As part of Amazon’s unending quest to optimize its supply chain for efficiency, Amazon has stealthily dropped Relay — an app meant to make the pick-up process for truckers at warehouse facilities that much smoother and faster.
With Relay, drivers can use the app to enter cargo information — which in turn lets them check in with a QR code to get through the security gate, as opposed to the more time-intensive process of badging in.
At some facilities, Amazon has built special Relay lanes to move the process along even faster.
Relay is Amazon’s first swipe at automating truck-based delivery — a process that at present is riddled with friction and flaws due to its surprisingly high reliance on paper. As of today, around 80 percent of cargo in the U.S. is transported via truck — meaning the trucking market, all in all, is worth $800 billion. There’s a reason it keeps drawing high profile attention from the likes of Teslsa, Uber and now Amazon.
Relay is a useful app, but one that is admittedly of limited function — today. But Amazon is also building a first touch point between itself and a few million truck drivers — and reports indicate that other services are on the way. Like, for example, an app that matches drivers to cargo.
Amazon is also a bit of old hat with quiet releases without public notification — usually if they are still testing a product and tweaking before aggressive expansion. The new platform may also suffer from a few technical issues. The Android app right now only has 5K downloads and a mediocre rating. The main issue named by reviews thus far is glitchiness.