Transportation is a key component of our vision to make all Amazon shipments net zero carbon as part of Shipment Zero. We are committed to optimising and transforming this critical part of our carbon footprint using several strategies.
Electrifying our future transport fleets
Amazon operates hundreds of electric vehicles across the globe and has invested $440 million in Rivian to accelerate the production of electric vehicles, which are critical to reducing emissions from transportation. As part of our commitment to The Climate Pledge, Amazon recently ordered 100,000 new electric delivery vehicles from Rivian, the largest order ever of electric delivery vehicles. Amazon plans to start using these new electric vehicles to deliver packages to customers by 2021, with 10,000 new vehicles on the road as early as 2021 and all 100,000 vehicles on the road by 2030, saving 4 million metric tons of carbon per year by 2030.
Maximising efficiency on current vehicles
While we are working hard to adopt the most efficient, cutting-edge vehicle technologies, we are also maximising efficiencies on our existing fleets. In North America, our fleet includes a mix of trailers in different sizes that are equipped with skirts (panels attached to the lower side edges of a trailer to make it more aerodynamic) and automatic tyre inflation systems that keep tyres properly inflated and maximise fuel efficiency. We use mud flaps specially designed to allow airflow and water to pass through them, minimising drag and saving an average of 100 gallons of diesel fuel per vehicle annually. In Europe, we have deployed double-deck trailers, which increase the load capacity per trailer, reducing the total number of trailers on the road.
Optimising our delivery logistics
Amazon is constantly working to optimise our delivery network and drive efficiencies in the process of delivering our products. To fulfil customer orders quickly, we have thousands of vehicles moving from fulfilment centres to 14 Sustainable Operations delivery destinations. We use data and algorithms to consolidate as many shipments as possible into one vehicle or plane. We also analyse which items are being ordered most frequently, by location, to ensure that the inventory of those items is stored nearby, minimising the need to use planes or trucks for long-distance deliveries. By boosting efficiencies across our network, we can avert the need to put more vehicles and planes into service
Using alternative delivery methods
We are continually piloting new or alternative ideas in different locations around the world in an effort to increase our efficiency and reduce emissions. In urban centres such as New York City, we deliver packages on foot, have expanded our use of traditional bicycles, and use pedal-assist electric bikes connected to cargo trailers that can carry up to 45 packages. In India, our fleet includes electric three-wheelers, or rickshaws, and compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles. Electric bikes and CNG vehicles are also part of our delivery fleet in Europe. Finally, we’re developing electric autonomous delivery services, such as the Amazon Scout device and Prime Air drones.
Partnering with experts and industry
In 2017, Amazon signed the Sustainable Fuel Buyers’ Principles, demonstrating our commitment to working with service providers to accelerate the transition to low-carbon commercial transportation solutions. Members of the non-profit Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) Future of Fuels group developed The Buyers’ Principles and vetted them via its network of 600 expert and industry stakeholders. These principles outline criteria that will catalyse the partnerships needed to drive the transition to a sustainable road freight transportation system. B