Over the years, Amazon has made known its intentions to become a logistics and transportation powerhouse. The company purchased thousands of trailer trucks, dozens of cargo planes, and minority stakes in two cargo airlines for its Prime Air service.
It has also brought to the market new delivery services like Amazon Flex to do package shipping on its own. The Amazon Relay App was designed primarily to enable truck drivers to find jobs picking up and dropping off packages at Amazon warehouses.
Note that this app designed by Amazon gave Amazon direct access to millions of truck drivers across the country. It is simply a website containing information about loads that need to be delivered between Amazon warehouses. A good number of dispatchers today spend time finding loads for their drivers on Amazon Relay.
There are more than 175 Amazon-owned warehouses around the USA and every one of your online orders on Amazon.com are delivered by Amazon relay. To get a product delivered to your door in nothing more than a day, Amazon needs to keep a product within a one-day driving distance all over the US.
The app allows drivers to enter cargo information, check in with a QR code, and get through the security gate, avoiding the manual process of barging in. At some facilities, Amazon has installed special Relay lanes. This app has made it easier for trucking companies and owner-operators to locate, book, and transport loads for Amazon.
Its wide array of essential features allows you to access the Relay Load Board, accept loads, assign drivers to loads, track your performance and view payment information. The relay Web page also contains loads 24/7. Profitable loads are booked instantly.
These loads are called hot loads. Hot loads are known to be three times more lucrative than regular loads. If you’re thinking of becoming an Amazon owner operator or Relay carrier, it’s important to understand the necessary requirements.
All Relay partners are expected to use Amazon Relay products when hauling loads for the company. This is just one of the many requirements carriers and owner-operators have to meet to start hauling loads for Amazon. If you are looking to expand or work with Amazon, there is a good probability you will need more trucks or trailers, but those can be extremely expensive, especially if you are looking to get brand new ones.
Steps to Rent a Box Truck for Amazon Relay
Amazon Relay offers owner-operators and carriers the platform to work directly with Amazon. If you intend to leverage this app and deliver for Amazon with your box truck, here are basic steps to follow;
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Analyze Your Finances
To work with Amazon, a box truck owner-operator will have to make certain personal investments, and this could entail taking on additional debt. However, before you decide to acquire or lease a vehicle, take your time to analyze your financial situation. If you have folks who depend on your owner operator income, then it is imperative you have substantial emergency savings before going on your own.
You should also log in your financial information into a spreadsheet to easily understand how much you have to make every month to pay for your expenses. In addition, ensure you estimate how much you can earn sourcing loads from Amazon Relay, and remember to make low estimates to be on the safe side.
Meet Amazon Basic Requirements
Amazon, just like any other reputable trucking company in the world, is only interested in working with the best and safest drivers. According to Amazon, to join the team, here are basic requirements;
- An active DOT number with interstate authority.
- A valid MC number.
- A “Carrier” entity type that is Authorized for Property.
- A “Carrier” entity type that is Authorized for Hire.
- A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Safety Rating that is not Conditional or Unsatisfactory.
- Different forms of insurance coverage:
- Commercial General Liability not less than $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 in total.
- Auto Liability equal to or greater than $1,000,000 per occurrence, including a trailer replacement coverage of $50,000.
- Cargo coverage of at least $100,000.
- Workers’ compensation insurance in all jurisdictions where your company operates.
- Employer liability greater than or equal to $100,000 per occurrence.
Meet Amazon Vehicle Requirements
Box trucks used to deliver goods for Amazon are expected to meet the following standards:
- Able to withstand a pallet jack fully laden.
- Well-maintained, safe, and free from any obstructions and damage such as holes.
- Have to be watertight, clean, and free of strong odors, especially when moving food and healthcare products.
- Straps, unless used to properly secure a load, will have to be firmly fixed to the vehicle, so they present no danger to and ensure accessibility to the goods being unloaded.
- The use of trailers with uneven or corrugated floors (such as in refrigerated trailers) is not allowed.
- In addition, any trailer, truck, shipment, or portion of a shipment is subject to refusal at the fulfillment center if the fulfillment center associates are unable to safely unload the product with no additional cost to Amazon.
Download Amazon Relay App
Once you have the above requirements and have also arranged the necessary paperwork, you will be expected to apply through the self-service onboarding portal. This means downloading the app on your phone, either on Android or iPhone. Note that this app comes with a vast range of amazing features that a trucker will find essential.
Truck-friendly navigation, load notifications, and load history are well-known features on most apps; however, Amazon Relay App brings much more to the market. According to reviews, drivers can leverage the app to report a disruption or delay to their dispatcher, especially in a situation where the truck driver won’t meet the deadline due to certain unavoidable issues.
Amazon Relay also automatically generates invoices, proof of delivery, and bills of lading for all deliveries made through the application. Although a good number of small business carriers and brokers still argue with the FMCSA over broker transparency regulations, Amazon has been able to cut through the red tape and offer carriers quick access to the paperwork with just a few taps of their phone.
With the Amazon Relay portal, carriers with different truck and fleet sizes can leverage Amazon’s vast freight network across 48 states to book loads that work for them. In addition, with Relay Rewards, carriers can currently participate in time-based promotions to win prizes like gift cards.
Have it in mind that those who enroll can earn access to exclusive promotions and view Value Added Services so they can participate in discount programs for fuel, maintenance, and equipment.