Delivery rider availability, new sign-ups dip during phase two
Like other Singaporeans whose day jobs were put on hold due to the circuit breaker, Mr Yusuf Abdol Hamid joined GrabFood as a delivery rider in end-April to make ends meet during the challenging period.
But ever since phase two of Singapore’s reopening kicked off almost a month ago, many like him are returning to their original vocations.
Now that his production house Vamos Photography, which he co-owns, is allowed to resume operations, Mr Yusuf is beginning to receive clients again.
However, he continues to do deliveries “once every few weeks”.
Mr Yusuf, 35, told The New Paper: “My biggest concern is going back into lockdown. (If that happens), I’ll have to put away work, put on my uniform and start delivering full-time again.
“(Right now), I miss being able to go to different places that I usually would not get the opportunity to, such as condominiums.”
Major food delivery platforms such as Deliveroo, GrabFood and foodpanda told TNP they have not noticed any significant decline in riders since phase two began.
A Grab spokeman said: “We continue to see a majority of our partners still active on the platform as demand for deliveries remains higher than pre-Covid-19 levels. A small number of our delivery-partners may also be taking the opportunity to spend more time with friends and families or taking on other earning opportunities since phase two started.”
But restaurants which use third-party delivery riders such as Lalamove Singapore as well as their own riders reported a dip in rider availability.
Mr Howard Lo, owner of Tanuki Raw, said: “Typically during the circuit breaker, aside from Fridays and Saturdays, we could easily get a delivery rider within five minutes of searching on the third-party delivery company apps.
“Now, there are periods where it takes 20 minutes or longer to find a rider even during non-peak times.”
Mr Francis Ng, owner of House Of Seafood, has also noticed a “big drop”.
He said: “Delivery rates have gone up with the inclining demand for riders, increasing from $10 to $12.”
At the start of phase two, Lalamove Singapore saw a slowing down of new driver registrations.
Its managing director Alex Lin said: “”Still, fulfilment remains consistent. This is because of our early efforts where we onboarded twice as many drivers as compared to before the circuit breaker.“
Mr Vincent Fan, chief operations officer of Zeek, a logistics company that provides delivery riders, said its platfrom “has helped local drivers who faced layoffs to make a living during this difficult time”.
He added: “These part-time riders are less active, but we still have new riders who sign up to work with us to make full use of their available time.”
Pickupp Singapore, a logistics company with an e-commerce platform, reported a “30 to 40 per cent drop” in the number of delivery agent sign-ups.
Its spokesman said: “However, as the demand for our delivery services has remained relatively constant, the number of delivery riders delivering with us on a daily basis has not declined and remains consistent.”