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Amazon DSP Program: What It is and How to Get Started

Trying to start your delivery business? We'll explain the Amazon delivery service partner program, including how it works and how to apply.

Key Takeaways

  • Amazon DSP program enables starting a delivery service with Amazon’s logistical support.
  • Low startup costs and Amazon’s backing provide a stable business opportunity.
  • Requires strong management skills and a minimum of $30,000 in liquidity.
  • The application process involves online submission, interviews, and training for selected candidates.

Massive corporations like Amazon have enabled a brand new genre of small business owners to appear by providing the opportunity to open a sub-service related to the main company.

In Amazon’s case, one of the most intriguing and highly sought-after opportunities comes through the Delivery Service Partner (DSP) program.

The DSP program allows you to start and manage a delivery service in partnership with Amazon.

As a partner, you receive packages from Amazon and manage your own delivery team and fleet, ensuring that the service runs smoothly for the customer.

It’s a fairly low-risk, high-reward business opportunity, especially since Amazon handles most logistics and leaves the management side of things to its Delivery Service Partners.

But of course, it’s not easy to join, and you should be familiar with all the ins and outs of the program.

That’s why we’ll explain everything you need to know about the Amazon DSP program, including the costs, how to join, and more.

At a Glance

The Amazon Delivery Service Partner program allows you to run a package delivery business through Amazon, but it has some strict requirements and fierce competition.

If you’re confident in your skills and experience in managing a business of this kind, then you can apply online and go through the admission process that may last up to several months.

What Is The Amazon Delivery Service Partner (DSP) Program?

Amazon Delivery Service Partner (DSP) is a program that allows small business owners to run a full-time delivery service while sorting out most of the logistics of customer management and product handling.

As an Amazon partner, your sole obligation is establishing your service (with vehicles, employees, etc.) and running the daily delivery operations.

Types of DSP Programs

The Amazon Delivery Service Partner program offers a similar experience for everybody, but there are three main branches you may find yourself in:

  1. Standard Delivery: This is what you can expect by default when you apply: picking items up from the delivery station and delivering them in good condition.
  2. Specialized Delivery: For packages requiring more than just grab-and-fetch delivery, such as large items (e.g., fridges) or things that require unpacking or installation.
  3. Rural Delivery: Deliveries to Amazon customers in rural areas.

What Is the Role of an Amazon DSP?

A DSP is a multifaceted position with many responsibilities that’ll require your full-time attention. It essentially boils down to handling the last-mile delivery process of Amazon packages from the delivery station to the customers’ doorsteps or other delivery locations.

Everything regarding the delivery of Amazon packages will be down to you, from ensuring they’re available and intact to the availability and schedules of each delivery driver in your team.

Fleet management is another huge part of being a DSP, as they’re one of the pillars of any delivery business. Not only will you need to acquire delivery vehicles (either through buying or leasing them), but you’ll need to make sure they’re in solid condition.

Building a team of delivery drivers will be another important duty; you’ll need to hire and train them properly to deliver packages with care while providing their training, benefits, and certificates.

How Delivery Businesses Benefit From the Amazon DSP Program

Here are some of the most notable benefits of becoming an Amazon DSP.

Low Startup Costs

The main perk of being an Amazon Delivery Service Partner is that Amazon can help you take care of most of your finances and even curb many of the exorbitant startup expenses faced by new businesses. For example, you won’t have to worry about marketing or finding clients since Amazon will handle this entire front-end.

Amazon also offers those who qualify some incredible financial perks, most notably a vehicle lease program that you can use to set your fleet up at a minimal cost.

All things considered, you can get a whole delivery business running for as little as $10,000-20,000.

Stable Business Opportunities

Amazon has been one of the largest companies in the world for several years now, and it keeps growing as a business as it expands its user base and includes a larger variety of products in its offer.

This makes it safe to say that business with Amazon is stable. If you’re admitted as a DSP, you’ll always have steady business opportunities.

Lower Barrier to Entry

Starting your delivery business with the DSP program means you won’t have to compete with the behemoths of the industry, who already handle the overwhelming majority of delivery opportunities in the country.

DSP Training Program

Amazon provides endless training material to ensure their DSPs succeed, including on-site and hands-on practice with existing DSP program partners and official Amazon developers.

Related: How to become an Amazon DSP driver

Costs of Being an Active Amazon DSP

Amazon estimates that the upfront cost of becoming a delivery service partner can be as low as $10,000. While this is probably on the lower end of their calculations spectrum, let’s look at how this number can be broken down.

Capital Assets

Possibly the most significant cost will be capital assets and investments, mainly because you’ll need to buy or lease various delivery vehicles that meet Amazon’s regulations.

Other capital costs include uniforms, devices, laptops, and software. You might also need to invest in a storage facility, but this depends on the scale of your operations and the area you operate in.

Fortunately, Amazon can often find you some exclusive deals to minimize your startup costs.

