return icon

Shippers and ride-hailers pushed to the limit amid pandemic

While people are staying at home to curb the spread of the pandemic, last-mile delivery shippers work hard to provide essentials and food to consumers. 

However, shippers are becoming overwhelmed by rising orders and the high risk of coronavirus infection.

As e-commerce blossoms logistics agencies and shippers are overrun by packages.


Vietnam’s e-commerce sector was growing even before the pandemic hit. Now, with lockdowns and social distancing making online retail more popular, it is predicted to record double-digit growth even after the passing of COVID-19.

According to Vietnam's State of E-commerce report by YouGov, e-commerce outperforms traditional brick-and-mortar retail during the pandemic. Customers prefer to have goods delivered to their doorstep rather than going outside and risking infection. YouGov data shows that almost half of consumers (43 per cent) spent less in stores during previous waves of the outbreak, compared to around a third (36 per cent) who spent less online.

In particular, when big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City adopted social distancing measures, e-commerce demand surged. In particular, Ho Chi Minh City has extended social distancing measures by another month, creating both opportunities and challenges for e-commerce players and last-mile delivery providers.

Specifically, e-commerce spending spiked during a pandemic when shops closed and people spent more time online at home. The fastest-growing segments were groceries and fresh food, with shippers receiving skyrocketing orders each day. However, they also have to face increased risks of infection while ensuring the critical supply of goods to online shoppers.

Hoang Ba Ngoc from Ho Chi Minh City lost his job during the fourth wave of the pandemic and decided to become a shipper. Each day he delivers dozens of orders across the city, with growing dread as community infections increase.

“While people stay at home to avoid the pandemic, shippers have to deliver orders and meet hundreds of people every day. We are afraid of the virus but we have little choice,” he said. “Day after day, we hear news of colleagues infected and struggle to follow 5K safety regulations while dealing with so many orders and consumers.”

In addition, shippers are beset by other challenges like the hot weather and the lack of shelter to take a rest between trips.

Pham Van Nam, a delivery worker from Hanoi, shared: “I regularly read about the COVID-19 pandemic in the press. After news of a colleague being diagnosed as F0, I was very anxious. I know this job is fraught with risks at the best of times and that it’s especially bad during the pandemic, but this is the only source of income for my family so I can't quit now."

Nguyen Manh Cuong, who lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City, said that since the COVID-19 outbreak, he has given up wet markets and supermarkets and instead shopped online. He and his family were very nervous to hear that a ride-hailing driver tested positive for coronavirus.

As shippers are constantly moving around the city to deliver goods to customers, an infection could set off outbreaks at various points of the city within a single day. Meeting so many people each they, shippers can easily contract the virus if they do not follow pandemic prevention protocols to the letter.

At the same time, last-mile delivery companies are also under tremendous pressure during the pandemic. Some companies fail to deliver large numbers of orders on time which leads to congested warehouses and additional expenses to compensate customers.

Meanwhile, complaints by shippers about overwork have been growing more serious as the workload increases. Some shippers and warehouse workers need rest due to burnout after working overtime amid the shopping boom.

Nguyen Thi Lan, a logistics staff at a delivery company said that the number of orders for processing have increased by about 40 per cent. She had to work overtime in the past month to keep up with work. With the rising number of packages, more mistakes than usual are inevitable but she continues to try her best to stay on top for the benefit of customers.

On the same note, Nguyen Van Thanh, a warehouse manager in Hanoi added, “There are hundreds of concerns for companies during the pandemic. Some shippers cancel orders when they can’t connect with consumers, which affects both delivery companies and the sellers. Meanwhile, there is a critical shortage of warehouse staff who are trained in sorting and classifying goods.”

Despite the challenges, a growing number of people are deciding to become ride-hailing drivers and shippers to make ends meet during the pandemic. Regardless of gender and age, these workers work day and night to meet the needs of customers. It is clear that shippers are an important point of connection between consumers and businesses and are essential in ensuring the supply of essentials and food during the pandemic.

Last-mile delivery companies need to prepare business plans to fit the pandemic situation in the coming time. They should strictly enforce pandemic prevention measures while also creating a better working environment for shippers.

Source: VIR

Challenges, opportunities for delivery sector amid COVID-19

Challenges, opportunities for delivery sector amid COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to many sectors, requiring firms to adapt and change their ways of doing business, but it also presents opportunities for some businesses to grow.


Achilles heel in tourism

Vietnam’s tourism industry has made only meager strides in diversifying its products despite years of growth.

The most addictive dish on Ha Giang plateau

Ha Giang attracts tourists not only for its majestic natural landscape and honest ethnic people but also for its bold, regional specialties that cannot be found anywhere else.

Liquidity needs to be ensured: Central bank

The Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) sent important messages about monetary policies at a meeting with businesses held by SBV and HCM City People’s Committee late last week.

Firms hesitate to access loans due to weak consumption demand

The State Bank of Vietnam last week cut its policy rates for the third time this year to prop up economic growth.

Banks experience significant increases in non-performing loans

Given the challenging economic environment, the performance of numerous banks is rather bleak, particularly due to the mounting bad debt levels.


Work on Cat Bi Airport’s Terminal T2 to start in Q4

Vietnam should consider announcing the end of COVID-19: NA deputy

At the ongoing fifth session of the 15th National Assembly (NA) held on May 29, Nguyen Lan Hieu of the NA Delegation of Binh Dinh province suggested that the end of COVID-19 should be announced.

Cut on automobile registration fees to facilitate auto industry

The Ministry of Industry and Trade supporting the reduction of automobile registration fees is considered a positive effect to the auto industry in the context of the automobile market facing many difficulties.


Vietnam leaves good impressions at multi-ethnic festival in Czech Republic

Vietnam to build center for search and rescue in Spratly Islands

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang has approved a project to improve the capacity of incident and natural disaster response and search and rescue to 2030, with a vision to 2045.

Male model finishes as third runner-up at World Fitness Supermodel

Ngo Hoang Linh, the Vietnamese representative at World Fitness Supermodel 2023, was awarded the third runner-up title during the male pageant’s grand final held on May 27 in Thailand.

Old Vietnamese publications in romanised script on display in Paris

An exhibition showcasing old Vietnamese publications in Chu Quoc ngu (romanised Vietnamese script) is underway in Paris, France.

HCMC police raze black-credit companies with illicit profits of over US$176mln

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Public Security yesterday prosecuted nine people for usury in civil transactions.

Entertainment and cultural events of the week (May 29-June 4/2023)

Upcoming entertainment and cultural events in Vietnam's major cities on May 29-June 4.

More cooperation needed to develop rare earth industry in Vietnam

The applications for rare-earth element products have developed strongly in recent decades, especially in the field of agriculture in which they are used to create clean, safe, and effective agricultural products.