Amazon has been much in the news lately, as it has moved toward its own air network, and its own trucking fleet. Today brings the news that ocean has now joined air and road on the e-commerce giant’s “To Do” list.
The US Federal Maritime Commission granted a non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC) license to an Amazon-owned company in China. That is, Amazon is now officially recognized as an ocean freight forwarder for goods moving from China to the US.
The company is Beijing Century Joyo Courier Service Co. Ltd, which, when Amazon purchased it in 2004, was one of China’s largest online retailers. It now does business as Amazon China, and also under the trade name Amazon Global Logistics.
What’s in it for Amazon? Potentially, a lot. As a forwarder, Amazon China can offer Chinese manufacturers and shippers a direct path to Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) warehouses in the US. (On the other hand, US companies that import goods from China and sell through FBA, will probably not want to use Amazon as a forwarder, because this would give Amazon access to data they would rather keep private.)