counterintuitive, the faster delivery speeds enabled by these facilities actually help us lower carbon emissions in line with our climate pledgeto be net zero carbon by 2040," the company said. "This is because these new facilities are in close proximity to customers, reducing the need for aircraft transport and generally decreasing the distance drivers have to travel to deliver packages to our customers."