E-commerce and logistics firms pay double to delivery staff amid manpower crunch


Just as the second wave of the coronavirus continues to batter the country, the manpower crunch for e-commerce and logistics sector caused by the wave has also turned out to be concerning. To keep operations intact at such times, companies are offering hefty increments, incentives and perks to retain manpower and hire more people.

As reported by media houses, Amazon, Flipkart, Grofers, Shadowfax and Ecom Express have hiked pay outs to delivery staff up to double the previous levels to meet the demand.

The industry estimates suggest that the delivery staff has halved in some cases owing to the high rates of infection and the unavoidable risk of getting infected given the nature of their job. Reverse Migration has also been prominent due to either family members back home contracting the infection or because they are afraid of catching the disease.

India’s online supermarket place Grofers informed that it is paying up to double the previous salaries to its delivery staff, along with providing them with meals.

Shadowfax has also raised payouts by 10-15% depending on the region. It is also providing oxygen concentrators, Covid insurance and access to a Covid helpline to its delivery staff.

Taskmo’s Co-founder Prashant Janadri informed that the firm’s delivery staff makes INR 900-1,500 a day now, up from INR 700-1,000 earlier.

It is to be noted that most companies have not increased the base pay of delivery staff but are rather offering benefits like attendance bonus, leave encashment, performance-linked incentives and better joining bonus. Some companies are also providing the staff and their families with isolation facilities in their unused offices, and food and ration kits as well.

Most major companies have also pledged to bear the cost of vaccination for delivery staff and, in some cases, for their dependents too. Indian E-commerce giant Flipkart informed that owing to the increasing cases of COVID-19 in the nation it is following stringent standard operating procedures and has extended benefits such as paid leave, medical insurance and medical assistance. An Amazon spokesperson also informed that the company is extending support for vaccination, insurance and finances as well as time off.

Grofers has extended counselling services to its delivery staff who might be going through a tough time, as well as options to order medicines online, on-call consultations with doctors and discounted lab tests. At present, warehouses and delivery centres are operating with less than half the manpower, especially in metros. Companies are facing issues with filling up vacant positions has become a huge challenge for staffing companies, especially as demand has increased manifold with companies seeking to keep buffer manpower for contingencies.

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