If you’re considering working as a DSP driver, you may be wondering how much you can earn, how much DSP owners make and how the program works.
Amazon’s DSP program was launched in 2018 to help entrepreneurs realize their dreams while growing Amazon’s business. Today, there are DSP owners across the country hiring drivers to deliver Amazon packages.
Let’s take a closer look at this program, how it works and how much drivers can expect to earn.
What Is Amazon DSP?
Amazon DSP (Delivery Service Partner) is a program that gives aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to get their business up and running with the support of one of the largest retailers on the planet. Those who meet Amazon’s requirements can apply to become a DSP.
DSP owners are responsible for managing a fleet of drivers and vans who will deliver packages to Amazon customers. Essentially, they become Amazon delivery contractors.
According to Amazon, DSPs can get started with as little as $10,000 (although Amazon requires you to have access to $30,000 in liquid assets). Amazon has secured deals on many of the things you’ll need to launch your own DSP business, which is why startup costs can be so low.
These deals include:
- Amazon-branded vans
- Vehicle maintenance and insurance
- Fuel programs
- Recruitment tools
- DOT compliance services
- Legal support
- Health benefits for employees
- Payroll, accounting and tax services
- Business coaches
Becoming a DSP owner gives you:
- Access to Amazon’s logistics technology and processes to make it as easy as possible to set up and run your business.
- Steady, reliable work. Amazon is one of the largest retailers in the world, and you will be delivering their packages. There’s no shortage of work, so there’s an excellent opportunity to grow your business.
- Support from the Amazon team. They provide hands-on training as well as on-demand support.
Amazon says that DSP owners should expect and be prepared to hire and manage a team of 40-100 people and run a fleet of 20-40 vans. These are truly local and/or regional jobs. This is not like an OTR Amazon truck driver.
Applying to Become an Amazon DSP
In order to become a DSP owner, you must submit an application that includes your education, work history and financial information.
Amazon states that the selection process is highly competitive and lengthy. As a result, openings are far and few between. Part of the selection process is an on-site interview. If you pass, you may be invited to join the Future DSP Program until an opening becomes available in your area.
Future DSPs will be assigned an Amazon Business Development Manager and meet with them regularly. In addition, they are provided educational materials explaining how the launch process works and Amazon’s expectations.
After joining the Future DSP Program, the next steps include:
- Receiving a rate card and offer (depending on your location). A rate card includes a route rate, a per-package rate and a fixed monthly payment for the vans.
- Complete two weeks of hands-on training. The two-week hands-on training involves one week of virtual classroom introduction to the company and one week in a delivery station working with existing drivers and owners.
- Establish your business and team
- Launch your business
A few things to know about Amazon’s DSP program:
- Amazon clearly states that being a DSP owner is hard work. You can’t expect to become a DSP and work part-time or earn passive income.
- You won’t be accepted into the program if you have relationships with entities or people that pose a conflict of interest. For example, you cannot become a DSP if you have an interest in any other DSP business or your spouse or partner has a DSP business.
- You can only operate your business in one location. Amazon has restrictions on how many vans and drivers you can employ, which prevents any one DSP owner from becoming too powerful.
- Grants may be available for applicants who are Latinx, Black or Native American.
The application process is lengthy, and you will be expected to complete a recorded screening interview with questions based on Amazon Leadership Principles.
Establishing Your Team and Launching Your Business
Before they can launch their businesses, new DSP owners must first set up their business and hire a team.
Establishing Your Business
The first step is to set up your business. This includes:
- Choosing a name
- Choosing an entity type
Amazon provides deals on tools to help with some of the back-of-house tasks, like tax and accounting, payroll, insurance, legal support and more.
As a DSP owner, you will need to obtain your motor carrier operating authority and ensure that your leased vans are adequately insured.
Establishing Your Team
Most owners start off with just five vans, so you will need to hire five drivers and lease five vans right from the get-go.
Amazon offers discounts on recruiting tools to help you find qualified drivers.
Owners are expected to maintain Amazon’s reputation, so it’s important to hire drivers who will interact positively with customers. Timely deliveries and customer satisfaction are two metrics that you will need to focus on.
Amazon Routes for Sale
Another way to become a DSP owner is to purchase an existing DSP route. These are established businesses that already have a fleet of leased vans and a team of drivers. In many cases, employees are willing to stay on with the new business owner.
Let’s take a look at two example listings to get an idea of what being a DSP owner is all about.
California DSP Route
A profitable DSP route in California is for sale. The business has more than 180 vans, and the owner works an estimated 20 hours a week. Support and training will be provided, and the staff wishes to stay on. The business, which was established in 2019, has 47 employees.
