No. Amazon does not offer dedicated lanes for owner-operators. Owner-operators with Amazon do not have a specific territory and are offered no contractual rights to a specific territory. Instead, their territory, routes, or lanes can change weekly, depending on Amazon’s demands for that week.
And since owner-operators are not expected to purchase a route or a lane, they benefit from Amazon’s low cost of entry, with the company also subsidizing the cost of vehicles and equipment.
What is a Dedicated Lane?
A dedicated lane or route is an agreement between a carrier and a shipper (or broker), where the owner-operator agrees to haul consistent truckload shipments in the same route at an agreed rate for a stipulated period.
With a dedicated lane, the owner-operator commits a certain amount of hauling capacity to the shipper, and this will be expected to meet the minimum service requirements (on-time pickup, tender acceptance, etc.) necessary to keep the lane.
However, unlike FedEx, Amazon does not offer dedicated lanes for owner-operators. With the FedEx Ground route, owner-operators own exclusive right to deliver in that territory. This is sure whether they have purchased a line haul route or obtained zip codes as a FedEx Ground route operator.
But owner-operators with Amazon do not have a specific territory and have no contractual rights to a particular territory. Instead, their routes will change weekly to suit Amazon’s demands for that week.
Owner-operators who contract with Amazon first receive three weeks of hands-on training and access to a massive toolkit that contains all the things you need to keep your business operation running efficiently by scheduling drivers, setting up team routes, leading morning huddles, tracking drivers, reviewing fleet metrics, and so on.
Also note that Amazon’s payment structure is based on the number of vehicles, route length, and the number of successful deliveries.
How to Become an Owner Operator with Amazon
There are numerous benefits to becoming an owner-operator with Amazon. As an owner-operator, you will be tasked with hiring, training, developing, and retaining a team of delivery associates, who will deliver thousands of packages to Amazon customers in your area. However, you will be expected to first follow these steps outlined below:
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Arrange Your Finances
As an owner-operator with Amazon, you will be expected to make some crucial personal investments, and this could mean seeking loans or other financial sources. If you have family who relies on your owner-operator income, then you need to put in place emergency savings before venturing down this lane.
Have it in mind that it will take time to groom your reputation before you can start getting regular loads. These emergency savings will serve as a safety net if you have slow months, or if it takes a while to start getting regular loads.
You should log in your financial information into a spreadsheet to easily note how much you will have to make every month to pay for your expenses. Also estimate how much you can earn sourcing loads from Amazon, and don’t forget to make low estimates to be on the safe side.
Meet Amazon’s Basic Requirements
To start and grow your own trucking company by leveraging Amazon’s vast network, there are requirements you are expected to meet. Here are the 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 is greater than or equal to $100,000 per occurrence.
Meet Amazon Vehicle Requirements
The vehicle you intend to use to deliver goods for Amazon will also have to meet some standards. Those requirements include:
- Have the ability to withstand a pallet jack fully laden.
- Sound, well-maintained, safe, and free from any obstructions and damage such as holes.
- Expected to be watertight, clean, and free of strong odors, especially when moving food and healthcare products.
- Straps, unless needed to properly secure a load, will have to be firmly fixed to the vehicle. This is to make sure that they do not pose any danger to the load and can guarantee access to the goods being unloaded.
- You are not allowed to use trailers with uneven or corrugated floors (such as in refrigerated trailers)
- Also note that 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. Notification of such events will be sent to the e-mail address associated with your seller account.
Register and Build Your Team
Once you have the above requirements and have also arranged the necessary paperwork, you just have to visit the Amazon program you want and register. While you can download the Relay App and register, you can also register with Amazon logistics linehaul or the Amazon Delivery Service Partners (DSP).
But regardless of the program you choose Amazon offers an exclusive suite of deals to acquire the assets you need to start your business. According to reports, this may include discounts on recruiting tools, payroll, tax and accounting software, legal support, and insurance options through its network of top-in-class service providers.
You will also want to recruit and retain a well-experienced team to guarantee your operation’s ongoing success. You can grow your business to hire 40 to 100 high-performing, safety-focused delivery associates to operate 20 to 40 vehicles per day.
Amazon has gazillion packages to deliver and as an owner-operator, you can offer your services to them and make good money too. Although Amazon does not offer dedicated lanes, they have enough packages to keep your business growing and ensure that you can focus on putting together a solid team. Amazon also provides access to its technology, processes, and years of logistics experience to help your young logistics business grow.