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COVID-19 creates the demand for delivery driver jobs in the UK

COVID-19 creates the demand for delivery driver jobs in the UK

There are more job openings for fast food delivery drivers in the UK due to COVID-19 with most communities locking down and staying off the streets. The UK is fortunate that the new on-demand lifestyle had already put the framework for home delivery services in place before the pandemic hit.

Why the demand has increased so fast

With communities going into lockdown most of the population is staying at home. They still need supplies and the home delivery of everything is now booming. Not only is this quarantine measure stopping the spread of the virus, but it is also providing an opportunity for those that have bicycles, scooters and economical cars.

It is now a common scene on the streets in the UK to see scooters with the driver that has packed their vehicles to overload capacity. With nearly no traffic they can maneuver their way to the many homes on their list with few to no obstacles.

delivery jobs during COVID-19

​How are drivers staying safe?

The easiest way to avoid catching the virus is to avoid the infected. When making deliveries this information is not always available so staying covered up is essential. The wearing of masks, eye protection and gloves are the most common personal protective equipment being used.

By having the monetary transaction occurring electronically when the items being ordered, nothing from the homes where the deliveries are being made will leave their premises. This is now classified as non-contact deliveries.

What happens when a delivery driver gets quarantined from exposure or testing positive for the virus?

Because of the increased risk of making deliveries during the pandemic, nearly every delivery service has stepped up and begun providing better benefits for their drivers. Ubereats, Doordash and Postmates are among those that are now offering to keep paying drivers if they have to be quarantined due to exposure to the virus.

A few restaurants are also offering contactless delivery services, but with these deliveries coming from smaller establishments, it is not known how well they will care for their employees. Because of that before taking any delivery job to inquire about the health benefits.

Is there hazard pay for making deliveries during the pandemic?

At this time no delivery service company is paying hazard pay, but some are offering a bonus and the pay per delivery has gone up. It is not unheard of making more than £200 for 30 deliveries. If decide to provide delivery service in your car or on motorbike make sure you have your bike covred for delivery food. If using a car make sure you have a good level car courier insurance in place.   

Are customers allowed to tip delivery drivers?

Yes, customers can and should tip. The standard tip before the virus took over was 15%. Now customers who really appreciate the risk people are taking to help provide them with supplies should show it by tipping 20% or more. What has long been forgotten is that the tips are recognition from the customer to the delivery person just how much they appreciate their efforts.

There is indeed a risk of catching the COVID-19 virus, but that is for everyone right now. Delivery drivers who are working during the outbreak of the pandemic do have an elevated risk of contracting it, but they are also making money while most of the population are unemployed. The decision is weighing the risk against the reward. For many right now, the risk is worth it.

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Increased costs for Couriers who offer same day service

fast delivery truck

Increased costs for Couriers who offer same day service

Increased costs for Couriers who offer same day service because the e-commerce rising to new heights, the need to deliver the packages so hastily has vastly increased in the UK and other locations in the world. This has placed more demand on the couriers and their business to meet this very short deadline. If this is not curbed the cost of courier insurance and thus the service costs will also see a big increase. 

The new gig economy

The new term for e-commerce is gig economy. This is in reference to the transformation that has occurred where people use their computers and cell phones to shop for which the items purchased must be picked up and delivered instead of going to retail stores.

What is causing the increase in risk that could affect their courier van insurance?

With most courier services offering 30 to 60 minute guaranteed pick up and same day delivery of those items to anywhere in the UK, the pressure is on. With this type of service guaranteed by many of the courier services the drivers are placed under extreme pressure to make the deadlines. 

Because of this increased pressure the University of London conducted a study in the effects on courier drivers. The results showed that 42% of the courier drivers had damaged their vehicles while performing their duties. Of this involved in an accident 10% of the accidents resulted in an injury.

The UCL report looked into the increase risk factors that have lead to more accidents and injuries for courier drivers. These factors included the following;

  • Courier drivers are becoming more tired because they are spending more hours on the road traveling farther to meet the needs of their job.
  • 45 degree angle or more to one side from the center of the drivers view is the legal place for a smart phone to be located.
  • Speeding and running red lights is now more common from the pressure applied to the drivers just to meet the time window assigned to the courier driver to deliver each package.
  • Only 25% of those surveyed felt their company cared about their safety while performing their duties.

  • Self employed couriers are at a high risk of exploitation due to recent deregulations in the courier business sector.
  • 63% of courier drivers have not received any safety training from the company they work for.

What are the effects on courier van insurance?

The report stated that recommendations have been made to the Department of Transportation to reduce the risk factors that have been identified. The chances are that courier drivers are involved in more accidents and are receiving more traffic tickets which will lead to higher courier insurance premiums.

​Ways to protect your courier drivers

  • 1
    It has been suggested that the use of time blocks for paying couriers instead of a drop off rate of packages would reduce risky driving habits.
  • 2
    The reduction in pressure that is being applied to drivers when making deliveries should also occur.
  • 3
    Have meetings on safe driving habits.

Courier motorcycle insurance like all other types of insurance rates sets a premium by the risk factors involved. With the increase in risk due to the gig economy, courier insurance will begin to rise unless a company reduces the risk.

Best UK food deliver apps

food Delivery Apps

Which food app

Types of Delivery Service

The food delivery service follows one of the following 2 business models.

  • 1
    The first model is termed an aggregator and functions as the man in the middle by taking orders and passing them onto the restaurant or takeaway. How food is actually delivered will depend on the food provider.
  • 2
    The second model accepts orders, but also takes full responsibility for the actual food delivery. As this requires a backend logistics system it makes it more difficult for new starts to compete and is dominated by big players like uber eats.  

Both models requires the delivery person to have the correct level of food delivery insurance to provide this service. Below we take a look at the key players in this fast growing delivery marketplace.

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Deliveroo is big in the UK and as any road trip will testify to. Deliveroo delivers food from a range of restaurant types fro local takeaways to high end restaurants. They are responsible for hiring riders that you see travellin bikes or cars delivery food at all times of the day and night.

Just Eat

This a global contender operating in 13 countries and growing. For delivery from fast food outlets Just Eat seems to be more popular than Deliveroo and provides more delivery options than other apps.

Hungry House

This a small company that was acquired by Just Eats and now operate together. Whilst Hungry House is small it still offers a choice in excess of 10,00 UK restaurants. When you need reliability and good service Hungry House takes the biscuit.

Uber Eats

Uber are becoming ubiquitous dominating both private hire and eating into the food delivery business with Uber Eats. Launched in 2014 this arm of Uber is now the most profitable and is still expanding fast. Uber is at the technology forefront with real time tracking of your food order and a choice of delivery options that include car, bike or scooter and even by foot if the takeays is nearby or access by transport is limited.  

Final Thoughts

The UK food delivery business is big and expect to see more advances in delivery modes. Who will be the winner or will it be a combination like Uber and Deliveroo in the UK teaming up. the not too distant future a drone may be delivering your favourite takeaway.

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