Amazon has been planning on increasing the number of its freight trucks by two times. This will be beneficial for the company because they are going to invest in small trucking agencies. This is how all those small trucking businesses will be answerable to one larger trucking industry – Amazon Freight Partner.
When the plan was in its rudimentary state, an experimental group of truck drivers was hired who would not be able to choose their rates. After running this experimental phase, Amazon launched its fleet in many states. Recently, Amazon fleet trucks are operating in 12 different states. Alabama, Arizona, and California are the main ones.
A set of rules is also established for the trucking companies that will be joining the Amazon freight partner program. Mainly the drivers will only be able to transport Amazon goods and have a set salary.
Drivers also have to show proof of liquid assets of 30,000 or else they can apply for a loan. Amazon used to deliver its goods through UPS but now with the emergence of this program, they have built a large network of delivery trucks over the whole country.
Even before the launch of freight partners, Amazon-owned approximately 100 delivery partners, the number has increased to almost 300 due to the launch of new freight partners.
Amazon is not only hiring drivers but also going to give the proper professional training classes to drivers, in order to ensure safe and timely delivery. Additionally, they are also providing loans to cover the costs of trucks or commercial trailers.
Amazon is using a custom-made electronic logging device called Amazon relay for its freight. This logging device helps carriers and truck drivers to track routes, loads, count hours of service, etc. Using an electronic logging device is mandatory as per FMCSA. All trucking companies use some kind of logging device. The ELDs of Motive (formerly Keep Truckin) and EROAD are among the popular ones.
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Benefits of Becoming Amazon Freight Partner
Apart from job security, there are certain benefits of working with Amazon as their freight partner.
Once a driver has been selected as one of the drivers in the Amazon freight partner program, he will be given the best hands-on training of business and carrier truck operations with professional business trainers.
Minimum Initial Costs and Loan Benefit:
It is very difficult to start a new business with only 30 to 40K. But this freight program enables the drivers to start with only 30,000 dollars. Even with this low amount, those who cannot manage to pay the initial amount are provided with loan options.
Many new jobs will be provided locally as Amazon has launched this program in several different ways. This indirectly benefits the environment too because drivers will not have to drive long distances consuming fossil fuels and emitting harmful fumes. And because the drivers are delivering in a local location they will get to go home more often.
Medical Bill Coverage:
Most of the driver’s medical bills will be paid, especially vision tests and their costs. In most states, eye treatment is quite expensive, and companies do not cover the medical bills of their employees. This is a plus point of working with Amazon.
With the support of Amazon, freight companies and drivers have the liberty to make a competent team and grow their business in the right direction along with all the other benefits.
Amazon relay is a mobile application made especially for carriers to enable them to grow their transportation business. It is a state-of-the-art technology that enables owning operators and truck drivers to access notifications and schedules. Carriers can search for hassle-free methods of payments while drivers can sign in and search for safer routes.
Truck Driver’s Pay
Amazon truckers’ pay mainly depends on their duties and location of work. Normally truckers are paid according to miles covered but Amazon pays its drivers according to hours worked. A detailed account of the pay is as follows:
Single drivers or regional solo drivers earn up to 240 dollars per day and 30 dollars per hour. They also get paid vacations along with a pay raise almost twice a year if a driver has worked for 12 months already with Amazon. They can access an appropriate amount of medical insurance. Medical bills cover dental and eye treatment as well. Bonus programs are also available. This work is based out of Salt Lake City, Utah.
Team drivers also have a full-time job but unlike solo truck drivers their duties are relatively more challenging. They are paid up to 90,000 dollars per year that is 38 to 43.25 dollars per hour.
Their pay is higher than solo drivers due to the nature of work being more demanding. Apart from base pay all the extra benefits are provided to team drivers as well like a bonus, paid vacation, pay raise, and medical bills.
Local route drivers are paid slightly more than others. A truck driver of this nature mainly carries loads out of Troutdale (Oregon). The truck driver also gets better benefits as compared to other trucking companies like referral programs, pay raises every 6 months after they have worked one full year with amazon. Other benefits that truck drivers can access are the same.
Drivers are skeptical about the effect of hourly pay because in the past there was no concept of paying the truck drivers by the hours but only as per the miles covered.
Many trucking companies who have joined the Amazon freight partner program for their loads, state that they are paid approximately 18 percent less than average rates of similar work. But the number of miles that the truck has to cover is greater.
This is because they are not paid according to the miles covered. Some drivers also say that the recruiting process is so complex and expensive that it is hard to get into this program. The change in payment methods is also making difficulties for most people.
Other drivers complain that the load of work is much more, and the Amazon pay method has deprived them of many benefits, for example, the mandatory average minimum pay. The problem is that mostly the load is delivered from one Amazon facility to the other Amazon facilities. In this case, trucks have to cover empty miles without any load.
Amazon spokesperson has responded to the drivers who have signed up for their cargo loads. It is ensured that the problems are taken care of and that there are many added benefits provided to the drivers which can’t be gained while working outside of Amazon.
Process of Joining
The process of joining as an Amazon freight partner is relatively simple. The steps are briefly explained as follows:
- The freight company contacts Amazon to request information on vacancies, areas where trucks are required, and more.
- The next step is to join a series of online seminars and sign up for the online application.
- This is followed by interviews and background checks to ensure the candidate’s ability to work.
- Now successful candidates will receive an offer and their professional training will begin.
- After getting appropriately trained the work as an Amazon freight partner will start.
Walmart is also planning to launch its larger delivery network to compete with Amazon. It might not be as large as Amazon, but Walmart is also putting a lot of effort and investment to grow its delivery system. On top of that, Walmart loads are also smaller and different in nature as compared to Amazon loads.
In order to compete, they need to streamline their operations as well as join several new transportation businesses. This is how they can start a more efficient network.
Apart from Walmart, the Uber freight business has surged considerably due to the delivery of essentials and relief goods during the crisis of Covid-19. Online purchases of all kinds of items are also the reason behind this sudden increase. Last year Uber freight partnered with KeepTruckin ELD and provided discounts to its carriers. This has helped Uber freight with improved visibility and load tracking abilities.
The Future of Amazon Freight Network
According to a report published in 2020, the whole network of truck drivers of Amazon comprised up to 13000 drivers.
According to Business Insider, Amazon has big plans for the future where the company plans to have complete autonomy of delivery freight along with stronger logistics systems. This is due to the sudden increase in online purchases made by customers which call for fast and frequent delivery services.
They expect to own their planes, ships, and more trucks so goods can be delivered conveniently at every mile. The purpose is to create a vast network of trucks over the country and even worldwide to provide deliveries for customers immediately.
The network of trucks is quite large over the country but to increase the worldwide deliveries they still plan to improve their system and acquire more vehicles.