Delivery apps make ordering food easier and cheaper for consumers, but it costs the workers. By offloading the costs of actually delivering food onto labour the app companies like Uber have few expenses they need to cover, thus the appeal to investors. For the first wave of food delivery apps the companies used venture capital to pay delivery workers, but that money ran out and the rates workers were paid decreased.
Now, around the world, delivery workers are fighting back and organizing. In New York City there’s been a massive effort by delivery workers to help each other in more ways than campaigning against the app companies.
Workers developed the whole system â€” the bikes, repair networks, shelters, charging stations â€” because they had to. To the apps, they are independent contractors; to restaurants, they are emissaries of the apps; to customers, they represent the restaurants. In reality, the workers are on their own, often without even the minimum in government support. As contractors and, often, undocumented immigrants, they have few protections and virtually no safety net. The few times city authorities noted the delivery workerâ€™s changing role, it was typically with confused hostility. Until recently, throttle-powered electric bikes like the Arrow were illegal to ride, though not to own. Mayor de Blasio heightened enforcement in 2017, calling the bikes â€œa real dangerâ€ after an Upper West Side investment banker clocked workers with a speed gun and complained to him on The Brian Lehrer Show.
Every delivery person knows that driving a truck through a city is stressful and dangerous. Our current delivery logistics tend to rely heaveily on trucks to transport goods to their ultimate destination, which clogs up roads and pollutes our cities. DB Schenker, one of the largest delivery companies, has decide to trial bicycle deliveries for that last step of distribution and it’s working out better than expected!
“We are 40 % more productive on a bike compared to a truck in the big city. At the same time, we saving CO2 emissions and thereby greener solutions. In addition, besides the better accessibility, we have another big advantage: Always easy parking. â€œ
The new e-bikes have two boxes that can carry up to 300 kg of payload with parcels. The bikesâ€™ batteries have a capacity of eight hours, which means that it only needs to recharge once every day. Every day, the deliveryman is stopped by people, who wants a picture of the e-bike. One of the deliverymen is Ion Gushtu, who loves the attention and exercise in the job: â€œIt is very popular driving environmental friendly and I think people are appreciating the new initiative.â€ Ion has been driving around Bergen since 5thof March 2018.
Regular readers of this site already know that in urban settings using a bicycle is the best way to get around. Thanks to an on-demand food delivery company there is now more evidence that bicycles are the fastest mode of transportation. The company knows this because their delivery algorithm takes into consideration how the food is being delivered to get the estimated delivery time for clients.
Smartphone data from riders and drivers schlepping meals for restaurant-to-home courier service Deliveroo shows that bicycles are faster than cars. In towns and cities, bicyclists are also often faster than motorized two-wheelers. Deliveroo works with 30,000 riders and drivers in 13 countries.
That bicyclists are faster in cities will come as no surprise to bicycle advocates who have staged so-called â€œcommuter racesâ€ for many years. However, these races â€“ organized to highlight the swiftness of urban cycling â€“ are usually staged in locations and at hours skewed towards bicycle riders. The Deliveroo stats are significant because they have been extracted from millions of actual journeys.
Red Riding Goods is one of a few companies in Toronto that deliver goods via bicycles. In other cities from Mumbai to San Francisco bike-based delivery is nothing new and not all that newsworthy. Here in Toronto, where a crack-smoking mayor who thinks cyclists deserve to die advocates the destruction of sustainable transit solutions, seeing new business built around bicycles is great!
â€œMy original idea for the business was to replace vehicle trips with bike trips. Thereâ€™s a huge amount of money to be saved there, but to do that you have to change policy and behavior. Itâ€™s a lot harder than shipping coffee by bike.â€
… Featherstone is an independent franchise and one of the most well known faces of Torontoâ€™s cargo bike scene. Abbiss likens her to the mailman. She bikes more than 600 km a week in bike deliveries alone using a beat up mountain bike and an old trailer, equipment she hopes to replace with a soon-to-be-launched IndieGoGo campaign.
Many other cities already have tiffin delivery and now Toronto is one of those cities and here we have a triple-bottom line company rising fast.
She hires Good Foot Delivery and its developmentally disabled couriers for anything within the PATH walkway, otherwise sheâ€™s driving the meals downtown until the electric-powered rickshaw she ordered from China arrives.
Pabari, who was born in Kenya to Indian parents, hit on the business idea in her Beaches home while packing lunch tiffins for her son, whoâ€™s now 10. Pabarai had quit her six-figure, â€œsoullessâ€ job in marketing for a home-improvement chain after the 2008 death of her father and was re-evaluating her life.
Tiffinday has a triple bottom line: to make money, be environmentally sustainable and socially just.