Amazon is using the sidewalks as warehouses

This is hardly news — no one has missed what’s going on in our lobbies and on our streets — but I did want to see if I could get through to Amazon and see what is forcing these delivery guys to use the sidewalks as a distribution center.

It will not come as a shock that I didn’t get a lot of satisfaction, but I do now understand that these are third-party delivery “partners” of Amazon, and the Mothership doesn’t seem to know how they are getting the job done here. I sent them several pictures, which were then shared with the third-party carrier, who said this method of sorting is sometimes necessary in high density deliver areas.

The official reply, from Amazon spokesperson Alisa Carroll, said they would try to look into it:

“We’ve reached out to our third-party delivery partner in New York and they’ve told us they will be addressing the situation immediately to provide a solution. We strive to be a great neighbor and are disappointed in how packages were being sorted.”

Amazon is not the only one using the sidewalks this way. There’s also Fresh Direct, which seems to have a permanent set up in front of the ConEd substation at Finn Square.

We could stop ordering deliveries, or they could take some of their profits and rent one of our hundreds of empty storefronts for this purpose.

And while this is not exactly air-tight reporting, my mailman told me he was approached to *be* one of these third-party carriers, and that the deal sucks. He said he would have cleared about $100 for what sounded like a long day using his own transportation, and that he would be on the hook for any misdelivered packages — it would come out of his pay if the package didn’t get to its recipient.

Crain’s just did some good data crunching on this topic, and came up with these conclusions:
• New York City residents receive an average of 2.3 million packages per day, up from 1.8 million pre-pandemic. Household deliveries now outpace those to businesses.
• Americans allocated 13 percent of their total retail spending to e-commerce goods up from less than 5 percent a decade ago.
• Shippers are fighting for warehouse space. Nearly two-thirds of industrial leasing activity in New York’s outer boroughs is for e-commerce fulfillment centers.
• The city Department of Transportation found that freight crossing the Hudson River jumped 50 percent from January 2020 to September 2021.
• Cardboard recycling volume is up. Collection of paper garbage was 279,417 tons through November this year, a 3.6% increase over the same period last year.



  1. Appears Fresh Direct sorts directly in the street too.

    While we’re at it, what’s up with the new marketing trend of spray painting sidewalks (usually at the corners) with whatever the advertisement of the day is? I’ve seen everything from real estate developments to grocery delivery. What adverstising company is doing this and do they have a deal with the City to do this?

  2. finally some press on this…this is totally absurd and i have eprsonally been taking pics all over tribeca. they block sidewalks, whatever legal spots we have left for cars, they have no resepct for anyone. they are laying around the streets sleeping on their handtrucks, ride on the sidewalks with those bikes almost hitting people all day long. they could give 2 craps as they dont want to work i bet…..
    NOT only that they are now a drop ship company and never have delivered one package to our doors. We dont have a doorman bldg and they just throw in the lobby and it clearly says an apartment number so why are we paying for shippping if you are not prime and have to go to get your package….they are the laziest people in this my opinion…..i dont pay to get something delivered to my lobby as packages are still stolen in our lobbys daily and its total BS….
    Now i will make a bigbet here that Bezos has no idea what is going on and i guarantee he has no clue packages are not getting to his customers doors….Not hard to send him a scathing email and i promise he will act and hold many of his wiorthless management accountable. more than happy to help if you guys care….but its got to stop.

    • You seriously expect delivery guys to deliver each package to everyone’s individual door?

      Do you know how long that would take?

      You call the delivery guys “lazy” yet you can’t walk downstairs to pickup your own package 🧐😒

  3. these 3rd party services blocked my delivery van once too often here on Duane Street.
    i asked theem to move so i could get out. they ignored me so just pushed the packages out of my way and stopped at the 1st precinct to ask for help. somehow the police must have responded, bc when i got back form my delivery the truck and its packages were gone and they haven’t blocked me in since.

  4. This has been going on since 2020. Amazon is more than ever in our lives, people have completely surrendered to on line shopping, so how do you suppose the packages would get to you?

  5. When I was talking to one of the Amazon workers about the plastic wrapping left behind in Finn Square another worker said I couldn’t be on the sidewalk where workers were expected to do their jobs.

    Another problem is use of Finn Square as a toilet. Do those trucks have toilets? Where are the workers expected to go? Starbucks is not open all night.

    Thank you for bringing up this important issue.

  6. The Delivery Service Partners (Amazon partners and drivers) operating nationwide in both urban and rural areas have an influx of your packages to deliver during peak periods. The pandemic has created an endless peak. There is no designated parking for them until municipalities work together to create this. Some cities have begun to do so, but in the meantime the owners of these third party logistics companies shoulder parking fines on tight margins so you get your toothpaste same day. Let’s cut them some slack.

  7. So with the exception of Madeline at Duane Park Patisserie busy running a business I heard a lot of complaints from the idle. Who cares? This is industry. The workers are never rude, work hard and then leave. Remember folks we are a lot of people living on a small island and apparently we order a lot of stuff online. You want indifferent and unaware; hello Laughing Man consumers. Out of my way people!!! Respect to the worker and their work. Happy Holiday comfy citizens of TriBeCa.

  8. Maybe it’s time to get rid of some parking and dedicate more curb space to loading/unloading so it doesn’t have to take place on the sidewalks.

  9. Maybe we could all put a little more effort in to using the Amazon lockers and streamlining our deliveries.

  10. If the quantity of packages is too much to sort reasonably at the truck location without blocking sidewalks and pedestrian traffic, Amazon should be renting commercial spaces in the city to use as their sorting facilities. (Of course, that will probably drive up the cost of delivery, and the cost of Prime…. )

    FedEx and UPS also do their sorting on the street on our block, but they don’t block up the sidewalks at all. (At least these particular FedEx and UPS workers don’t… might be different in other areas). They do essentially take another parking spot to do the sorting, though.

  11. This should be our biggest problem but guess what it isn’t, let’s try to focus on the things that really matter, these guys are trying to make a living and deliver your packages. Be greatful not begruding.