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Amazon Flex: Amazon Deliveries

Discussion in 'Flex' started by SibeRescueBrian, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. SibeRescueBrian

    SibeRescueBrian Moderator

    Hillsborough, NJ
    Via FlexDriverFlexDriver

    First of all Congratulation on becoming part of Amazon Flex. It was quite a wait for some of you guys and some were lucky to have all the formalities done in few days. Now it’s crucial to know some of the things before you start to be a successful delivery partner.
    Things you might need to make your life easier while delivering:
    1) Cell Phone Charger / Power Bank
    2) Folding Cart/Dolly
    3) Flash Light
    4) Windshield / Air Vent Mount for phone
    5) Water Bottle / Coffee Mug
    6) Google Maps / Waze or both on your phone
    7) Full tank of Gas will save lot of your time on road.
    Scheduling a Block/s
    Now when its all set with formalities and you have selected the Warehouse you are going to work its time to schedule Block. There are multiple ways to do that. Its either scheduling for a week in advance, 10pm local time or throughout the day.
    1) Weekly Scheduling
    It can be done through filling out your availability in “Update My Availability” Every Friday the scheduled "dots" on your apps calendar will become Orange that means that you have been scheduled for that day.
    2) 10 PM Blocks Scheduling
    You can schedule a block at 10 local time. It is the most common way to schedule blocks
    3) During Day Scheduling
    The Blocks popup during the day and you can accept a block if you are available and within derivable time distance to warehouse. Be careful while accepting a block as it can be very short noticed and only people who are within warehouse surroundings/parking lot can make on time.
    4) Forfeiting a Block
    If you have a block scheduled that you do not want, you must forfeit it at least 45 minutes before the route start time.
    TIP: If you are a few minutes late to pick up (must pick up within 5 minutes after your start time), when navigating to the warehouse you can hit the "?", then "I have arrived but my GPS is not working", then "I have arrived." Buys you a few extra minutes. I recommend always trying to be there at least 15 minutes early anyway. I would suspect that if you abuse this they will notice and not be happy.
    5) Type of Blocks
    - 4 hour morning blocks:
    normal deliveries 40-60 packages, very tightly grouped (within 1-5 square miles, route length 10-20 miles)
    - 3 hour 4:30pm-ish blocks: same day deliveries 20-30 packages, can be pretty spread out (route length 30+ miles) or not
    - 2-3 hour 7:30pm-ish blocks: re-attempts that other drivers brought back, 5-15 packages, can be VERY spread out (30-50+ mile route)
    TIP: I have had good experiences with routing on the 4 hour blocks. 2-3 hour blocks you will want to check your map if the next delivery seems too far away, or even look after every few packages to make sure you aren't getting routed 10 miles away and then back where you just were.
    Getting Ready for Delivery
    Now you have an idea how the scheduling works, here is the quick look at how to prepare yourself for the delivery
    1) Warehouse / Fulfillment Center
    Amazon has quite a few WH and FC spread all over US, there are two major type of delivery systems a) Amazon Flex Prime b) Amazon.com. In this section, we will stress more on Amazon.com. The .com warehouse always starts with letter “D”. Now you have an idea how this delivery system works so it’s a very good idea to be at your house 30 mins early on first day and few minutes early afterwards.
    2) Loading your Car for accurate Deliveries
    Probably one of the most important items. If you arrive at a delivery and can get the package out of your car quickly each time instead of searching through a ton of packages, the time saved adds up quickly.
    When loading, look at the upper right hand corner in a box where will be a code "LL.NNNN" (LL=two letters, NNNN=four numbers), load the higher "NNNN" values first. When delivering, the lower "NNNN" numbers get delivered first. (Example: 4570 gets delivered before 4580). A few times in hundreds of deliveries, this has been backwards:-\
    TIP: Note in the middle of the label, it will show the first 5-8 letters of the address in a large font, so you don't have to scan the full address in tiny print. Get a tote or mailbox to put all the loose envelopes and book-size boxes in. Sort these by address (insert vertically) when you load the bin. Put in your front seat. When loading boxes, look at the general address range. When putting the packages in your car, put the lower numbered addresses on the left and higher numbered addresses on the right. (If room allows in your vehicle.)