According to the listing, the business generates more than $600,000 in revenue and has cash flow of around $300,000.
New York DSP Route
Another highly profitable route is for sale in New York City. The business has 27 vans, and the 60 employees wish to stay on with the new owner. Training and support will be provided to the new owner.
The listing states that the business generates around $3.6 million in revenue and has cash flow of around $690,000. The owner works about 20 hours a week.
Ohio DSP Route
A DSP route in Ohio is available that generates more than $7 million in gross revenue with cash flow of around $1.6 million.
That route has 100 employees, but no information is provided on the size of the fleet.
In each of these examples, the cost to acquire the business is – as you may have guessed – significantly higher than starting a new DSP business. However, if you have the cash, it’s worth considering if it’s your dream to own a package delivery business.
Amazon Delivery Service Partner Owner Salary
If you’re interested in the Amazon Delivery Service Partner program, you may be wondering how much DSP owners make.
The answer is: it depends.
Amazon estimates that DSP owners earn anywhere from $75,000 to $300,000.
How much they earn depends on a number of factors. Like other fleet owners, DSP owners have a laundry list of expenses, including:
- Vehicle maintenance
- Insurance costs
- Van costs
- Payroll and taxes
It’s difficult to know how much DSP owners really make because they are not legally allowed to talk about how they get paid or how much they earn.
Amazon’s brochure for DSPs states that owners can expect:
- To generate $1-$4.5 million in revenue
- Take home up to $300,000 in profit
So, as you can see, there’s quite a bit of overhead involved. Looking at the listings for DSP routes for sale can also help you get an idea of how much owners make and how much revenue the business generates.
It’s important to note that DSP owners have to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). For this reason, it’s difficult to find concrete answers on how much owners are paid for routes.
Amazon DSP Driver Salary
How much can you expect to earn as a DSP driver? The answer really depends on your location and your DSP owner.
Here’s what the data shows:
- Indeed says Amazon DSP drivers make about $18 an hour.
- According to ZipRecruiter, DSP drivers make $18 an hour, or $37,277 per year.
- Glassdoor says drivers earn about $57,522 per year. Their estimate shows that drivers likely earn a base pay of $39,234 per year and $18,289 per year in additional pay (bonuses, tips, commission, profit sharing, etc.).
Job postings can also provide insight into how much DSP owners are paying their drivers. Here’s how much drivers are earning, according to recent job postings:
- $16.50/hour in Fairview, NC
- $17.50/hour in Bloomfield Township, MI
- $19.25/hour in Readington Township, NJ
- $21.50/hour in Redwood Estates, CA
- $19.50/hour in Framingham, MA
- $18.50/hour in Revere, PA
Like most other jobs, location plays a big role in how much you earn. The major salary sites consistently show that drivers earn about $18/hour, but if you live in Michigan, North Carolina or some other states, you may be earning less than expected.
Amazon makes it easy to see how much local DSPs are paying through their job search tool.
Amazon DSP Driver Responsibilities
A DSP driver’s primary responsibility is to deliver packages to Amazon customers. It’s a fast-paced job, and drivers may be expected to deliver anywhere from 170 to 300 packages per shift. Packages can weigh 50-500 lbs. (with team lift).
Generally, DSP owners require drivers to meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Be legally authorized to work in the U.S.
- Hold a valid driver’s license in their state of employment
Shifts can be up to 10 hours, and drivers are expected to work 4-5 days per week. Overtime is typically available with most DSP driving positions.
Many DSP owners also provide:
- Health insurance options
- Flexible schedules
- Paid Time Off
DSPs may offer sign-on bonuses, holiday pay and paternal and maternal leave as well.
Health insurance options are entirely dependent on the DSP owner. Owners have a range of options to choose from in their area. Some insurance options are better and more affordable than others.
Can Owner Operators Get Amazon Trucking Contracts?
What if you’re an owner operator who wants to work with Amazon but doesn’t want to be a DSP driver? Can you get a contract with Amazon?
Unfortunately, Amazon does not have trucking contracts with owner operators. The Amazon Relay program allows carriers to sign short-term contracts and access the company’s load board. In order to be considered, other truckers say you must have at least three trucks in your fleet.
The Logistics Of Amazon
The Amazon DSP program gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to start their own package delivery business and drivers a chance to get steady work. Working as a DSP driver isn’t for everyone, but each driver’s individual experience will be largely dependent on their DSP owner.
For those who don’t mind the fast-paced environment and want to drive locally, a job as a DSP driver may be a great option.
Ready to apply? Visit Amazon Logistics for job opportunities.