Drivers who deliver for Amazon across the nation told CNBC that their managers routinely tell them to bypass routine inspections as it would slow down deliveries. They are also told not to report certain problems that might be present in their vans. This violates Amazon’s stated policies that tell drivers “not to operate unsafe vehicles” but delivery companies are under duress to deliver quotas, barring which they lose incentives.
CNBC spoke to 10 current and former delivery drivers for Amazon across the nation in states including
All the drivers had similar tales to tell. However, they spoke to the news agency on condition of anonymity as they feared retribution from their employers who were delivery partners or from Amazon.
Drivers who found problems in their vans before setting out for delivery or en route were asked to ignore problems or issues which included
- jammed doors
- tires that had little or no tread
- backup cameras that were broken
- mirrors that were broken.
One driver who quit from an Amazon delivery company Courier Express One, Chastity Cook said that they just checked down the list provided. The former driver for Amazon in Illinois, who left the company earlier this year said that they didn’t even stop to read the list to make sure that everything was there.
CNBC was unable to reach Courier Express One for comment.
The crux of the matter is that delivery companies have to balance the safety of their drivers with the aggressive quotas set by Amazon. The e-commerce company expects a driver to deliver hundreds of parcels per day.
The DSPs cannot afford to take vans off the roads as there may not be spare vans available to meet the required quotas. When these are not met, the companies lose valuable package routes. Drivers could also lose a shift.
Amazon manages the delivery partners whom its calls its DSP network through partners, drivers and managers and maintains these operations at an arm’s length. Since pressure and stress is increasing on drivers, some of them are trying to speak up against working conditions although they don’t directly work for Amazon. Aggressive delivery quotas will only make the situation more dangerous as the DSPs race to meet them, endangering drivers’ lives and livelihoods.
Photo Jeff Sandquist