    Now, when delivering all you have to do is scan the bin of envelopes (easy, they are in address order), then scan packages in the back from left to right by address (again, easy, they are somewhat in address order and should be stacked in layers for route.) I can usually find a package in under 10-15 seconds at each stop. Yep, I still have to dig through the pile from time to time, especially near the beginning of the route.
    TIP: Have you guys encounter a problem scanning 1 package & it would messed up the entire route? I have had this happen in Phoenix when the phone would get too hot and the app would crash mid-scan. The workaround for this is to "swipe to finish scanning" mid-way through scanning packages. If the app crashes or restarts, you only need to continue scanning (just choose 'pick up' again) after where you "finished" earlier.... ie: swiping to finish actually saves what you have already scanned.
    3) Driving for Deliveries
    Not really to save time, but to save wear and tear on my car.
    Drive slowly and methodically, no fast starts and stops. I rarely get over 15-20 mph in a neighborhood. Obviously, moving from neighborhood to neighborhood on a major street I go faster. 95% of the time, my ****** is either in Park or Drive. I avoid reversing whenever possible (safety and possible less wear on transmission.) I will drive an extra block to make a U-turn rather than a 3-point turn and risk backing into something or getting hit by an idiot speeding down the street. 95% of the time, car stays running. When out of the car, I lock it (if necessary) using my extra keyfob on my belt. The only time I turn the car off is if I am in a sketchy neighborhood and I have to go find an apartment and will be out of view of my car for an extended period of time.
    For houses, park at the curb, not in driveways. Always be moving forward. For apartment leasing offices, they usually have "future resident parking" spaces up front. For smaller complexes or if I have to deliver in larger places where I have to go to an individual apartment, I don't use parking spaces- I stop as close as I can get to a curb (or even in front of parked cars) and flip the hazard lights on.
    4) Deliveries and Time management Skills
    Apartment complexes-
    If there is only a few packages and the complex is easy to navigate, I will try going to each apartment. Long day, lots of packages, etc-- All packages go to the leasing office. I am not traipsing through your 2-acre complex to look for an apartment, only to find there is no secure location to leave the package. (Again, note package density- most apartment complexes will have multiple packages for multiple residents in one drop off.) If you have more than one package and there is no clear map outside, it sometimes saves time to go into the office and ask if they accept deliveries for residents first. If they do not accept deliveries for residents, get a map from the leasing office and mark all the unit numbers on the map that need delivery so you can do it most efficiently.
    Small apartments without leasing offices (or large apartments that won't accept deliveries for residents) get delivered to the apartment, not much you can do there. Lots of these have patios/small back yards/etc which can be useful for leaving packages.
    TIP: When you have to deliver to an apartment and there is no answer, you can leave the package in an enclosed patio, toss it onto the balcony (2nd floor), etc. Be sure to leave a "we missed you" w/note indicate where the package is left.
    Houses Drop, ring the doorbell, and leave. If it is obvious that old or handicapped people live there I will wait 30-40 seconds to be nice. Find a place to stash the package out of view (behind column by door, under doormat, etc.) If I have to stash the package in a non-obvious place (behind bush not immediately viewable by resident when coming home, over the side gate, etc) I will always leave a "We Missed You!" tag with the location noted on it.
    TIP: For houses or apartments that are in obviously sketchy neighborhoods, I am recently more prone to bring the package back to the warehouse if I cannot actually hand it to someone as they told us recently that they were "cracking down on packages that customers report not getting." When in these neighborhoods I will actually wait for someone to answer the door and if they do not, I do not leave the package in an un-secure area.
    Gated communities and apartments with no gate code given:
    Call customer via app, call customer via callbox, look ahead on itinerary to see if there are other addresses in the same community that might have a gate code, wait around a few minutes and follow someone else in, call support if you want to cover your ass, bring back to warehouse.
    If at the end of your route, you have one or two packages you could not deliver and the re-attempting the deliveries would be much less mileage than returning them to the warehouse (ie: the warehouse is NOT on your way home anyway, it is 15 miles in the wrong direction) if you want you can re-attempt delivery.
    Credit goes to Gaj
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2016
  2. FlexDriver


