Are you ready to optimize your trucking business even more and reap the rewards of working with Amazon, earning more revenue, and growing your business? Joining Amazon Relay as a trucking services provider will get you there.
Amazon Relay is a freight transportation management system in an app form that fleet managers, carriers, and truckers can use to increase their business hand in hand with the eCommerce giant – Amazon – and book extra loads to eliminate the waste of empty trips.
Do you want to know everything there is to know about Amazon Relay and how you can use the platform to benefit your trucking business?
Then you’re in the right place. We’ve got everything you need to know about Amazon Relay, equipment type needed and other requirements, and the ins and outs of Amazon trucking contracts. Plus, we even dive into how much you could potentially earn.
What Is Amazon Relay?
Amazon created a trucking program called Amazon Relay to meet their evolving transport demands.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Amazon experienced a spike in profits, seeing nearly a double in revenue.
This meant that the eCommerce retail giant required an increase in transport capacity to pick up and deliver Amazon loads.
The good news is that trucking companies and freight brokers can tap into the “golden era” of Amazon, grow their business, and increase their own revenue.
Enter Amazon Relay: the program that makes it super easy for fleet owners to find Amazon loads to haul to their destinations.
Amazon created Relay to help it automate the truck delivery process. The platform is a bid to make this process as error-free as possible by eliminating phone calls and paperwork. Everything truck owners and drivers need is on the Relay app.
In essence, Amazon Relay helps carriers:
- Have full work weeks by offering short-term contracts per load
- Increase and plan their revenue on an ad hoc basis
- Post the availability of an idle truck so Relay can book loads, thus optimizing free time and avoiding empty trips
- Review what loads are available so they can instantly book work
What Are Amazon Relay’s Service Level Expectations?
Relay also has high service expectations. All carriers need to ensure that they meet the highest levels of performance and safety.
The complete performance expectations can be accessed via the Amazon Relay Carrier Terms of Service when your application is accepted and you are onboarded. In short, you need to meet the following expectations:
- Comply with all Amazon Relay’s insurance, Department of Transportation (DOT), and safety requirements.
- Consistently accept loads.
- Complete load booking, pick up, and delivery via the Amazon Relay technology (aka the Relay mobile app).
- Complete each load by delivering it on-time so Amazon can fulfill their customer promise.
To track your performance, access your performance scorecard in the Relay portal. You can use the scorecard, which shows your performance for all the loads, to improve and grow your business relationship with Amazon.
How Are Carriers Using Amazon Relay?
Carriers are using Amazon Relay to help manage the loads from the eCommerce giant. This gives carriers a chance to:
- Earn more revenue
- Manage their loads
- Pick up a load when they have an empty truck or extra space
- Eliminate downtime
- And more!
Carriers simply sign up to the Amazon Relay portal (should they meet all the requirements and their application is approved).
From there, carriers view the Load Board onto which Amazon sellers (business to business or business to consumer) post available loads. A carrier can then search for a load that fits their truck, current route, and other criteria.
Why Become an Amazon Freight Partner?
Amazon’s Relay program is still in its initial stages but there are many reasons why you should become an Amazon freight partner. In essence, the platform makes the trucking industry more efficient.
By joining Amazon Relay, you can:
- Grow your transportation company
- Multiply your routes
- Minimize empty trips
- Optimize your operational capacity
- Easily and quickly secure loads
- Manage your load schedules
- Assign loads to your drivers
- Review payments
- Increase your revenue
- Analyze driver performance
Other benefits of Relay:
- The Relay portal or app is free for iOS and Android smart device users
- There are currently no minimum load requirements
- Automated application and booking process (handles check-in, check-out, commercial navigation, and detailed load info)
- Automated invoicing and payment
- View and download payment details
- Report delays
- Real-time alerts regarding loads and yard instructions
- Raise any issues with the app or loads
- Short-term trucking contracts are available
- Transparent pricing
- Quick approval process (as long as you meet all the requirements)
How to Use Amazon Relay
Using Amazon Relay starts with getting everything ready you need for your application and ensuring you meet the company’s requirements.
The next step is to apply, and once you’ve been approved, you can start booking, moving loads, and streaming revenue.
How to Haul Freight for Amazon With Relay?
To haul freight for Amazon with their freight transportation management system (aka Relay), fleet owners, truck managers and drivers, or carriers first need to apply to join Relay.
Once they are approved, the carrier can use the Load Board to find, book, and assign a load.
Once Relay receives your application, it will be approved or rejected in about two to four business days. When approved, you can immediately start booking loads and access the Amazon Relay Portal FAQs and operating guides.
You also need to choose between the Standard and Book a Truck modes.
- Standard Mode: You have access to the load list on the app. Use the filters to find a load that suits your truck.
- Post a Truck Mode: Helps minimize a truck’s idle time between loads so you can post the details about your truck and Amazon Relay finds relevant loads for you via an automated system.
How Can I Get Amazon Loads as an Owner-Operator Truck Driver?
As an owner-operator for Amazon Relay, you can get Amazon loads in one of three ways:
- Book an available and suitable load on the Relay app.
- Add the capacity of your open truck in the Post a Truck mode so the system can find nearby work for you. Then accept the load.
