One of the biggest challenges as an Amazon Flex driver is to ensure that you are not late on any of your deliveries! Late deliveries means unhappy customers, and unhappy customers means that Amazon Flex may terminate you for consistently low on-time performance. Below are 5 ways to make sure you can reach a near-100% on-time record!
1) Arrive early for your delivery block
Arriving 15 minutes early ensures not only that you make your delivery block in time, but also allows your to begin your deliveries earlier. Most warehouse attendants work on a first-come-first-serve basis for drivers, so if you arrive at 2:05 PM for a 2-4 PM shift, on some busy days you may not be able to begin your deliveries until 2:30 PM, giving you only 90 minutes to complete all of your deliveries!
2) Choose the time of day carefully
Try to pick shifts during daylight hours. Unless night time delivery blocks are the only ones for which you have availability for, it is generally a better idea to choose a delivery block while the sun is still up. Apart from general safety being better during the day, deliveries in the dark are slower and less efficient due to difficulty seeing street signs and house numbers.
3) Avoid rush hours
Avoid rush hours if possible. Amazon’s routing will consider typical traffic conditions only – if traffic is particularly bad, you are suddenly at risk of missing your deliveries. Rush hour is typically a time when a bad situation can become worse very quickly. For example, a sudden road closure during non-rush hour may require a minor detour only, but a similar road closure during rush hour will most likely create very significant delays. This may depend on the locale, but oftentimes, your best bet will be weekends, where there is less traffic and congestion!
4) Pre-route preparations and smart route planning
As tempting as it can be do set off as soon as your car is loaded with your assigned delivery items, spending several minutes to prepare for your route and understand what to expect during your route can save you a lot of time.
As a part of this preparation, it is important that you plan your route carefully. The warehouse will provide you with a suggested order in which to complete the deliveries. These are generally geographically sound, but depending on traffic situations may not be the most optimal. In a case where you have more than one cluster of delivery destinations, you may choose to first target the cluster with a larger number of destinations, as your final performance is determined by the total number of successful deliveries. That way, in case you can only complete one cluster, at least you will have completed more on-time deliveries than you would have otherwise. If you are good with directions or know the area well, it can be useful to plan your own route and ignore GPS directions based on what you believe would be the fastest route.
On a related note, Amazon Flex’s built-in GPS navigation system is often considered to be inferior to Google Maps or Waze. As long as you are comfortable frequently and quickly switching between the two apps, this is an effective way to save some minutes on driving time.
5) Efficient package handling and parking
Try to be efficient in your handling. Keep packages grouped by destination, and move quickly from your car to the delivery location. Use good time management when deciding where to park – sometimes the closest parking spot may not be the quickest to get to if it is a tight spot and you have to make a three-point-turn to get to it.