As Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) rapidly built a sprawling network to move merchandise, many of the trucking companies it hired were more dangerous than their peers, sometimes fatally.
One of the drivers had a crack pipe after running an Amazon trailer into a Minnesota ditch. He was a convict of drunk driving, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Another driver was involved in a fatal accident in Kansas after losing control while braking within two months after his employer ignored a police order to fix the truck’s brakes.
A third driver at another company had two crashes during a single trip between Amazon warehouses, ultimately staggering across a Wyoming highway into an oncoming truck, killing its driver.
All three companies received unsafe driving scores that raised red flags at the U.S. Transportation Department, a WSJ analysis of government data found.
Between February 2020 and early August 2022, over 1,300 Amazon trucking contractors received scores worse than the level at which DOT officials typically take action.
Trucking contractors that frequently worked for Amazon were more than twice as likely as peers to receive bad unsafe driving scores, the study showed.
Amazon trucking companies were involved in crashes that have killed more than 75 people since 2015. Amazon said it had a lower fatality rate per vehicle versus the industry average, including strict action against contractors involved in fatalities.
An expert claimed that companies that “frequently haul Amazon’s freight are systematically more likely to have poor driving safety scores. He also validated the Journal’s methodology and findings.
The Journal found evidence in the government records that 48 companies with conditional ratings hauled Amazon trailers since early 2020, apparently violating its own rules. The companies continued hauling Amazon freight even after their scores grew worse than Amazon’s internal threshold.
The government data show that 375 companies moved Amazon freight with scores worse than Amazon requires even after the company changed its rules.
Earlier, a study claimed that Amazon warehouse workers in the U.S. suffered severe injuries at twice the rate of rival companies. Amazon has seen growing unionization in its warehouses, demanding better pay and safety measures.
Price Action: AMZN shares traded lower by 0.73% at $117.68 on the last check Thursday.
Photo via Phillip Pessar via Flickr