For many consumers, Amazon’s Next-Day Delivery is a vital shopping component, particularly during a time when leaving the house still presents the risks that come with a pandemic. Instead of “masking up” and going to the store, they receive an alert on their smartphone, open their door, and pick up the packaged necessities they ordered off their front step.
Consequences of e-commerce convenience
Convenience during uncertain times makes life easier for many. However, the ease of online shopping carries consequences, ranging from labor violations to severe injuries. The level of alleged exploitation is not just putting drivers rushing to their destinations at risk, but also presenting dangers in local residents in the communities the e-commerce behemoth serves.
Amazon cannot achieve the lightning, if not breakneck speed required to deliver five million packages every week. The online retailer relies on the help of numerous smaller companies that compose their nationwide, yet decentralized delivery network.
This past holiday season was particularly strenuous for delivery drivers, many working for a flat rate. Dispatchers encouraged them to go without breaks for meals, bathroom visits, and much-needed rest. Imposing a “no package left behind” policy meant that all boxes, some numbering nearly 250 per day, must be delivered before drivers can go home regardless of how long it takes.
Yet, when everything from damage to products to injuries suffered in accidents, Amazon shifts the blame. The e-commerce behemoth puts the responsibility on those third party companies, many of which are start-ups, claiming that those delivery businesses are “not under the direction or control of Amazon.com.”
What Amazon considered to be a comprehensive, if not “perfect” system in actuality created a “perfect storm” of catastrophe, putting drivers and anyone in their respective paths at risk.