- Amazon announced Thursday it has expanded access to its Key by Amazon’s In-Garage Delivery service to more than 4,000 U.S. cities, up from just 50 initial launch cities.
- Eligible Amazon Prime members can have contactless package delivery inside their garages, if they are equipped with a myQ smart garage door opener. A spokeswoman for the Chamberlain Group, which manufactures the myQ smart garage, said in an email "millions of homes with garages" are equipped with the technology and it can be added if not.
- Amazon is also launching Key In-Garage Grocery Delivery for eligible Prime members to receive Whole Foods or Amazon Fresh deliveries in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.
The expansion comes as customers have said they like the "convenience and peace of mind" that in-garage deliveries provide, said Pete Gerstberger, head of Key by Amazon, in a statement. Cities could also benefit from less congestion if delivery drivers are able to avoid blocking the curbs or travel lanes.
Indeed, curbside management has been a constant headache for cities, especially as deliveries have skyrocketed during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and have caused companies including Sidewalk Labs-backed Coord to develop technology-based solutions using apps and loading zones.
A spokeswoman for the City of Dallas said residents would "probably welcome" the expansion, although those in denser cities like New York or Chicago may see more of a benefit given the strain on city streets and curbs. The spokeswoman declined to comment further on the delivery expansion’s effects for Dallas specifically. Spokespeople for a number of cities named by Amazon as candidates for expansion did not respond to requests for comment.
The news of this expansion is also significant as it comes on the heels of Ford unveiling its new E-Transit van, an all-electric version of its Transit van that the company says will be capable of meeting customers' last-mile delivery needs. With Amazon aiming to deploy 10,000 custom Rivian delivery electric vans as early as 2022, companies are competing for a slice of the delivery market and trying to find new ways to reduce congestion and emissions.
Miami, New York, Chicago and other cities have tapped e-cargo bikes as a sustainable solution to cut down on competition at the curb and reduce congestion. The City of Miami partnered with shipping company DHL Express and mobility logistics hub Reef Technology in May to pilot four low-powered electric-assist e-cargo bikes for deliveries across the city, which are expected to reduce 101,000 kg of CO2e annually.