How Do Amazon Drivers Know Where To Go?

Amazon Van

We all know that Amazon has everything we need, from A to Z (ever notice that the “Amazon Smile” travels from A to Z in the logo, indicating that they have everything you need?).

But how does an item leave an Amazon warehouse one day and arrive at your doorstep the next day? How does the Amazon driver know where to go?

This article solves how Amazon drivers know where to go with all those packages.


Amazon’s process to enable its drivers to navigate throughout town is complex.

In a nutshell, they use route optimization software that scans large numbers of addresses, then plans a route for the driver based on efficiency, weather, road closures, estimated delivery windows, and other factors.

If you own a shipping company or other delivery business and are trying to optimize how you navigate your city’s streets, you can learn from Amazon.

There is other route optimization software that you can use to emulate the Amazon model.

Route optimization is a game changer. It leaves the customer, courier, and company satisfied with the shipping experience.

Amazon uses proprietary route optimization software to optimize its routes. This helps ensure that deliveries are quick, efficient, and reliable. Delivery drivers follow the route provided on their phones.

Why Amazon Uses Route Optimization

Courier Drivers

Amazon prioritizes route optimization as a company. There are many reasons for this, and take notes if you have a delivery company.

Route optimization benefits all parties involved – drivers, customers, and the company. Customers receive their orders swiftly and on time, which makes them happy and increases the likelihood of repeat business.

Optimizing routes are great for couriers, as well. An optimized route means less wear and tear from road conditions on their vehicles, fewer miles traveled, and less energy consumed by their delivery vehicles.

In addition, since their routes are optimized, drivers are more productive, so they can increase the number of deliveries they make.

Amazon Needs To Use Route Optimization for Deliveries

It’s been estimated that Amazon processes over one million orders a day. Without route optimization, the delivery wing of the company would fall apart.

It’s a critical software infrastructure that Amazon needs for its deliveries to run smoothly.

A Day in the Life of an Amazon Courier

Most drivers who deliver Amazon packages don’t work for Amazon. Typically, they are employed by privately owned companies that Amazon contracts to deliver goods.

Their vans, too, are likely not theirs. Most Amazon vans are rented from car rental companies.

Arrival at Amazon Warehouse

Amazon Driver

Amazon drivers arrive at an Amazon warehouse with an empty van or vehicle. There, they pick up and load their cargo and are presented with a manifesto with no addresses.

The manifesto is a complicated Rubik’s cube that lists zone codes and the number of packages to be delivered per zone.

Drivers use a “Rabbit,” an Amazon-owned scanner, to scan the codes they’ve been given. The Rabbit is a GPS and inventory tool.

Amazon Flex Plans Their Route

Amazon Flex

From there, drivers sign in to the Amazon Flex app. This app confirms the number of packages the driver is responsible for that day.

Flex plans the entire itinerary that couriers are to take, and as they complete their deliveries, couriers can check off their completed deliveries and track their progress for the day.

Amazon Flex and Rabbits Are Critical Tools

The volume at Amazon is enormous. As stated earlier, it’s been estimated that they sell over one million items daily.

Amazon sales volume also skyrockets during the holiday season. Without Rabbit or Flex, Amazon deliveries as we know them would not be possible.

Why Route-Optimized Software Works

Route Optimized Software

Route-optimized software is a critical tool for our modern delivery infrastructure. They account for intangible things that impact shipping speed.

Traffic, weather, road closures, and delivery time windows are run through the algorithm to confirm that shipping is as smooth and painless as possible.

Without route-optimized software, deliveries would be much less efficient. Drivers would need to plan their routes, for example, as well as schedule deliveries.

This would be virtually impossible given the volume of packages tendered by Amazon (as well as other shipping companies like FedEx and UPS).

Route optimization results in satisfied customers

Guess what? People like getting things when they’re supposed to. Route optimization enables this, and companies that ship goods sleep on route optimization at their peril.

Navigation Apps Couldn’t Handle It

Apple Map

If you’ve got a shipping company and think you can make do with Apple Maps or Google Maps, think again. While these apps are potent tools, they are designed to bring humans from point A to point B as efficiently as possible. They are simple routing software.

They would be unable to handle the incredibly complex nature of shipping. In addition, when you’re a delivery driver for Amazon, you travel to many addresses.

An app couldn’t process figuring out a multi-stop route, nor could it plan for route efficiency or handle several other things that a route optimization app takes care of.

Alternative Route Optimization Tools

If you have a shipping company, Amazon’s software is unavailable. It’s their proprietary software, and Amazon guards their algorithms tightly.

However, hopefully, this article has convinced you of the need for route optimization software in the landscape of 21st-century deliveries.

The good news is that other route optimization tools are available to you. For example, straightaway is a popular app similar to Amazon’s Rabbit if you want to improve your deliveries.

To use Straightaway, a courier only needs to snap a photo of all the addresses they’ll deliver to. The app geocodes the addresses and optimizes a route for the driver, factoring in conditions like road closures, weather, delivery time windows, and more.

Your business will be booming if you splurge on a route optimization tool.

Your Order Has Been Delivered

So, how Amazon delivery drivers know where to go is complicated. But to boil it down, they start with a manifest that addresses all the homes and apartments they’ll deliver out of order. Then, the route optimization app takes that garbled mess of information and figures out the driver’s day for them.

Route optimization is a critical tool for modern shipping needs. By using it, companies ensure the satisfaction of all three parties involved. The driver, customer, and company all benefit from their use.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *