Amazon Prime paying up to $30 per hour to private-hire drivers and cabbies

Amazon has launched its Prime Now delivery service in Singapore on 29 July 2017, Singapore is Amazon’sĀ first market they enter in Southeast Asia. The Prime Now delivery service promises to deliver the parcel within an hour (selected areas and hours) of receiving the order from the customer.

Overwhelming demand

There was ultra-high demand for the ultra-fast service during the official launch on Thursday. So much so that Amazon had to put up a notice that they are unable to fulfil the delivery.

Who do you go to when you need a large pool of delivery people with their own vehicles? You go to the one with the greatest presence on the road in Singapore. The private-hire and Taxi Drivers!

How much do they pay Drivers to deliver

Some private-hire drivers revealed that they can earn up to $30 per hour. The wage is made up of a basic hourly wage of $25/hour and a $5 bonus. The bonus is dependent on performance where drivers are rewarded for on-time attendance and never missing a shift

$30/hour is an attractive rate that is much higher than most private-hire drivers or taxi earns during off-peak hours

Drivers are assigned to deliver goods in an assigned area, which translate to shorter travelling distance between each delivery address. Private-hire Driver Mohammad Ridhuan, who has been putting in 10 hours daily driving full time for Uber/Grab, shared with us that he alternates between driving private-hire and delivering for Amazon these days. He said that doing delivery is easy and less tiring than driving.

Who is hiring Drivers

There are 3 firms revealed that have been supplying drivers to Amazon Prime Now to fulfil their delivery orders.

They are namely Adecco Personnel, Ninja Van and Riverwood Pte Ltd.

Recruitment has been ongoing for the past few months and many private-hire drivers have signed-up through social media.

image – Riverwood

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Should Private-Hire Drivers rush to sign-up now?

If you have just heard about this opportunity, it might be too late. Recruitment has started months ago and the number of available positions is likely to have been filled by many private-hire drivers and taxi drivers

Like most new companies coming into the Singapore market, Amazon is paying top dollar to recruit drivers to fulfil their delivery needs during this initial period. When more drivers start to join their delivery team, it is likely that incentives/wages will be reduced, as we have seen with both ride-hailing companies in Singapore.

Amazon provides free delivery for orders above S$40. For orders below $40, a fee of S$5.99 applies.If the customer opts for the ultra-fast 1-hour delivery, Amazon will charge a delivery fee of $9.99.

The cost of paying up to $30/hour to each delivery driver is unlikely to be sustainable as the cost of hiring these delivery drivers outstrips what customers are paying to Amazon for delivery.