All the FAQ’s for Amazon Relay Intermodal and UIIA loads.

I am a Relay Carrier that wants to haul International Intermodal Drayage (20’ / 40’ / 45’) Containers for Amazon. What do I need to do?

  • Join the UIIA (Uniform Intermodal Interchange Agreement): UIIA membership is $348 / year. Application is online: https://www.uiia.org/motor-carriers/mc-apply-uiia-participation. Required information:
    • UIIA Motor Carriers are required to have an active US DOT and Motor Carrier Operating Authority Number (if applicable) with FMCSA. The name the company used to apply for the UIIA interchange under must match the company name under which the US DOT and MC Number are registered.
    • Active Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC) with National Motor Freight Traffic Association.
    • Federal Tax Identification Number.
    • The Motor Carrier’s insurance agent will need to submit the necessary insurance online in the UIIA database to meet the base requirements of the UIIA along with the insurance required by the Equipment Providers (EP) the motor carrier wants to do business with under the UIIA.
  • Complete Ocean Carrier (Steamship Lines) Addendum applications with UIIA: This will allow your company to haul Ocean Containers owned by the Ocean Carriers. See table below for list of Ocean Carriers Amazon works with. To provide your company with the most opportunities to haul loads for Amazon, we recommend obtaining addendums with all listed Ocean Carriers.
  • Complete Flexivan Addendum applications with UIIA: Amazon works exclusively with Flexivan Chassis for International Intermodal Drayage work. Your company must have a Flexivan (FLXC) Addendum to haul international containers. This will allow your company to haul Ocean Containers from the above Steamship Lines.
  • Complete Railroad Addendum applications with UIIA: This will allow your company to enter terminals owned by specific railroad operators, which is required if a load originates or is destined to a rail terminal. Amazon works with four Class I railroads: BNSF, Union Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. There is no cost to apply for railroad addendums with UIIA. Some railroad companies will run a credit check when you apply; if they do, you will need to print, sign and return via email the credit application to UIIA, who will forward to the railroad for review.
    To provide your company with the most opportunities to haul International Intermodal Drayage loads for Amazon, we recommend obtaining addendums with the four railroads Amazon works with: BNSF, Union Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern.
  • Maintain UIIA Driver Roster: Drivers who will be hauling loads that require UIIA credentials must be registered in the Intermodal Driver Database (IDD) with UIIA. This is the responsibility of the carrier and must be done directly with the UIIA. There is no fee or driver application required. The IDD is accessible once your company is a Motor Carrier member with UIIA.
  • If your company plans to haul International Intermodal Drayage directly to / from a U.S. Port, you must:
    • Roster Drivers with TWIC (Terminal Worker Identification Card) credentials: TWIC is administered by the Department of Homeland Security. It is a driver-level credential. Loads entering or exiting a U.S. Port must have a TWIC driver.

I want to cancel my company’s UIIA membership and / or a specific addendum with a railroad company. How do I do that on Relay?

Your company’s membership status with UIIA (including addendums) must be managed directly with UIIA. Amazon cannot change or update your company’s UIIA status.

Do I need to update and self-attest my UIIA credentials with Amazon when they change?

No. Effective 3/7/22, Amazon Relay was connected with UIIA and knows your company’s status with UIIA membership and addendums. Your company’s Carrier Profile under “Certifications” will show what we see from UIIA. To make any changes or corrections, you must work directly with UIIA: www.uiia.org.

Why do I need UIIA membership to haul a 53’ Domestic Intermodal Load?

All of the railroads that Amazon currently works with all require UIIA membership for carriers to access their terminals.

How will carriers without UIIA-MC (UIIA – Motor Carrier) certifications, ocean carrier, chassis provider addendums and port certifications be kept from booking International ocean drayage loads?

Carriers will be able to see the loads on the Relay Load Board and Short Term Contracts, but will not be able to click on “Accept” or “Book” button.

How do I know if my company needs UIIA membership to haul a 53’ Domestic Intermodal load?

Relay Load Board and Relay Short-Term Contracts will indicate on the load or Short-Term Contract if UIIA membership is required. The load will indicate “UIIA” and required addendums in the Trip card.

Can equipment providers like ocean carriers and chassis owners enforce security deposits, as a requirement to secure UIIA addendums?

Yes, equipment providers can enforce security deposits based on the credit rating of motor carriers. Since the UIIA addendum is an agreement between an equipment provider and a motor carrier to access and haul equipment (containers, chassis) and is not specific to Amazon loads, carriers are required to comply with the equipment provider’s requirements.

