In 2018, we launched the Amazon Delivery Service Partner (DSP) program to connect with aspiring entrepreneurs and enable them to build and scale their own business with Amazon. Our retail business has been partnering with small and medium-size businesses for decades, and as we debated options for developing the DSP program, it was a model we were inspired by and wanted to adopt. Because small businesses know their communities best, we believed it was important that they build teams and a driver network from within their communities, which led to both good jobs in these communities and good service for local customers. While DSPs hire and manage their own employees, they receive support from Amazon to help them be successful, and since the program started, we’ve invested more than $8 billion in state-of-the-art technology, safety features, rates, programs, and services for Amazon DSPs and their drivers.
Over the past five years, we’ve empowered 3,500 entrepreneurs—like Maha Al-Absi and Aqeel Ahmend, owners of Aimkhan Logistics; Alison and Greg Gatto, owners of Total Package Logistics; and Sebastian Festa, founder of Prime Lightning Logistics—to build and scale their businesses, which in turn have created 275,000 jobs, generated $45 billion in revenue, and we are now safely delivering over 20 million packages every day across 19 countries. As we begin 2024, we wanted to share some updates about the success of the program and our partners.
We partner closely with DSPs and provide them with tools and resources to grow their companies and solve common industry challenges. For example, our technology designs routes that can be completed within a specific time period. It also takes into consideration things like package volume and complexities with different addresses and neighborhoods, which helps DSPs prioritize safety and driver experience. These routing plans include time for DSPs to provide their employees breaks (two 15-minute rest breaks and one 30-minute meal break), while still enabling more than 90% of drivers to finish earlier than the planned shift length. We take feedback from DSPs and their drivers seriously, and we continuously make improvements to the program and technology.
Over the last two years, Amazon has invested more than $800 million in annualized rate card increases and bonuses to DSPs to support them as they invest in their businesses and employees. Today, while individual wages are set by the DSPs and vary by geography, drivers in the U.S. earn $20.50 per hour on average, plus health care and other benefits that DSPs offer—and we’re aware that many DSPs are already paying well above that. In addition, DSPs provide health care coverage that meets or exceeds federal standards for affordability and minimum value (as defined by the Affordable Care Act, for all employees who average at least 30 hours per week), and full-time drivers receive at least 80 hours of paid time off per year.
Commitment to safety and sustainability
Safety is always the top priority, and we work hard to support DSPs and their drivers to be safe on road. We’re also committed to sustainability, and our newest vehicles are among the safest and most sustainable delivery vehicles on the road today.
In 2022, we launched our electric delivery vehicles produced by Rivian and we already have more than 10,000 in our fleet—helping us move closer to our Climate Pledge commitment to be net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. These vehicles are equipped with more than a dozen advanced driver assistance systems, including blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, manual park assist, lane keep assist to gently nudge the driver back in lane, adaptive cruise control to maintain safe cruising distance from vehicles on the road, and automatic emergency braking to mitigate or prevent collisions. In addition, these vehicles are equipped with a surround view system to provide a “birds-eye” view and a rear camera view that are projected over a large centered driver display. All Amazon-branded vehicles are also equipped with in-vehicle camera safety technology that has reduced accident rates while protecting driver privacy. Overall, collision rates among DSP drivers have declined nearly 40% since we incorporated this technology into our branded vehicles—with an 89% reduction in distracted driving and an 83% reduction in speeding events. Injury rates for drivers employed by DSPs are 10% better than industry average, according to BLS’s annual industry rates. In 2022, drivers from DSPs recorded an incident rate of 8.9 against an industry average of 9.8.
Every vehicle bearing the Amazon brand is equipped with air conditioning—a feature that is above industry standard—and if the air conditioning isn’t working on a vehicle, that vehicle is taken out of service. We also know that the best tool against heat is taking breaks, and last year alone, we worked with DSPs to adjust routes by more than 55 million minutes, or nearly 46,000 days, so drivers could take additional breaks to hydrate and rest. And when it comes to winter weather, all vehicles operated by DSPs must have functioning heat, and a vehicle is taken out of service if there are issues. Drivers have the option to use their vehicles as a warm place to take breaks and also have a list of indoor break spots, like gas stations or restaurants, outlined in the Amazon Delivery app. In 2023 alone, we invested more than $8.5 million in winter supplies for DSPs and their drivers, including ice scrapers, ice cleats, snow shovels, warm-up kits, snow removal roof rakes, first-aid and roadside emergency kits, and flashlights for deliveries with low light. We also adjust routes based on weather, and we encourage drivers to speak with their DSPs if they have any concerns about completing a route.
These are just a few examples of how we help keep drivers safe, and we’re always looking for new technology, process improvements, and better training to continue to improve the safety of drivers, customers, and the community around us.
Empowering small businesses
Across many different parts of Amazon, we invest in programs and tools to help empower small businesses—whether they’re selling in our store, using AWS, or delivering for customers. One way that we continue to help DSPs and their drivers thrive is by giving them access to best-in-class programs like Next Mile, offered by InStride, which provides participating DSPs funding of up to $5,250 per eligible driver per year for access to over 1,700 academic programs, including bachelor's and associate degrees, skill certifications, and high school completion courses. DSPs also have access to a 401(k) plan with financial support to help them match employee contributions.
We also encourage DSPs to create diverse and inclusive workplaces. For example, we included a veteran incentive when the DSP program launched in 2018 that made grants totaling $5 million to support 500 veteran entrepreneurs launch their business. And in 2020, we created a diversity grant to help reduce the barriers to entry for Black, Latino, and Native American entrepreneurs—a $1 million commitment toward funding startup costs, offering $10,000 for each qualified candidate to build their own businesses in the U.S.
Inspired by the success of the DSP program, we’ve continued to create more opportunities for entrepreneurs to build and grow the businesses while serving Amazon customers in their communities. These include programs like the Amazon Freight Partner (AFP) program, which helps small businesses in the trucking space haul Amazon packages, and the Hub Delivery program, which utilizes existing small businesses—like hair salons, florists, and coffee shops—to deliver Amazon packages. Today, we have over a thousand small business owners in these programs, like LaKeisha Palmer, owner of CK Craft Supply in Saint Robert, Missouri, a custom embroidery shop. Palmer participates in the Hub Delivery program to bring in additional income when her business is slow. Or Marty Sexton, owner of Greenville Auto Parts in Alabama, who’s also making extra income through the Hub Delivery program to add more inventory to his store.
In addition to creating good jobs with benefits, we work with DSPs to directly give back to the communities where we operate. Last year, we launched the “Together, We Give” program to give DSPs in the U.S. and Canada access to grants up to $5,000 to support charitable donations to nonprofits in their local community. Whether it’s donating to disaster relief efforts, local hospitals, or school districts, we’re happy to help these small businesses improve the communities they serve. Across the network, “Together, We Give” represents a combined $3 million investment in communities where DSPs operate.
As we begin the new year, our focus continues to be on helping these small business owners build successful companies and great teams, and we’re excited to see the progress they’re making in communities across the U.S. and around the world. We look forward to continuing to partner with DSPs in the months and years to come, to ensure they and their drivers feel prepared, safe, and supported every day.