    Addition to above:
    TIP: While you are sorting your packages you should always look for missorts. If your packages go BA1000, 1005, 1010, 1015 and suddenly jumps to 1060 that 1060 is probably a missort and could add 15 minutes to your shift. I have seen "sucker" drivers take packages in cities half an hour from one another, dont mindlessly scan. Work smarter, not harder.
    Side note, even if you accidentally scan it, the warehouse "can" take it back... whoever they give it to next will just get a "another driver has scanned this package, do you want to take it? yes/no button"... some warehouse workers will say that if you scanned it, you must take it. Others will take it back. So do yourself a favor, and don't scan mis-sorts

    Change Bank information in the app:
    Check to make sure you have your address filled out in both
    a) Basic Information and
    b) Tax Information
    sections of the app. My address field in the Basic Information was left blank and apparently, that was causing a problem. Once I filled it in, I was finally able to change my account info.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2016
    NBR, Showa50, speedyk and 3 others like this.
  3. PhoenixFlex


    Seems like a good way to ensure your workforce is sleepy as well as punctual!
    Amazonflexa and driveforhours like this.
  4. Sweitzeram


    Yeah I'm not sure why it would matter. . When you forfeit a block in the morning it goes back on the market and someone snags it within seconds. I could care less when they release them I just wish the push notifications were consistent. Seems like I only get them in the afternoon now.
    Prius13, nabilos and Shangsta like this.
  5. I wish we still had 7am blocks here! They let all the white vans come in early. They are mostly all gone by the time we show up at 830-9am. About a month ago I used to regularly pick up a block for 7am and 11am. I'd be done for the day at no later that 12:30pm with $144 and the rest of the day to do whatever. It seems like our warehouse is over-saturated with drivers hired for the holiday rush. Blocks go super fast at 10pm now. I actually missed out last week on a block grab for the first time since my first week with flex. Oh well I knew it wouldn't last forever. I wonder how its going to be after the holidays are over and all these drivers that are used to all this surplus cash and then it dries up. We'll probably go back to fighting for the scrap routes during the nano-seconds after 10:00:eek:opm
    Prius13 likes this.
  6. Yeah, I'm not sure either. It's just what I was told. Maybe people aren't hearing the notifications when the blocks get dropped at 2am. I know I have woken up in the morning and find a block that became available at 2am. I also wish the notifications were more consistent. I always find more blocks that are available just by opening the app than with notifications.
  7. Question: How are (some of) you guys able to complete a 3 hour shift in 1.5 hours (some have said as low as 45 minutes to 1 hour)?

    My first 3 hour block, it took me 3.5 hours because I got stuck in a large gated community with no rhyme/reason to how it is numbers and app/GPS problems. (approx. 30 packages, mostly homes)

    My second 3 hour block, I was able to do it in 1.5 hours (including traffic), but I only had about 5 packages, so it is obvious it wouldn't take me long to finish. (approx. 5 packages, mostly homes)

    My third 3 hour block, took pretty much exactly 3 hours. (approx. 30 packages, half apartments/homes)

    My fourth 3 hour block, took me 3 hours, and I only had about 15 packages. I got hung up in another large community which encompasses an entire city block with no rhyme as to how it is numbered. (approx. 15 packages, mostly homes in the hills at NIGHT!!, and 1 huges azz community homes)

    BTW, I deliver all my packages, no returns to the warehouse.

