More than half of Amazon’s US deliveries are now completed using its own fleet. So at some point, the company will no longer need to rely on FedEx and/or UPS. It’s also on track to quickly surpass them in terms of packages delivered per year, if it hasn’t already.
But this also means that Amazon has had (and has been developing) its own maps platform to help support its delivery vehicles. Up until recently it was an entirely internal and proprietary tool. But this month, the company started to open it up in preview form (via an API).
What this mean is that if you have a web or mobile application that needs a map or some other kind of location-based feature, you now have the option of using Amazon instead of Google or Apple or some other company.
What’s interesting about this move is that it’s exactly what Amazon did with AWS (its dominant cloud infrastructure business). AWS is a meaningful part of Amazon’s overall business — in fact, it’s responsible for over 10% of the company’s total revenue, and an even bigger part of its operating income.
So this quiet little announcement could be something.