retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Amazon, which has been expanding its presence in the shipping business, has been approved by the Federal Maritime Commission for shipping ocean freight for other companies, according to a story in the Seattle Times.

The paper writes that "the online retailer’s Chinese subsidiary registered to operate as a freight forwarder. That means Amazon.com is now authorized to sell ocean-freight services."

The move comes as Amazon, which already has trucks all over the country, is negotiating to lease 20 Boeing 767 cargo jets, and is looking to buy 75 percent of a French package delivery service that it does not already own. While Amazon does not talk about these various moves, the broader strategy seems to be to take control of as much of its delivery logistics operations as possible, with the possibility that it could offer those services to other companies, getting into competition with FedEx, UPS, DHL and the US Postal Service (USPS).
KC's View:
Amazon is already two-thirds into becoming the Steve Martin-John Candy movie, Planes, Trains and Automobiles. I wouldn't be surprised if we find out Amazon is negotiating to buy a railroad somewhere ... and maybe even a fleet of bicycles.

This is an approach to dominating the e-commerce "last mile" that I'm not sure a lot of us would've seen coming ... but it could make a lot of sense in the long run. (More about this in "Your Views," below.)