TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. — When Amazon opened its new Tonawanda Delivery Station, a Western New York veteran decided to start a new career by forming an Amazon Delivery Service Partner team, and it's a family affair.
The Ikpa family launched Castletop Logistics in the middle of the COVID pandemic and now employs about 100 people.
Castletop provides services for Amazon. It's a third-party contractor, and it gets packages from the Tonawanda Delivery Station to your door. Every day, the drivers pick up packages and spend about ten hours delivering them. They just started doing this in July.
Shawn Ikpa previously worked for Amazon corporate. Before that he was in the military.
He wanted to start a family business, so his dad and brother relocated with him from the Atlanta area to Buffalo while other family members stayed behind.
Shawn's brother helps manage dispatch, and his dad helps to recruit and train new drivers. He says the amount of packages they're delivering this year is unprecedented, and there are a lot of things you can do to help them get your stuff to you safely and on time.
"Leaving a light on when you're expecting a delivery. It really helps our drivers identify the house number, and ensuring that they're delivering to the correct house. You alluded to the safety associated with snow and walkways, so that's also very helpful to ensure that walkways are cleared for our drivers and there aren't any obstacles or barriers as they move across your lawn and your front porch to deliver the package," Shawn Ikpa said.
Shawn also says pets are an issue in the warmer weather because they can be an obstacle for drivers trying to get to your door.
And, he says specific delivery instructions are helpful. A lockbox is also something they say more people are using now to make sure deliveries aren't stolen.
Shawn's dad says it's been great being able to bond with his sons as adults as they work together and that he's really proud of them.