We’re decarbonizing transportation across our business by increasing fleet efficiency, expanding the use of low-carbon fuels, and scaling electric and alternative-fuel vehicles. We also partner on initiatives to reduce carbon emissions in the wider transportation industry, and engage with policymakers and other decision-makers to advance policies in support of decarbonization.
We rely on a complex transportation network to get products from manufacturers and sellers to customers around the globe. Our logistics network spans every step of the journey—from global transportation between factories and ports, to last mile delivery between delivery stations and customers. We’re focused on decarbonizing our transportation network across each of these segments.
Inbound transportation refers to the first transportation leg, used for transporting shipments across international borders. For this segment, we rely on transportation by road, rail, air, and water. We’re increasing the use of ocean freight for transoceanic transportation, and reducing airfreight when possible. Ocean transportation has a lower carbon intensity than air transportation, and we continue to reduce the emissions related to ocean freight through the use of biofuels.
Middle mile transportation is how we move shipments between Amazon facilities. It generally starts when packages arrive at an Amazon facility, and spans the journey between fulfillment centers, sort centers, and delivery stations.
While some trips may be completed by air or train freight, middle mile transportation is usually completed by truck. Trucking is a challenging area to decarbonize, particularly considering long-haul distances and the requirements for high-power electric charging infrastructure across transportation routes.
Where there is currently no single solution that can be scaled for decarbonizing middle mile trucking, we’re experimenting with lower-carbon options such as trucks powered by renewable natural gas, battery-electric trucks, and hydrogen-powered trucks.
We previously invested in Infinium through The Climate Pledge Fund, our $2 billion venture investment program that invests in companies building technologies, products, and services that can help accelerate the path toward a net-zero carbon future.
Last-mile transportation covers the final part of the journey, when products are transported from a post office or delivery station to the customer.
We’re working to decarbonize our own last-mile fleet by utilizing lower-emission options, including electric delivery vehicles, electric cargo bikes, and on-foot deliveries.
In 2019, we ordered 100,000 custom electric delivery vehicles from Rivian—the largest order ever of electric delivery vehicles. We rolled out the first of these vehicles in 2021 and plan to deploy all remaining vehicles by 2030. We’ve also deployed thousands of electric vehicles, including delivery vans, e-cargo bikes, and e-rickshaws, across Europe and India. In 2022, we announced plans to invest €1 billion to double our European zero-emissions fleet for middle- and last-mile deliveries over the next five years.
In Europe, we have launched micromobility hubs in 33 cities to enable shorter deliveries on foot or by e-bike. In the UK specifically, we launched e-bikes in Manchester and London. Similar hubs have been installed across France and Italy, with further micromobility solutions planned.
In the U.S., we use micromobility solutions to deliver grocery orders in New York City. In 2022 alone, we delivered more than 1.6 million orders (over 9.1 million packages) to local customers on foot or by e-bike.
Decarbonizing our transportation network will require cross-company partnerships, which is why we seek to participate in multi-stakeholder initiatives to shift the industry toward lower-carbon solutions. We leverage two engagement platforms: the Sustainable Freight Buyers Alliance (SFBA) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) International Transport Forum.
In 2022, we signed a grant to the Smart Freight Centre with a focus on identifying and building partnerships that can accelerate transportation decarbonization. We also play an active role in several industry initiatives and government partnerships, including the Cargo Owners for Zero Emission Vessels (coZEV) network, the First Movers Coalition, and the Clean Energy Demand Initiative.
Learn more about how we are collaborating with others across the transportation industry.
Airfreight is one of the modes of transportation we use, and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is one solution for reducing associated lifecycle emissions. However, SAF is still cost prohibitive, representing less than 0.1% of global aviation fuel. During the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance (SABA) announced a digital SAF certificate registry that aims to increase transparency for emissions reduction claims and accelerate SAF deployment. As a founding member of SABA, Amazon played a key role in developing the registry, which is slated to launch later in 2023.
To reduce our ocean freight-related transportation emissions, ships used to transport goods must transition to using zero-emission fuels. In early 2023, we co-founded the Zero Emission Maritime Buyers Alliance (ZEMBA) together with the Aspen Institute, Patagonia, and Tchibo. Through ZEMBA, freight buyers will accelerate the commercial deployment of zero-emission shipping, enable economies of scale, and minimize maritime emissions, helping to get zero-emission ships on the water by the mid-2020s.
Heavy-duty truck freight is another key, yet emissions-intensive, component of most delivery networks, and we are working to decarbonize through scaling the use of electric vehicles. In December 2022, we co-founded SFBA, a group committed to decarbonizing freight operations. Members are working to increase demand for medium- and heavy-duty battery electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, as well as align on models for fleet electrification.