Is UIIA membership required anytime my company is hauling a 53’ container on chassis equipment?

No. For the 53’ Domestic Intermodal program at Amazon, UIIA membership and requisite addendums are only required if the load is leaving or entering a railroad terminal.  For example, UIIA membership is not required to move a 53’ container on a chassis between an Amazon facility because there is no railroad terminal involved.   NOTE:  Required UIIA addendums for International Container (20’, 40’, 25’) are different.  Please see International Intermodal program details for these requirements.

Does my company need to secure UIIA addendums with all 10 ocean carriers to haul international ocean containers?

No. Drayage carriers are not required to secure UIIA addendums with all 10 ocean carriers. For example, a carrier with an active UIIA addendum only with Ocean Carrier “A” can book loads where ocean container owner is “A”. That carrier will be unable to book loads where container owner is not “A”. Therefore, it is recommended for carriers to secure UIIA addendums with all 10 Ocean Carriers.

My UIIA Membership has expired. What do I do?

Re-activate your company’s membership with UIIA.  Your company needs to do this directly through the UIIA: www.uiia.org

I just completed my company’s UIIA application and addendum and received an email from UIIA that I’m approved. I cannot book loads on Amazon Relay. What else do I need to do?

Allow for 24-48 hours for your updates made with UIIA to be reflected in Amazon’s systems. This guidance assumes your company is in compliance with the Relay Program Policies, i.e., has up to date insurance, no safety suspensions, etc.

Will International Ocean Container drayage loads/Short-Term Contracts follow the same pay as linehaul Short-Term Contracts/loads?

As long as the load is properly completed and closed, your company will get paid per the regular payment cycle.

What is the difference between 53’ Domestic Intermodal and International Intermodal?

Amazon has two distinct Intermodal Programs: 53’ Domestic and International. The fundamental difference between the two programs is the equipment hauled and required carrier credentials.

53’ Domestic Intermodal refers to 53’ Containers and 53’ Trailers that never leave the North American continent and are interchanged with North American railroads. Amazon needs Relay carriers to haul these loads between Amazon sites and railroad terminals; these truck movements are known as “drayage.”

International Intermodal uses 20’, 40’ and 45’ containers in both low and high cube configurations. These containers are owned by Ocean Carriers and travel on ships throughout the world. Amazon handles International containers at U.S. Port facilities, and needs Relay carriers to haul these loads between the U.S. Ports, offsite yards and Amazon facilities within the United States. Similarly, these truck moments are also known as “drayage.”

How do I quickly determine what credentials are required to move an Intermodal Load?

There are two fundamental questions to ask:

  1. Where is load originating and going to?
  2. Who owns the equipment (container and chassis)?  The tables below in the respective sections on the 53’ Domestic Intermodal Drayage and International Intermodal Drayage outline the scenarios for both programs in detail.

Does Amazon send 53’ Trailers to Rail Terminals in the 53’ Domestic Intermodal Program?

Yes. While most of the 53’ Domestic Intermodal loads are moving 53’ containers on chassis, there are situations where Amazon posts loads that haul a 53’ Trailer to a railyard. A 53’ Trailer destined to, or coming from, a railyard will require the carrier to have the UIIA membership and addendum from the railroad(s) the carrier must enter to pick up the load. Again, Amazon Relay will display the credentials required to haul the load.

I am a Relay Carrier that wants to haul 53’ Domestic Intermodal loads for Amazon. What do I need to do?

  • Join the UIIA (Uniform Intermodal Interchange Agreement): UIIA membership is $348 / year.  Application is online: https://www.uiia.org/motor-carriers/mc-apply-uiia-participation. Required information:
    • UIIA Motor Carriers are required to have an active US DOT and Motor Carrier Operating Authority Number (if applicable) with FMCSA. The name the company used to apply for the UIIA interchange under must match the company name under which the US DOT and MC Number are registered.
    • Active Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC) with National Motor Freight Traffic Association.
    • Federal Tax Identification Number.
    • The Motor Carrier’s insurance agent will need to submit the necessary insurance online in the UIIA database to meet the base requirements of the UIIA along with the insurance required by the Equipment Providers (EP) the motor carrier wants to do business with under the UIIA.
  • Complete Railroad Addendum applications with UIIA: This will allow your company to enter terminals owned by specific railroad operators.  Amazon works with four Class I railroads:  BNSF, Union Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern.  There is no cost to apply for railroad addendums with the UIIA.  Some railroad companies will run a credit check when you apply; if they do, you will need to print, sign and return via email the credit application to UIIA, which will forward to the railroad for review.
    To provide your company with the most opportunities to haul loads for Amazon, we recommend obtaining addendums with the four railroads Amazon works with:  BNSF, Union Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern.
  • Maintain UIIA Driver Roster: Drivers who will be hauling loads, that require UIIA credentials, must be registered in the Intermodal Driver Database (IDD) with UIIA.  This is the responsibility of the carrier and must be done directly with the UIIA.  There is no fee or driver application required.  The IDD is accessible once your company is a Motor Carrier member with UIIA.

