Amazon to fill delivery gaps after pressure from black lawmakers

Amazon to fill delivery gaps after pressure from black lawmakers

Amazon is vowing to fill gaps in its same-day delivery service that affect minority neighborhoods after pressure from black lawmakers, Bloomberg reports. 

The company told the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) that it would "shortly" start delivering to every neighborhood in the 27 cities it currently offers same-day delivery. It also said that when it expands to any new area, it will make sure to cover the entire city. 

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Amazon made the commitment to lawmakers after Bloomberg reported that its current same-day delivery map in six cities didn't cover zip codes that had disproportionately high numbers of minority residents. 

"Very shortly, we will be expanding Prime Same Day Service to every zip code of the 27 cities where Prime Same Day delivery is currently launched," Amazon told the Black Caucus in a statement obtained by Bloomberg. 

"We will further not launch the service in any new regions, until we are able to secure a carrier for every zip code. We are still figuring out the details and procuring last mile delivery for each of these zips, but we should have 100 percent coverage shortly."

Amazon would not comment on the record, but called initial reports that it would not launch the delivery service in any new regions until it first fills in existing gaps inaccurate. 

The company had already made commitments to close delivery gaps in Boston after Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyBiden comments add momentum to spending bill's climate measures  Overnight Energy & Environment — Starting from 'scratch' on climate, spending bill Overnight Health Care — White House boosts mask availability MORE (D-Mass.) raised concerns. It also previously said it was working to close delivery gaps in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, New York City and Washington, D.C.

A number of lawmakers expressed concern after Bloomberg published a detailed report that found neighborhoods excluded from the company's same-day delivery are overwhelmingly made up of African-Americans or families with below-average incomes.

Customers can sign up for Amazon Prime for $99 a year to receive two-day shipping across the nation. The company has also rolled out same-day delivery for some items in 27 metro areas. But some parts of those cities and surrounding suburbs are not currently eligible for the program. 

Amazon has previously said demographics make up no part of its decisions on delivery. Instead, the company says it relies on distance to an Amazon warehouse, number of Prime members in a neighborhood and the number of delivery drivers it has in an area.

This story was corrected at 5:30 p.m.