By Gabriela Mello
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc <AMZN.O> said on Thursday it will open a distribution center in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, its second in Brazil, strengthening its logistics infrastructure to speed up deliveries and ultimately expand its footprint.
The move comes almost a year after the U.S. e-commerce giant launched its first in-house fulfillment and delivery network in Brazil, posing a challenge to local retailers and other international players like Mercado Libre <MELI.O>.
It also follows the introduction of Amazon's Prime subscription service offering unlimited nationwide free shipping to Brazilian consumers.
"Today's announcement marks our long-term commitment with Brazil and, mostly, with our customers all over the country," Amazon's Brazilian country manager, Alex Szapiro, said in a statement.
The company did not disclose how much is investing in the new facility. It will be located in Cabo de Santo Agostinho, a municipality not far from Recife.
Amazon said it expects to kick off operations in the first half of 2020, reducing minimum delivery timing to two working days.
(Reporting by Gabriela Mello; Editing by Leslie Adler)