November 17, 2017
Amazon Relay, quietly launched last month and first reported by CNBC, saves truck drivers time when fulfilling orders from Amazon's Fulfillment and Sort Centers by allowing truck drivers to pre-register loads and attain access to gate passes on their phones.
"When picking up or dropping off at Amazon facilities, enter load information to get your Gate Pass in advance. Once you arrive at the gate, simply scan your Gate Pass for fast, easy check-in," Amazon explained.
"At facilities with designated Amazon Relay Lanes, use the app to get exclusive access to lanes reserved for drivers with gate passes. Just follow the signs and scan your gate pass."
Relay is Amazon's first attempt at automating the truck delivery process, which is error-prone due to its reliance on phone calls and paperwork.
About 80 percent of cargo in the U.S. is transported via truck, which makes the market a big target for tech companies like Uber and start-ups such as Convoy, Trucker Path, and Cargomatic.
Read: Amazon Building an ‘Uber Like’ App to Connect Truckers with Shippers
According to Convoy, the trucking market is worth $800 billion.
While Relay may have a narrow application today, it serves as the first connection point between Amazon and potentially millions of truck drivers, a job that's become one of the most common in the U.S.
Amazon is reportedly looking into other services as well, including an app that would match truck drivers with cargo shippers.
Amazon has made no secret about its quest to become a logistics and transportation juggernaut.
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