By John Kearney
Where last-mile transport refers to final delivery from a fulfillment center to a customer (or a retail store), middle-mile shipping is delivery from a point of origin—a factory, an airport, a seaport—to a fulfillment center. Unlike last-mile, middle-mile shipping is generally provided by freight brokers, who connect shippers with available trucks and drivers. In the case of preloaded containerized freight, or shipper-owned trailers, the brokers provide not the complete rig, but the tractor and the driver.
Amazon, who owns or leases thousands of trailers, has traditionally been a major customer for these services. Last fall, however, it announced that it was in the process of buying heavy-duty tractors from Volvo, and possibly other suppliers. More recently, it has announced plans to roll out a new freight brokerage operation to all 48 of the contiguous United States. The company’s long-term objective is said to be to get more control over its supply chain—and, in slack periods, do hauling for other shippers.
Meanwhile, spurred in part by the COVID-19 pandemic and dramatic increases in ecommerce, Amazon continues to grow. To keep up with this growth, the company has announced plans to hire 100,000 new employees for its warehouse and delivery operations in the U.S.
And it’s not just Amazon. The combination of COVID-19 and an already existing trend toward e-commerce is creating an urgent—and ongoing—need for capable new workers. As leading providers of a technology that has demonstrated, repeatedly, the ability to produce better, safer drivers, we look forward to our continued collaboration with trucking companies, driving schools, shippers, and other players in this essential, thriving, and rapidly changing industry.
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Advanced Training Systems has revolutionized the design and manufacture of high-tech simulators to improve driver training and create both better drivers and a safer world. In addition to hundreds of driving schools, we provide equipment and support for major shippers who do their own training, as well as customized solutions for those with particular training needs. For more information or to schedule a demo, please contact us here.