(Australian Associated Press)
Amazon is bringing its in-house gig-worker delivery service to Australia.
Amazon Flex, which launches on Wednesday in Sydney and Melbourne, is a little bit similar to Uber Eats, with independent contractors guided by Amazon’s Flex app making deliveries for the global tech giant.
“It’s a really great way for Australians to be their own boss, and earn some extra money, and they can do it around their own lifestyle,” Amazon Australia director of operations Craig Fuller told AAP.
“They can choose when they work. They can choose once a week if they wanted to, or they could do five times a week. It’s very flexible.
“And their time’s their own. So they if they want to sit in a car and listen to an audiobook or some Amazon Music, that’s a great way to have some own time to do those kind of things.”
Amazon Flex has been somewhat controversial in the United States, where it launched in 2015, with some drivers complaining of poor pay and working conditions, according to US news reports.
Mr Fuller said that the Australian pay scale was “very competitive” and Amazon’s process for paying workers was very transparent.
Anyone with a four-door vehicle who passes a background check and gets an ABN can sign up for four-hour “blocks” using the Flex app, he said.
“It’s easy to use and easy to be involved in,” Mr Fuller said.
Amazon said that Flex will supplement, rather than supplant, the company’s existing delivery network, which involves Australia Post and couriers Toll, Fastway and Ceva.
Australia is the ninth country to get Flex, which is already operational in the US, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Germany, Spain and India.
Mr Fuller said that Amazon continued to be interested in drone deliveries and the holdup in Australia wasn’t technology but regulation.
Amazon Australia launched in 2017 and Mr Fuller said the tech giant was “very happy with our progress in Australia” and being part of the shift to online shopping here.
Amazon.com.au offers 125 million products across 29 categories, shipped from warehouses in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.