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Amazon orders 20,000 vans to build delivery fleet

Parisa Sadrzadeh, a senior manager of logistics for Amazon.com, with an Amazon-branded delivery van in Seattle on June 27. Photo Credit: AP/Ted S. Warren

Amazon says it has ordered 20,000 vans for its new delivery program in which contractors around the country can launch businesses that deliver packages for the online retailer.

The company says "tens of thousands" of people have applied for the program it announced in June, and it had to increase its van order from 4,500. The vans, which feature a blue smile logo, can be used by contractors to deliver packages.

The delivery program is part of Amazon's plan to gain more control over how its packages are delivered. With it, Amazon.com Inc. can rely less on other delivery services, such as UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service.

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Amazon.com Inc. says the vans will be built at a new Mercedes-Benz plant in South Carolina.