• Thu. Dec 9th, 2021

Soaring fuel costs are burning incomes for taxi drivers and delivery agents

ByElla E. Kidwell

May 12, 2021

Vidhya, a Mumbai-based taxi driver associated with Ola and Uber spends 16 to 17 hours a day behind the wheel, but has to tap into her savings to manage her expenses. While the car IME and aggregator commissions weighed on its revenue, rising fuel costs weighed on its revenue again.

Gasoline and diesel prices have risen steadily since February. Gasoline costs 97.57 per liter and diesel 88.60. On Monday, in a price notification, state-owned fuel retailers said gasoline prices rose by 26 paise and diesel by 33 paise. This is a nationwide record after tariffs were raised for the fifth time in a week, following which Maharashtra joined Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, where gasoline prices have passed the 100 mark.

According to the National Secretary General of the Indian Federation of Application-Based Transport Workers (IFAT), Shaik Salauddin, “Taxi drivers’ rates are the same as they pay for gasoline. Many of them are unable to pay the IMEs and have returned to the villages. As gasoline and diesel prices enter the roaring ’90s space, concert workers, including taxi drivers, car drivers and food delivery officials, are feeling the pinch.

Vidhya said she earns around 60,000 to 70,000 per month. However, in the past year that number has dropped by half as the number of rides has gone down and commissions have gone up. Bhaskar Patil, who is a delivery guy with ShadowFax, has a similar story. “At least 30 percent of my costs used to be on gasoline. Now I pay almost 45%,” he said. Arvind Kishan, a delivery guy with Swiggy and Zomato who delivers at least 12 hours a day. day, said he needed to save at least 70-80% on commissions and gasoline prices. If that was not enough, the distance of deliveries increased and the value of the ticket decreased. “The number of deliveries have also declined. We have tried to contact our local recruiter on several occasions, but they blatantly ignore our messages, “he said.

Average earnings

On average, delivery people are paid 6 / km, while the cost including fuel and maintenance is around ₹ 2.5-3 / km.

So after traveling, say about 100 km a day in over 12 hours, they earn about 600-700 yen – of which they have to set aside 200 yen for gasoline. Previously they were compensated for long distance orders by an additional charge per kilometer, but not anymore.

Despite Covid-19, in the past 30 days, just like last year, Apna, a professional networking platform, said it has seen demand for blue-collar and gray-collar candidates increase twice in logistics, electronic commerce. health and insurance sectors. “The demand for delivery boys in the e-commerce segment, while we have noticed a need for service boys, volunteers, etc., in the health sector. In the insurance industry, we have seen an increase in the need for remote operators. Manas Singh, business and growth manager at Apna, said.

As demand increased, the commissions charged per trip for taxi drivers increased and the incentive earned by delivery people decreased. “The business of commissions, wait times, bulk orders and incentives is a maze of words and numbers for most gig workers. So while a delivery person may consider 291 a gain per order once the distance of 27.49 km and the delivery time of 57 minutes taken into account with the cost of fuel, the gains do not seem so lucrative ”, Salauddin added.

However, the fear of giving birth during Covid-19 appears to be a major concern for people who BBusiness line spoke to. Bhaskar said that despite his 50 years, he continues to work because his two sons are unable to find a job to their liking.

While Vidhya said she has also driven covid patients. “I’m afraid of contracting the virus, however, if I thought about it, I wouldn’t be able to work at all,” she added.

TeamLease’s April-June 2021 Employment Outlook Report indicated ‘intent to hire’ for different segments and types of applicants. He added that there was a 41% intention to hire in the last two quarters for blue collar candidates. However, he added that “demand for the evergreen blue collar function has likely plateaued.” On the issue of thinning margins for commission candidates, Apna’s Singh said that Apna plans to give the candidate feedback to their client.

(* Names deleted or modified at the request of the persons cited.)


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