YouTube/CBS Evening News
- Jeff Bezos said in an interview on Monday that the US Postal Service was crucial to getting Amazon off the ground, as it provided the infrastructure that enabled the business to thrive.
- Bezos now wants to create a similar infrastructure for space travel. "It takes hundreds of millions of dollars to even just get started with something interesting," Bezos told CBS Evening News.
- But Bezos’ remarks on the US Postal Service risk angering President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly attacked Amazon’s reliance on the service.
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Amazon would not be the $995 billion company it is today without the US Postal Service, according to CEO Jeff Bezos.
In an interview with CBS Evening News on Monday, Bezos said the postal service gave Amazon a huge helping hand from the outset as the firm did not have to invest in a delivery network.
"I didn’t have to build a transportation network to deliver the packages," Bezos told Norah O’Donnell. "It existed, it was called the post office."
The comments were designed to contrast with the work Bezos is doing to commercialize space travel. Bezos said he is investing upfront to build infrastructure, which should enable future generations to enter the field more easily — a bit like what the Postal Service did for Amazon.
"It takes hundreds of millions of dollars to even just get started with something interesting," Bezos said. "What I want to do is reduce that price of admission with reusable space vehicles so that the next generation you can actually have two kids in a dorm room build a great space company."
But his remarks on the US Postal Service risk angering President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly attacked Amazon’s reliance on the service.
On Trump’s chosen battleground of Twitter, he has accused the company of abusing its relationship with USPS and calling the service Amazon’s "delivery boy," which it used at a "fraction of real cost."
"Only fools, or worse, are saying that our money losing Post Office makes money with Amazon," Trump tweeted in April. "THEY LOSE A FORTUNE, and this will be changed. Also, our fully tax paying retailers are closing stores all over the country … not a level playing field!"
Trump ordered a task force to investigate the matter last year. While it found that USPS has been losing money for more than a decade, it said that the commercial package delivery for Amazon and other e-commerce retailers was profitable and not costing the company "massive amounts of money," The New York Times reported.
Now that Amazon is a multi-billion-dollar company, it has the financial means to take more control of its logistics network. As a result, it has launched several new delivery services in recent years, such as Amazon Air and incentivising workers to become delivery drivers.
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