According to the server JOC.com, in 2019, Amazon acquired the first batch of 250, 53-ft-long freight containers that were placed on trains on the West Coast of the USA. Since then, the fleet has grown to a total of more than 5,000 boxes, and Amazon is taking greater control of its rail shipments.
In July of this year, Amazon posted a video on its YouTube channel Amazon Transportation Services announcing that shippers can now access the technology and capacity of Amazon's intermodal capabilities. With this step, Amazon consolidated its position and presented itself as a full-fledged competitor in rail freight transport.
“With Intermodal for external customers, we really started talking about how to go big because of the product that we had. We could compete on cost, speed, capacity, and performance,” said Chris Oliver, Senior Manager, Amazon Freight Intermodal. So Amazon strives to work as closely as possible with the customer to understand exactly their needs and help them find the right transport solution. “You don’t have to have a relationship with a third party carrier or a railroad to be able to use the infrastructure and the capacity that we have. It is a full end-to-end solution for every customer. We help coordinate the drop-off of the container. To be loaded we will coordinate the pickup of that container and transportation to the rail and then oversight with the use of the technologies we have on every container and within our relay suite of products,” commented Chris Oliver.
Amazon is also emphasizing emissions reduction and sustainability, and as part of its commitment to net zero carbon by 2040, is exploring various transportation innovations to make Amazon's deliveries more sustainable. In this way, rail is the optimal choice for transporting goods over longer distances. “The climate pledge is Amazon's commitment to get to zero net carbon emissions by the year 2040. Intermodal helps us to get there. You are making a choice to move something is not just a more cost-effective way. You’re moving a product in a much more sustainable way as well,” explained Matthew Thomas, Senior Manager, Amazon Freight Intermodal.