    Yes, I know I am new, but just wondering how some people are able to do them so quickly? Are you just lucky or really good? ... or cut corners? ... or subjecting your car through hell to makes these deliveries.
  8. PhoenixFlex


    You do realize that you are subject to deactivation if a given number of your packages go missing, right?
    F213, speedyk and Shangsta like this.
  9. Sweitzeram


    Every market is a bit different. . . I'm in Phoenix and we have 4 hour blocks. . I've only had one take me more than 3 hours and have had a ton I've got done with in well under 2 hours. I say I average about 2:30 to 2:45 total from the time I arrive at the warehouse to dropping off the last package and it's not by beating the **** out of my car. . I actually drive rather slow but am efficient at finding addresses which are probably a bit easier and closer together than your market.
    Extra Cash and Shangsta like this.
  10. Sweitzeram


    And yeah delivering all your packages is a bad idea... Especially at apartments and condos. You won't last long if you keep that up. They won't deactivate you for bringing packages back that people weren't home for and you tried to call them. . They will for oackages you leave at apt doors that will get stolen.
    speedyk likes this.
  11. Thanks, PheonixFlex & Sweitzeram, I will be aware of not leaving leaving the packages in front of the doors. Didnt know about deactivation for mising packages. There were 2 instances within the same building that I thought to bring back w/ me, but I had already scanned them as delivered (front door).

    I did call the customers 3 times each on these 2 deliveries. I know one was home as I can hear them from behind the door, the other was truly not home.

    I dont know why they dont answer the door/phone when i know they are home. Makes no sense, i even say "amazon delivery".
  12. jester121


    Seriously, you locked the most valuable resource thread on the Amazon Flex forum, so it will drop off the first page into oblivion within 2 days? Really brilliant.
  13. Maybe someone should "sticky" the important information from the "old" thread on to the "new" thread, so no information would be lost?
    SibeRescueBrian likes this.
  14. Sweitzeram


    Make sure you check the leasing office too. Many of them will sign for the packages. I pretty much never leave them at the door at Apts or condos and some houses on busy streets where there is no place to hide them from view.
    Movaldriver likes this.
  15. Sweitzeram


    Not like any new people utilize the search function anyways... We are just going to continue answering the same questions over and over... Won't really change anything.
    Extra Cash and SibeRescueBrian like this.
  16. Shangsta


    My warehouse is mostly 4 hour blocks. 2 and 3s are all go backs that other drivers couldnt deliver. These are often spread out and some are simply undeliverable like apartments without a building number (why would you not include this when you order something?)

    Things that can cut your time

    1. Do not wait for people to open the door at houses. Apartments, yes but if you have 40-50 stops and wait an average of 45 seconds for people to open the door. You have suddenly added a half hour to your shift. Put it in a secure place and get out of there.

    2. Sort your packages in your car before you go out to deliver. The package ID should give you a decent idea of what order you will be delivering. Adds time to your shift looking for packages.

    3. If a leasing office is willing to accept deliveries I leave them with them. Them signing for the package avoids a customer expectation email all together. Not all WHs are the same but my blue vest told me its okay to use leasing offices.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
    FlexGuyJim likes this.
  17. Shangsta


    Use your judgement too, in shady areas its best to take packages with you but I always deliver at houses. Even if that means using the back door or putting it over the fence with a note on the front door.

    You can get deactivated for bringing too many packages back, there is a guy at my warehouse who would always take a block deliver half, bring back half and pickup a second block, I presume without even trying. I dont see him anymore. Its okay to bring some back but dont over do it.
  18. PhoenixFlex


    Are you assuming he was deactivated for bringing packages back or did you hear something from a blue vest etc? Just curious if someone actually said that or you're putting two and two together.
  19. Shangsta


    I am assuming bc I dont see him anymore. He like the people who scan half their packages then leave arent around anymore so I assume the WH deactivated them
  20. Shangsta


    Maybe pin the locked thread?
    SibeRescueBrian likes this.

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