Delivery drivers are an integral part of Amazon’s success as an eCommerce giant, but the job isn’t for everyone. Our research shows that a shockingly low percentage of delivery associates last a year in the job - in some areas that number is less than 10%. This high turnover is a massive challenge for DSPs, the companies responsible for employing Amazon’s Drivers (read more about that here).
While employee attrition rates remain high nationally in a post-pandemic world, the average rate for delivery associates leaving their jobs is much higher than other service industry averages, which sit around 62% for 2022 (MoneyZine). So why is it that the Drivers in the blue vans are leaving their jobs at such a staggering rate? We spoke with a handful of DSP owners and reached out to a few Drivers themselves. Here’s the most common reasons we gathered.
Top 5 reasons why Amazon delivery Drivers leave their jobs:
- Challenging Working Conditions: Last mile delivery drivers deal with a lot of difficulties specific to their line of work. To name just a few: aggressive/angry drivers, unsafe road conditions (your child’s school may have called it a snow day but that doesn’t mean Amazon did), and the difficulties of driving an oversized vehicle. Another unique challenge - dogs. Even typically friendly animals often become aggressive towards strangers on their property. Dog bites are incredibly common among drivers and tragically this past year there was even a mauling-related death. Those are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the challenges your delivery drivers are dealing with on a daily basis.
- Low Industry Pay: The pay for Amazon delivery drivers varies from region to region, but is typically lower than similarly demanding jobs, including other driving and delivery roles (think FedEx or UPS). Additionally, since Drivers are employed by small businesses rather than Amazon itself, there is little to no room for growth in these positions and benefits are limited. This can be especially difficult for those who are trying to support a family.
- Long Hours: Delivery drivers must also deal with long hours. For Amazon drivers, a standard shift is a 10 hour block. Drivers are expected to work until all routes are delivered, which sometimes includes performing rescues - the term for one Driver helping another Driver finish their route once all their own packages have been delivered. During busy times of year (think Prime Week or the Holidays) shifts can be even longer than 10 hours. This can be incredibly draining, both physically and mentally.
- Injury: In addition to dogs and vehicle crashes, many drivers find themselves injured due to the extremely physical nature of the job. During a standard route, Drivers are often delivering 350 packages a day. During Prime week or the Holidays, this number can go up to closer to 500. Packages can be oversized or heavy (we’re looking at you dog food, cat litter, and water bottles) and oftentimes have to be carried up long driveways or multiple flights of stairs. It’s not uncommon for Drivers to sprain ankles and wrists, or receive overuse injuries simply from picking up, carrying, and setting down so many packages throughout their shift.
- Stress: The job of an Amazon delivery Driver can be incredibly stressful. Drivers deal with tight deadlines, long hours on the road, and the possibility of running into traffic delays or other problems. They are constantly monitored and scored for how safely they drive, meet customer expectations, and match delivery speed goals. This, combined with the risk of injury, and the low reward (aka pay and room for growth) can be especially difficult for those who are not used to dealing with stress.
For some, working as an Amazon delivery driver can be a great experience, but for those who can’t handle the high demands of the job, it is often a short-lived one. With low reward and high risk/stress, it’s no wonder that up to 90% of Amazon delivery Drivers don’t last a full year on the job.
Here at DRIVR, we think that delivery Drivers deserve better and we’re working on ways to improve their job. We’re starting with tipping, because Drivers deserve appreciation, and because by raising the pay for this role through tips, we can help to lower attrition.