An Amazon puzzle: How many parcels does it ship, how much does it cost, and who delivers what share?

A few days ago, Amazon released its 8-K financial report for the second quarter of 2018, which ended June 30.  Revenues continue to skyrocket.  For the quarter, revenues increased 39 percent to $52.9 billion, compared with $38 billion for the same period last year.  For the first six months of the fiscal year, revenues were $104 billion, compared to $74 billion for the same period last year, an increase of 40 percent.

One of Amazon’s biggest expenses are shipping costs, which include expenses for sortation, transportation, and outbound delivery by the Postal Service, private carriers, and regional shippers.  As to be expected, shipping costs increased just as dramatically as revenues.

Shipping costs for Q2 2018 were $6 billion, up 31 percent from $4.6 billion in Q2 2017.  For the first six months of the fiscal year, shipping costs were about $12 billion, up 34 percent from $9 billion for the same period last year.  At this rate, by the end of the fiscal year, shipping costs could jump from $21.7 billion in 2017 to nearly $30 billion in 2018.

Amazon’s financial report doesn’t say much about how these shipping costs were incurred.  For example, there’s nothing about these basic questions: How many packages does Amazon ship each year?  How much do these deliveries cost Amazon?  And how are all those deliveries shared by the various carriers — USPS, UPS, FedEx, regional shippers, and Amazon itself?

Join the Conversation

Notify of

Independent Amazon carriers can’t come soon enough…


Amazon profits up – Post Office profits down – maybe amazon needs to pay the post office more shipping fees instead of screwing the post office. Jeffrey is laughing all the way to the bank, while he is pulling on the strings of his favorite “puppet” the PMG.


Totally agree Amazon killing the post office 7 days a week delivery post office eating the cost of clerks and rural carriers working every Sunday and holidays gas overhead overtime for 1.28 per package not to mention holidays not being given we had full staff Easter Sunday what ever happended to family time we dont need to be delivering parcels 7 days a week


If they wouldn’t put small items in such big boxes maybe that would reduce costs. #just my two cents