In 2017, Amazon quietly launched an app called Relay, which makes it easier for drivers to pick up and drop off packages at the retail giant’s warehouses. Today, Relay has grown and transformed to help carriers expand their business by connecting them straight to available loads.
Amazon Relay Attracts More Owner-Operators
Serving as Amazon’s freight transportation management system, Amazon Relay allows owner-operators and carriers to work directly with Amazon.
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Carriers can be connected to loads from the company’s expansive network of freight. Fleet owners, carriers and drivers are given all the tools they need to start booking and hauling loads right away.
Approved carriers can take advantage of Amazon’s freight offering, giving them access to more than 30,000 spot loads daily though the Amazon load board. Loads have all-in pricing.
The primary advantage of Relay is that it automates the application and booking process, making it as quick and easy as possible to secure loads. Instead of dealing with emails, phone calls and price haggling, carriers have one central platform to handle the entire process:
- Commercial navigation
- Detailed load information
When carriers apply to Relay, they can receive an answer in as little as 10 minutes.
How are Carriers Using Relay?
Relay can be used to:
- Manage rosters
- Assign loads to drivers
- Analyze driver performance
- Review payments
But the system can also be used to automate the assigning process. Carriers can set their preferences for date, time, price and destinations along with their empty capacity. When matching loads become available, they can be automatically assigned to save time filling out paperwork.
Invoices are generated automatically. All payments and invoices can be reviewed right on the Relay portal for convenience.
How to Haul Freight for Amazon with Relay
In order to haul freight for Amazon through Relay, carriers will need to apply through the self-service onboarding portal. Once approved, carriers can start using the load board to find, book and assign work. An app is available specifically for drivers, which offers real-time alerts, yard instructions and commercial navigation.
Requirements for Relay
- Active DOT number w/interstate authority and MC number
- An FMCSA Safety Rating of “Satisfactory,” “Not Rated,” or “None”
- A type of carrier entity that is Authorized for Property and for Hire
- Have all required insurance coverage:
- Auto liability of at least $1 million per occurrence, including $50,000 in trailer replacement coverage
- Commercial general liability of at least $1 million per occurrence and $2 million in aggregate
- Employer liability of at least $100,000 per occurrence
- Cargo coverage of at least $100,000
- Workers’ compensation in all jurisdictions where you operate
What Type of Equipment Does Amazon Work With?
- Trailers: Reefer, 28’ trailer, 53’ dry van
- Tractors: Box truck, day cab and sleeper cab
Steps for Using Relay
The first step is to fill out an online application with your DOT information, insurance, company details, equipment and payment information.
A decision will be made within hours.
2. Find and Book Loads
Once approved, carriers can start using the load board to view or search for available loads that meet their criteria. All Amazon trucking contracts are handled directly through the tool as well. All it takes is one click to book a load.
3. Start Hauling
Once a load is accepted, drivers can use the Relay app to receive real-time alerts, instructions for streamlining the check-in and check-out process, and for commercial navigation.
Drivers can pre-register their tractors and trailers for easy in and out when they arrive at the yard. All drivers have to do is show the guard at the gate their QR code for scanning, and they will be let through.
Over 90% of the loads on Relay are low weight and drop-n-hook. This improves driver efficiency and also reduces the waiting time for trailers. About 70% loads on the load board are round-trip, meaning that drivers are paid to return home. This allows carriers to maximize their revenue and not have to hunt down backhaul freight.
Relay’s app, load board and carrier portal are free to use if you’re working with Amazon.
Short-Term Trucking Contracts with Amazon
Carriers of all sizes can take advantage of short-term contracts with Amazon. These contracts help fill the gaps between spot work and long-term contracts.
Contracts can be chosen through Relay from weeks to months in the future. Each contract includes an entire week of work over each week of the contract. Payout is guaranteed as long as there is no cancellation or rejection. Even if Amazon doesn’t use this contracted capacity, drivers are still paid 100% of the contract’s value.
Short-term contracts give carriers access to tens of thousands of loads each week. Transparency and guaranteed pricing mean that carriers have an additional, reliable stream of revenue. These contracts are available to a wide range of drivers on the Relay platform.
Through Relay, carriers can view:
- The contract duration, including start and end dates
- Blocks per week
- Driver count
- Total contract value
- Block rate
Contracts can be accepted with the click of a button.
They are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and new ones are released every week. Payments are direct deposited into bank accounts within 7 days of the work being completed. If you are looking for more ways to get involved with local Amazon routes, we suggest you apply for their Delivery Service Partner program.
The short-term contract program streamlines business while minimizing risk. Carriers can commit to future work and enjoy competitive rates for the work. It gives carriers peace of mind. Small fleet owners can balance work certainty with freedom to optimize as the industry fluctuates.
Amazon Relay offers carriers and owner-operators the opportunity to work with Amazon, one of the biggest retailers in the world. As long as carriers meet the minimum requirements, they should be approved. Approval is relatively quick and straightforward. Once that process is complete, carriers can start assigning loads to drivers and get moving.
The Relay load board is easily accessible 24/7, and loads can be secured at any time with the click of a button. It saves time and eliminates the hassle of having to communicate via email or haggle pricing.
Pricing is transparent, and with short-term contracts, it’s guaranteed.
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