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Amazon dips toes into maritime shipping

amazon.jpg Inc said that sales on Exclusives, its platform for products not available anywhere else, topped US$50 million in less than a year since its launch and the site includes more than 120 brands, the first time it has disclosed the data.

[SAN FRANCISCO] Amazon said on Friday it has taken the first steps to begin maritime shipping operations, adding to its already vast arsenal of logistical operations.

The company confirmed to AFP that it had registered with US Federal Maritime Commission to operate via a Chinese subsidiary Beijing Century Joyo Courier Service.

The news was first reported by the shipping blog Flexport, which called it "Amazon's first step toward entering the US$350 billion ocean freight market." By operating its own maritime shipping, Amazon could improve its ability to move goods into the company's logistics network, the blog noted.

"We don't have anything to share beyond confirming that the filing occurred," Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Cheeseman said.

Amazon has already announced it hopes to be able to use drones to deliver goods to customers upon winning regulatory approval.

It has also confirmed plans to acquire all shares of French delivery group Colis Prive, which could help reduce its reliance on outside shippers such as Fedex and UPS.