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AI love that you said operating an air fleet is not so com- mon, because at Amazon, we love to hear that what
we’re doing isn’t common or normal. But at the end of the
day, you know what I am going to say: Everything we do is
ultimately driven by the customer experience and our obsession
with our customers. In the case
of air, this is what we’ve had to
do to ensure we have the capacity we need.
That said, we have a number of great partners that we’ve
worked with from the beginning
and continue to work with—
partners like UPS, FedEx, and
DHL. But we also know that we
have to continue to supplement
that capacity in order to make
sure we can keep up with our
projected growth and ultimately, satisfy our customers
as we continue to grow. That’s why in 2016, we launched
Amazon Air (formerly known as Prime Air) and are continuing to expand the operation. In just two short years, the
fleet has grown to 38 planes—767-200s and -300s—that fly
millions of packages around the U.S. every day.
QIt’s clear you have a passion for your work at Amazon, so it might be tough for you to give an unbiased answer
to this question. But here goes: Is there another company
out there that has achieved the scale that could justify a
private air fleet?
AWell, that is a good question. But at Amazon, we don’t let
ourselves be distracted by what
others might be doing. We could
spend a lot of time talking about
competitors. We could spend a
lot of time talking about other
companies. Instead, we take all
of that energy and talk about the
What we want for our customers is speed, lower costs, and an
exceptional delivery experience.
Concentrating on that—and not
on the competition—allows us to maintain a laser focus
on what we have to do. That enables us to be clear on the
decisions we have to make, be it building an air fleet or
automating our operations or going into drones. Those
are things that we do with our customer in mind, not the
QDo you see anything on the horizon—for instance, the shortage of labor we hear so much about—that could
disrupt your growth and momentum?
AThe macros of the world are the macros of the world, right? We will deal with those things as they come, and
we’ll solve them. Take the labor shortage you mentioned.
Unemployment is obviously at a low right now and the
labor market is tight, but we feel really good about the
number of Amazonians that we have and the number of
Amazonians that we bring on. Why? Because we feel we are
a great company to work for.
The real challenge—the thing I personally look at—is the
challenge of customer satisfaction. Customers are always
going to have something they want and in some cases,
they’re going to be dissatisfied. But how and why? You have
to think about it—that is the key. How do we identify and
address the problem before the customer becomes dissatisfied? And along those same lines, how do we anticipate
the customer’s future needs? Those are the things we think
about at Amazon each day.
QDo you have any final advice for our readers?
AStay close to the front lines—the people who are out there doing the work. We have over 550,000
Amazonians out there working for us, and I appreciate
every one of them for the work they do every day. As a
leader, you have to stay close to that because those people
know how important our customers are.