Last year, we delivered items to Prime members at the fastest speeds ever globally, with more than 7 billion units arriving the same or next day, including more than 4 billion in the U.S. and more than 2 billion in Europe. In the UK, more than 70% of Prime member orders made over the festive season arrived on the same or next day.
Prime has grown over the years to include savings, convenience, and entertainment all in a single membership. Members enjoy exclusive deals and shopping events like Prime Day, as well as benefits like Prime Video and Amazon Music, and great savings with exclusive access to deals every day. But fast and reliable delivery across a wide selection of products remains the foundation of our offer and an enduring priority for us. We’ve evolved to make customers’ lives easier, allowing them to shop for things they need and love in our store and get it quickly. But we won’t stop there.
So how have we achieved our most efficient delivery service to date, and what are our plans to keep improving from here:
Leveraging AI and technology to place products closer to customers
With the help of AI, we’re able to expand the selection of products that we keep as close as possible to customers, stocking more everyday essentials that our customers order and re-order consistently (think kitchen roll or dog food, for example). This means more customers can get the items they want more frequently even faster. As part of this, we’re evolving how products come into our fulfilment centres from vendors and our selling partners. In 2023, we spent a lot of time making sure the products that leave our buildings get out faster and more efficiently. This year, we’re making sure the same is true for the products we receive. The goal is for our operations teams to have a better sense of what inventory – and how much of it – is coming in, which will allow them to align that inventory to what customers in that particular region want and need, helping to make our whole process more efficient. In Europe, we shortened the average distance each package traveled within our middle mile network by 25 kilometres in 2023, compared to 2022.
Investment in automation
Amazon has invested €215 billion in our business across Europe since 2010, and now employs more than 220,000 people and operates more than 350 logistics sites. This investment includes the development of new technologies to support employees in their roles, improving safety at work and providing customers with fast and reliable delivery. In the first three years since we formed the European Advanced Technology team, based at Amazon’s Innovation Lab in Vercelli, Italy, in 2019, more than 550 new pieces of technology were introduced in European fulfilment centres as part of an investment of more than €400 million.
Improving our Same-Day Delivery capabilities
Fast, free delivery is the foundation on which Amazon has built Prime and since 2014, Amazon introduced a Same-Day service in Europe, enabling customers to shop for their last-minute ‘need-it-now’ occasions and get products conveniently delivered at their door in as fast as a few hours and with a less than 24 hour promise. Same-Day Delivery is currently available in more than 150 cities across Europe. The service is free for Prime members on eligible orders (above a certain order amount) and with a fee for non-Prime members. In 2024, we will continue investing for our customers, expanding the service to more cities across Europe and accelerating Same-Day speeds.
Building a fleet for more sustainable deliveries
We have thousands of electric delivery vans on the road across Europe, and micro-mobility hubs in 20 cities, including London, Paris, and Munich. In 2022, we delivered more than 120 million packages by more sustainable modes of transportation (EVs and micro-mobility). All delivery bags, envelopes and boxes across Europe are 100% recyclable.
Prime Air Drones delivering in 2024
The newest Prime Air drone, the MK30, has been unveiled as part of the latest expansion to the Prime Air programme, and it’s unlike any other drone being used for package delivery. The drones will be deployed in soon-to-be-revealed destinations in the UK and Italy.
We are delivering faster speeds while also improving the overall safety of our employees. Delivering packages faster isn’t a matter of moving faster within our facilities—it’s being smarter about our structure and product placement. That means we’ll continue to make our workplaces safer, even as we get faster.
What was true when Amazon was founded remains true today: Customers want vast selection, low prices, and fast delivery. We’re expanding selection and delivering faster than ever. And we’re committed to keeping investing and inventing to deliver on those core customer values.