Who will be responsible for securing the terminal appointments?

Carriers will be responsible for securing terminal appointments using the DOT registered Motor Carrier SCAC and update the port appointment date/time in Relay.

What does Drayage mean?

Drayage is the transport of goods by truck between modes of transportation, i.e, Ship to cross-dock or railroad to fulfillment center. Drayage is almost always one segment of a larger overall freight movement.

Does Amazon’s International Intermodal program use High Cube (HC) Containers?

Yes. High cube containers are in-service with Amazon in the 40’ and 45’ length. Equipment specification will be visible in Relay.

Will International Container Drayage be live load?

No. All International Container Drayage loads will be hook and drop unless otherwise stated.

Who will clear demurrage charges for containers on demurrage holds?

Demurrage is a daily charge assessed by the Port when a container dwells beyond a specified time limit. Amazon will be responsible for clearing the demurrage charges and provide the “pickup by date” in the tender.

How do I know what railroad addendums my company needs to haul a 53’ Domestic Intermodal load?

Amazon Relay will indicate what railroad addendum is required (Burlington Northern Santa Fe = BNSF, Union Pacific = UP, CSX, Norfolk Southern = NS) in the load or Short-Term Contract, as well as in the Trip card.

Does my company’s driver have to enter / exit U.S. Ports to haul International Container Drayage Loads?

Not in all cases. A load that does not enter / exit a U.S. port facility does NOT require a TWIC driver and does NOT require a carrier to self-attest port credentials. That said, we recommend securing requisite qualifications to enter / exit U.S. Ports to maximize opportunities for your business.

Does my company’s driver need to bring a chassis for 53’ Domestic Intermodal work?

No. Amazon works exclusively with Direct Chassis Link Leasing (DCLI) chassis. Chassis equipment is provided. As a carrier, your company’s driver only needs to bring power (tractor).

What are all of the possible scenarios my company may encounter for International Container Drayage?

What is the difference between an Amazon 53’ Domestic Intermodal Load from an Over the Road Load?

53’ Domestic Intermodal Loads move between different modes of transportation and will ride on trains for long segments of the journey. These loads rely on drayage (trucking) to move the load (container or trailer) to / from the railroad terminal. Amazon 53’ Domestic Intermodal Loads are loads that move to / from a railroad terminal. UIIA Motor Carrier Membership and railroad addendums are required for this work.

What chassis provider does Amazon use for International Container Drayage?

Amazon uses Flexivan (FLXC) as our chassis equipment provider for International (20’ / 40’ / 45’) Drayage. They bill Amazon directly for use of the chassis. What does this mean for your company? Your company will not be responsible for rental charges (on either the container or chassis) when your company checks in-gate/out-gate.

I can no longer self-attest my credentials in the Carrier Profile. What do I need to do?

Effective 3/7/22, Amazon Relay connected with UIIA and has access to your company’s status with UIIA membership and addendums. The self-attestation mechanism, in place prior to this date, has been discontinued. To make any changes or corrections, you must work directly with UIIA: www.uiia.org.

Can carriers participate in moving both International Ocean drayage loads and regular linehaul loads?

Yes. However, only TWIC-certified drivers can move loads into/out of ocean ports and IDD registered drivers can move into/out of rail yards.

As a Relay Carrier hauling drayage, what situations should my company expect with 53’ Domestic Intermodal Drayage?

How can I keep track of which drivers on my roster for Relay are in the UIIA database?

Amazon provides a checkbox in the Relay driver profile that lets your company indicate if it has registered a driver with UIIA. Indicating a driver is in UIIA on Relay does NOT register the driver with the UIIA. This is a tool to help carriers manage and remember which carriers on Relay are registered with the UIIA. Your company must register its drivers that will haul Intermodal loads requiring UIIA credentials directly with the UIIA in the UIIA Intermodal Driver Database. Carriers should keep the UIIA status for drivers on the Relay Roster consistent with the UIIA Intermodal Driver Database.