Charleston Amazon deliveries are about to get faster, but what about Prime Now?

Ladson facility aims to improve "last mile" of delivery network

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Amazon recently announced that it's enlisting independent partners to build out its delivery network - PROVIDED
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  • Amazon recently announced that it's enlisting independent partners to build out its delivery network
Those K-Cups and light bulbs you ordered on Amazon yesterday will probably be getting here a little faster in the near future.

According to plans approved by Charleston County this week, the online retailer is planning to build a 17,000-square foot tent in Ladson with an eye on improving delivery times for the Charleston area. The plans appear to match with Amazon's latest announcements about building out facilities toward the end of its delivery chain.

The Ladson facility near the Exchange Park and fairgrounds (9801 Hwy. 78) will reportedly be a drop-off location where tractor-trailers will leave Amazon deliveries early in the morning to be sorted and loaded onto smaller delivery vehicles between 6:30 a.m. and noon. The facility will employ 40 people at a time. Amazon has made moves in recent months to build out its own Prime delivery service instead of relying on standard mail or delivery businesses. The company already has larger central distribution centers near Columbia and Spartanburg, no doubt a key component of its growing independent logistical network. The company has also invested in its own air and trucking fleets. Over the past few weeks, Amazon-branded Mercedes Sprinter vans have been spotted in the Charleston area.



Filings with Charleston County note that some delivery vans will be left onsite when they're not in use, but no word on whether they are part of Amazon's own fleet. The company also recently announced a franchise-like initiative to sign up Amazon Delivery Service Partners, entrepreneurs that invest their own money to independently operate and run deliveries for the company.

In addition to its Ladson delivery station, Amazon recently expanded its footprint in Charleston with the opening of a second Whole Foods Market in the area. But even with a growing local network, no word yet on if that means same-day deliveries are on the way.

"I don't have anything share about Prime Now," is all spokesperson Amanda Ip would tell us when we asked. (Shipt and Instacart do offer deliveries from Whole Foods and other stores.) Charlotte, N.C. is the closest city with Prime Now, which offers some Amazon deliveries in as little as two hours. Amazon Letter of Intent, Ladson Charleston County

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