- Plan future work by making use of Amazon Relay’s short-term truck driving contracts.
Once you’ve accepted a load or a contract, use the Relay app to get:
- Real-time alerts
- A streamlined check in and check out process
- Instructions for commercial navigation
As a truck driver, you can also pre-register your trailer or truck for an easy-in and easy-out once you arrive at the shipping yard, further saving on time spent idling. Show the guard your QR code, and viola.
Requirements for Amazon Relay
Amazon only wants to work with the best in the business (as do other companies). So to haul load for Amazon Relay, you need to meet some requirements.
The requirements you need to meet – whether you are an owner operator, a fleet owner, or have a small fleet and want to benefit from all that Amazon Relay has to offer – are:
- Have a valid Motor Carrier (MC) number: a unique identifier from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to commercial motor vehicles that transport cargo inside their state and over state lines
- Have an active DOT or USDot number: required by the FMCSA if your commercial motor vehicle weighs more than X amount or carries a specific number of paying passengers
- An FMCSA Safety Rating
- Carrier entity type should be authorized for Property and Hire
- Good Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASIC) scores:
- Below 60% for Unsafe Driving
- Below 60% for Hours of Service (HOS) Compliance
- Below 75% for Vehicle Maintenance
Amazon Relay Insurance Requirements
Aside from the above, you also need to meet the specific insurance requirements. Amazon wants to protect the company and its customers from any potential losses and damages that can happen during the shipping process.
In summary, here are the insurance coverage policies you need for Amazon Relay:
- Minimum cargo coverage of $100,000
- Minimum Commercial General Liability of $1,000,000 per occurrence
- Minimum Commercial General Liability of $2,000,000 in the aggregate
- Minimum auto liability of $1,000,000 per occurrence (plus $50,000 trailer replacement coverage)
- Minimum employer liability of $100,000 per occurrence or incident
- Workers’ compensation insurance for all the states where you operate
What Type of Truck or Equipment Does Amazon Work With?
The truck or equipment types that Amazon Relay work with are:
- 53’ Dry Van
- 28’ Trailer
- Sleeper Cab
- Day cab
- 26’ box truck or straight truck with minimum internal dimensions (L x W x H) of 26’ x 8’ x 8’ and a truck-under lift gate
Since Amazon Relay is in its pilot phase, the equipment type requirements may change in the future. So kindly keep this in mind when registering.
Short-Term Amazon Trucking Contracts
Amazon trucking contracts is one of the cool features of Relay. It gives Amazon-partnered carriers an opportunity to plan their work schedules, meaning they don’t have to worry about empty trucks or idle time.
Plus, owners and managers can balance their workload and decide who is hauling what load and when.
Other benefits of these truck contract jobs is that you can streamline your business while also minimizing risk, commit to future work, enjoy competitive rates, and optimize your fleet.
Amazon contracts for owner operators, carriers, and truck drivers are ideal because it fills the gap between long-term contracts and spot work.
Amazon Relay contracts can be taken now or even weeks or months into the future. Every contract has an entire week of work.
As long as you don’t cancel or reject the contract, your payout is guaranteed. And you’ll be paid 100% of the contract’s value even if Amazon doesn’t make use of the full contracted capacity.
On the Relay app, carriers can see:
- The start and end date of the contract (that is, the contract duration)
- The blocks per week
- The driver count
- The block rate
- The total contract value
If you want a contract, you can accept it. Kindly note that the contracts are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and new contracts are available every week.
How Much Do Amazon Relay Loads Pay?
How much Amazon Relay pays per load depends on various factors like the route, distance, weight of the load, etc. In general, Amazon Relay pays $1.21 to $3.09 per mile.
How Much Does an Amazon Truck Make?
When you regularly pick up loads for Amazon Relay, you can make an average of $63,000 per annum – according to Zip Recruiter. That’s an hourly rate of just more than $30, weekly earnings of $1,210, and a monthly salary of $5,246.
On the low end, you can earn $24,000, and on the high end, you can make $101,000. However, most drivers earn between $47,500 and $78,000 per year.
When Do You Get Paid for Hauling Amazon Relay Loads?
The turnaround time for getting paid once you have fulfilled a delivery is seven to fourteen days. Typically, you’ll be paid on a Friday for all completed loads before 23:59 on the previous Saturday.
So, let’s say you hauled one or a few loads from Sunday, October 2 until Saturday, October 8. Then you can expect payment to be on the following Friday, which is October 15.
Final Thoughts on Amazon Relay for Carriers
No longer do you need to struggle to find loads to haul, deal with human errors via phone call when booking loads, or only rely on trucking job boards and long-term contracts.
Growing your business, maximizing revenue, and enjoying consistent or full-time work is within your grasp. Amazon’s delivery service partner program, or Amazon Relay, is making all of this and more possible.
All you need to do is:
- Meet Amazon Relay’s requirement
- Apply to join Relay
- Get accepted into Relay
- Find a suitable and available load to haul or use the contract option to book work in advance
- Book the load
- Carry out the job
- Get paid
The app automates the process and takes care of everything for you. You just need to show up, pick up the load, and deliver it.