Amazon flex has been my gig of choice for the last 6 months or so but slowly it’s changed from being a very profitable contract job to becoming a nightmare.
When I first started driving for Amazon flex I loved it. I was so happy to get the passengers out of my car and deliver packages instead. It was also nice knowing exactly what I would be paid for my work, this made it a job that you could really depend on and I was living off of my amazon income for months.
April 2017 so far has been a disaster
I am normally happy with my delivery blocks and can finish usually about a half hour early. The blocks and routes used to make sense for the most part and it was definitely worth it but in this month Amazon started a few new things, one of the new features is the ability to get blocks from any warehouse in Orange County and LA. It was already hard to get blocks as it was but adding all of these new people to my warehouse just made it a lot more challenging and I feel that just completely destroys the whole idea.
When you have drivers on a route it makes sense to have the same drivers do the same routes. Why? Because drivers can learn the area, learn the apartment complexes and in the end shorten their delivery times because they know their route. When drivers get to know their route it also helps lower the undelivered package count.
By letting all of these other people into my warehouse we now have all sorts of new problems. We now have drivers that aren’t familiar with our area which means they take longer and also return more packages because they can’t find addresses or are too lazy to go the extra mile and wait a couple minutes until someone comes to open a gate to a complex that they don’t have access to.
I used to love doing night blocks because it was always leftovers from the day and me being the person I am, I get them delivered. I would rather put in a little extra effort to deliver a package then have to drive back to the warehouse to return one. Lately the night blocks have been way oversaturated with problem deliveries because of all of these new people and I am literally having to pick up these drivers messes. Im not dumb and I know most drivers take the easy way out in less than perfect situations but that causes more trouble for other drivers.
What Amazon needs to do ia give their top drivers priority and leave the others for backup. This whole new idea just threw a wrench in their system and turned it the wrong way. I don’t know who is in charge of these types of decisions but obviously they are not logistically inclined. Amazon should hire me to run the flex program because my ideas would make Amazon flex make more sense and become more profitable for Amazon and the drivers. It makes no sense to spend all of this extra money to redeliver packages that could have been dropped off the first time by a smarter driver.
My last 2 days with Amazon have been the worst ever. Yesterday I picked up a 3 hour block at 1:30pm and I didn’t finish until 6:30. I had a total of 70 packages and that block took me 2 extra hours and I didn’t take one break between stops. I emailed Amazon support so hopefully they pay me for those extra hours but I wasn’t happy about it. I ended up taking another block at 6:30 and that one as well took me an extra hour and I didn’t finish until 10:30.
70 packages is a ridiculous amount for a 3 hour block. Even 50 packages is pushing the limits. All they look at is the time it takes from a to b and then c to figure out how many packages to send out on a block. What they don’t take into consideration is the daily issues that we have while delivering. 5 or 10 minutes here and there quickly adds up to an hour of lost time. Sometimes we have no access and have to wait, would you rather us do whatever we can to deliver a package or would you rather have us return packages to the warehouse. Amazon needs to give drivers enough cushion to deal with daily situations. From my experience I would say that the magic number is 40. From a business point of view it makes more sense to send out less packages and have a higher efficiency rate then paying drivers to go back to the same house later because of an access issue. They just can’t figure out how to weigh it out. You can’t have a person making logistics decisions that doesn’t have hands on experience delivering. It’s just not practical to make decisions off of thoughts alone and no experience. As you can see it clearly doesen’t work that way.
I had a block scheduled for this morning at 10:00 but I decided to forfeit. I don’t think I’m going to be doing Amazon flex that much anymore because it’s gotten so messed up lately and I don’t want to work hard for free while other drivers are taking the easy way out.
Amazon lost one of their best drivers because whoever is in charge has let things get out of control instead of making it better. I don’t know why they chose to step backwards after making such good progress but they continue to make mistakes that are hard to come back from and they are digging themselves in a deeper and deeper hole with every new brilliant idea.
Now I’m going back to rideshare and food delivery, I’ll be testing Amazon here and their to see if anything has improved but unfortunately without someone like me on their decision making team I don’t see too bright of a future for Amazon flex or their drivers.