Professional Services

You’ll also need to pay for other services, such as insurance to cover the vehicles, drivers, and other liabilities. Next, you need experts with accounting software to handle the financial side of things.

You may also need to spend money on legal counsel, which can help you establish your delivery business as a legal entity and ensure that you’re complying with all the local regulations.

Employees

As a DSP, you’ll be responsible for everything when it comes to building and managing your employees.

Expect to not only cover their wages, but also benefits, drug tests, training programs, safety certifications, and other legal requirements for employees.

Other Costs

You’ll also likely incur many miscellaneous costs, such as vehicle decals (Amazon branding), fuel costs, vehicle maintenance, repair costs, and personal expenses during the training period, which Amazon excluded from their calculated estimate.

Diversity Grant

Fortunately, Amazon can offer a diversity grant of up to $10,000 to cover some of the costs of qualified applicants, so check your eligibility if you’re African American, Latinx, or Native American.

Requirements to Become an Amazon DSP

Soft Skills

When Amazon filters through DSP applicants, they mainly focus on those with strong soft and managerial skills, such as team building and management, capacity planning, asset and budget management, compliance with regulations, and involvement with the local community.

The last point is particularly important, as Amazon delivery service partners who are known within their community are more likely to build successful teams, especially if they’ve previously handled leadership roles.

Financial Requirements

Although Amazon estimates that you may need “as little as” $10,000, they require you to have at least $30,000 in liquidity to start the delivery business, just in case you need to cover unexpected costs.

Apart from that, there’s a standard background check, including checking for a decent motor vehicle record and a strong credit history.

Qualifications

The focus on formal qualifications, especially education, is secondary to more practical requirements.

Previous work experience isn’t a strict requirement, but it can massively help you make it to the interview, especially if you’ve had experience in management, hiring, or running a business. You don’t necessarily need previous experience in the logistics industry, though.

How to Start Your Business With the Amazon Delivery Service Partner Program

Step 1: Online Application

If you fulfill the requirements, then you can fill out the online application. There, you’ll fill in your basic details and provide supporting documents, such as the relevant licenses, checks, certificates, financial statements, and any other documents they request. Remember that the financial statement must prove that you have at least $30,000 in liquid assets.

You’ll also need to provide your resume, including the dates of your full personal history: education, employment, military service (if applicable), and other relevant info.

Following is a basic questionnaire that mostly focuses on your financial past, along with some questions to test your commitment to this role.

Before submitting your application, review it extensively as you won’t be able to make edits.

Step 2: Application Pending

After submitting, it can take Amazon several months just to review your application and get back to you.

During the wait, you should keep researching the Delivery Service Partner program and familiarizing yourself with it. Prepare yourself for any questions that you might get asked in the interview if you hopefully get accepted for the next step.

Step 3: The Interview

If your application is accepted, Amazon will send you an email inviting you first to an online screening interview. If you pass that step too, there will be a series of in-person interviews at different Amazon locations.

During the interview, they’ll ask you about things such as your business plan, operational capabilities, current financial resources, ability to adjust to Amazon’s work pace, your readiness to commit to the role, and more. Again, you have months to prepare, so be ready.

Step 4: Future DSP Program

If you’ve passed the screening, Amazon will invite you to join the Future DSP program, which will put you in a queue with other potential Amazon Delivery Service Partners in your area, while waiting for a vacancy.

If you make it to this phase, you shouldn’t call it quits on your current job and start this role yet, as the waiting time here is indefinite. You’ll only be formally accepted as a DSP once there’s a vacancy and there’s no one ahead of you in the queue.

Besides, Amazon doesn’t guarantee any offers to their current Future DSPs.

Step 5: Training

As a Future DSP, you’ll have access to endless training material to set you up for success in this role. This includes regular meetings with current DSPs and Amazon business development managers who’ll help you prepare using practical examples.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Can It Take to Become an Amazon DSP?

From start to finish, the whole process can last anywhere from several months to a year, which is the time it takes just to pass the interview and be accepted as a future DSP. This is because of an imbalance between supply and demand, and Amazon has to filter through countless applicants for every area.

What if There Are No Amazon Delivery Opportunities in My Area?

In that case, if you pass the interview, you’ll be admitted as a “future DSP,” meaning that you’ll be on hold for your area until there’s a vacancy, at which stage you can start training to be a full DSP.

Can I Work as an Amazon DSP in Multiple Areas?

No, Amazon’s DSP program is time-consuming enough that you won’t have the time to work in another area. And even if you could, Amazon currently only allows a single individual partner for every area.

Final Thoughts

Being a DSP is quite the task to mount. Although it’s a low-risk and fairly high-reward endeavor, the sheer competitiveness in the field makes it difficult to make it through the application and selection process.

But that’s just what makes it great — it levels the playing field for everyone and allows you to start your company with relatively little capital and not much experience (at least on paper), though already having either can get you far and possibly help secure your place on Amazon’s Future DSP list.

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