To cater to this demand for home deliveries, at least 30 product delivery companies have propped up across the country
As the pandemic rages on for its second consecutive year, people in Bangladesh have increasingly gotten used to shopping online — a booming industry resting on the shoulders of delivery agents.
To cater to this demand for home deliveries, at least 30 product delivery companies have popped up across the country.
According to industry insiders, about 100,000 employees are working in these companies — most of whom are young and students turning to the profession of delivery agents due to the closure of their educational institutions or offices amid the pandemic.
Rahath Ahmed, the co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Paperfly, said that this is an emerging job sector of the country.
In the last few years, several new product suppliers and courier service providers have been formed for online product delivery of e-commerce and f-commerce platforms, where thousands of people have been employed, he said.
“When all other private jobs have cut off employees, the home delivery industry has been growing and hiring people. We have hired more than a thousand workers even during the pandemic,” he added.
“We are trying to give maximum protection to our workers during this pandemic. We have given all of them health equipment from the company. Eid bonuses and incentives are being given as well. We have insurance benefits for all our employees too,” he also said.
Ashraful Rokon, an 11th grader studying at a college in the capital, is working as a commission-based delivery agent for Paperfly.
“Our salary depends on our work. I usually earn about Tk13,000-18,000 per month. However, the salary for the month of Eid will be much higher as we are getting lots of delivery orders. Sometimes customers give us tips,” he said.
Despite a couple of isolated incidents, delivery people are treated well by most of the customers, according to several delivery agents.
“Our work is very hard, there are risks too. We have to carry on despite chaotic city traffic, pandemic, intense heat, storms, or rain,” said Shamima Jahan, a female delivery agent from Paperfly.
Delivery agents work for various companies like Paperfly, RedX, Foodpanda, Gontobbo Courier, Provati Courier, SA Paribahan, and so on. They also work for top e-commerce sites like Evaly, Daraz, Shohoz, and MeenaClick.
An official from Daraz, one of the largest e-commerce sites in the country, said that the company delivers an average of about 65,000 products per day.
They hired 3,185 delivery agents last year, another 4,070 this year through different channels, said the official who wished to remain unnamed as he is not authorized to disclose any information.
A source from Chaldal, an e-commerce company that sells essential commodities, said its orders had increased by 150% during the pandemic and that it had to hire more than 1,300 new delivery agents.
Ariful Islam, a delivery agent from RedX said that delivering daily necessities to people’s homes in the early days of the pandemic was a battle, but they were able to overcome that.
“I can now deliver an average of 10 to 12 products per day and get paid Tk45-60 for each. Delay in deliveries means low ratings. If we have no record of failed deliveries, we may even get Tk9-10 bonuses for each, from which I earn an average of Tk600 per day,” he added.
Another delivery agent from RedX, a third-year student of National University, got the job to support his family.
“My father is paralyzed and my mother works as a maid. I used to earn my expenses through tuition. But after the spread of the pandemic, I became unemployed. Then I joined RedX and now I can easily support my family,” said the agent, wishing to remain anonymous.