In the six months after he partnered with Amazon, former Army Maj. Quinton Burgess saw the number of his trucks and employees rise exponentially.

“I started off with five trucks and 10 employees,” Burgess said, inside an Amazon warehouse in Richmond. “We rapidly grew over the last six months … I have 60 personnel now and 30 trucks.”

Amazon’s Delivery Service Partner program is geared toward entrepreneurs interested in working with the e-commerce giant to launch small businesses.

In return, Amazon uses these independent logistics companies to meet the demand to deliver Amazon packages from warehouses to homes. The program began in June 2018.

Amazon provides branded Amazon vans customized for delivery, a fuel program, high-quality uniforms and business services, such as recruiting-tool discounts; payroll, tax and accounting software discounts; legal support; insurance options; and more.

The company also has incentives for veterans. Amazon has committed $1 million to reimburse up to $10,000 in startup costs for qualified U.S. military veterans.

Retired Army Maj. Quinton Burgess (right) helps load items into his truck to be delivered at an Amazon shipping plant in Richmond, Va. Burgess and his Alligiance Logistics LLC company has partnered with Amazon as part of a program that helps veterans become entrepreneurs.

“When we sat down to think who we wanted to be our leaders, we wanted … military veterans to join the program,” said Amanda Ip, an Amazon spokeswoman. “Amazon has a long history of supporting and hiring veterans within the company at various levels … and we wanted to do the same for our delivery service partners.”

After spending 26 years in the Army with the 3rd Infantry Division and later with the 1st Sustainment Command (Theater) in Iraq and Afghanistan, Burgess said he was ready for a change. He decided to start Allegiance Logistics LLC, a transportation-and-delivery company.

“I came to the point where I wanted to do something else,” he said. “I feel like I served my country … and I wanted to do more for Quinton.

“So becoming an entrepreneur was something that I wanted to do and I decided to make that change.”

Experience working for United Parcel Service, along with his military background, pushed Burgess toward shipping and logistics.

“The opportunity came with Amazon,” said Burgess, 60. “My wife and I saw the commercial … and really thought this would be a great opportunity, with my background.”

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Source: Ken-Yon Hardy/Stars and Stripes