Amazon purchased thousands of truck trailers to ship merchandise between distribution facilities, the company announced Friday.
The move isn’t completely novel, as traditional retailers — like Walmart — have owned their own trucking fleets for years. But for Amazon, the initiative is the latest sign of the e-commerce giant’s increasing interest in taking transportation of its merchandise into its own hands.
The company still relies on traditional mail to deliver most packages, but Amazon has been experimenting with its own methods, including bicycle couriers, Amazon Fresh delivery trucks, drones and an Uber-like crowdsourced delivery system.
Amazon is even rumored to be running a secret air cargo facility in Ohio to transport merchandise by jet.
The trailer news, which was first reported by Recode’s Jason Del Rey, was announced as part of Amazon’s annual campaign to send care packages to soldiers abroad. This year, 2,000 packages were loaded into one of the new trailers.
The release notes the company has begun rolling out thousands of trailers to “increase capacity for package delivery from fulfillment centers to sort centers.” In other words, the trailers won’t be delivering packages to customers’ doors.
An Amazon spokeswoman also said the company just purchased the trailer part of the vehicles, and will continue to use third party trucking companies to tow the cargo.
“I couldn’t be more pleased that our very first Amazon trailer headed out on the road carrying such special packages—thousands of boxes filled with beloved holiday items and Amazon Fire devices to support troops abroad this holiday season,” Amazon’s Vice President of North America Operations Mike Roth said in the release.