Amazon Extends One-Hour Delivery Service To Baltimore, Miami

Amazon is expanding its one-hour courier delivery services to two new cities, Baltimore and Miami.
Posted at 1:17 PM, Mar 19, 2015

Amazon is expanding Prime Now, a lightning-fast delivery deal that started in Manhattan.

The service uses bike couriers to get Amazon deliveries to doorsteps, sometimes within an hour of ordering.

Starting Thursday, Amazon is expanding the service to certain zip codes in Baltimore and Miami. Qualifying locations are listed in the stand-alone Prime Now app.

Just as in New York, two-hour delivery of eligible goods is free; one-hour delivery carries an extra $7.99 charge.

Amazon Prime Now requires a subscription to plain old Amazon Prime, the $99-a-year service that guarantees members comparatively pokey two-day shipping and access to streaming libraries and other services.

With Prime Now, members can order from some 25,000 items available from Amazon's storefront. You can get a little bit of everything: books, toys, electronics, even utter luxuries such as food and toilet paper.

It's part of what The Economist has termed the "on-demand economy," which encapsulates everything from Uber and Airbnb to the push-button laundry-washing app Washio. These days, if you can think it but don't want to do it yourself, chances are there's an app for finding someone else who will.

Writing on Boing Boing, Nicole Dieker detailed a Prime Now experience that involved a minimum order of $15 and lots of packaging. It’s not necessarily the best way to get that one tiny thing you missed at the store earlier.

 Similarly, a writer at Quartz found Prime Now incredibly convenient but more complicated and expensive than other options. 

Amazon is betting usefulness will come out on top. The company says Prime Now will expand to more zip codes in its new cities "soon" and additional cities later this year.

This video includes images from Getty Images.