Amazon, the giant American online retailer, is moving into ocean shipping.
Having made inroads of late into trucking and air freight, the company’s China affiliate has just registered with the US Federal Maritime Commission to become a licenced ocean freight forwarder, a move that could have giant ramifications for containerlines. The new licence allows Amazon to buy and sell space on vessels.
At present, Amazon’s ocean shipping requirements are approximately one tenth of WalMart’s, but are growing fast.
The company is buying up logistics firms, trucks and air freight infrastructure in Europe and the US at the moment with a view to cutting its own logistics costs, which are believed to cost Amazon around $1bn a month.
Amazon has declined to comment on the development.