So many things have changed in 2020, courtesy of COVID-19 and humanity’s desire to avoid getting it and spreading it.
Many people’s lives have been affected by the changes that have taken place, and rideshare and delivery drivers have especially felt the impact. Who would have dreamt, just 12 months ago, that delivery driving would not only become as popular and lucrative as rideshare work, but maybe even more so?
How has this happened?
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, and then the widespread stay-at-home orders and quarantines, the public became more accustomed to ordering goods online and having the orders delivered to their doors.
It’s now obvious that the trend toward delivery has taken hold, and will persist well beyond the dissipation of COVID-19.
How do we know this? Companies… BIG companies… are going out of their way to build armies of delivery drivers to get orders to online customers within the shortest time possible. At least three major companies, Walmart, Amazon, and 7-Eleven, are expanding their delivery services and issuing the call for delivery drivers.
What’s more, these companies are offering options for drivers to work as employees, both full- and part-time. This is interesting for two reasons: one, because it will supply more security to drivers who work for the companies; and two, it will be secure for the companies.
By not exclusively using independent contractors to make deliveries, these companies can avoid the wave of regulation that’s been chasing down the gig companies that supply rideshare and delivery services. If they already have their fleet of drivers designated as employees, government regulation is less likely to significantly change their business models.
What are these three companies doing, and what opportunities will they create for drivers like us? We hope to answer those questions in this blog post by covering:
- Delivering for Amazon
- Delivering for Walmart
- Delivering for 7-Eleven
- Weighing your options and maximizing your earnings
Delivering for Amazon
The 800-pound gorilla of retail is also the biggest monster in the delivery game.
As such, the company has built in a lot of flexibility with its business model. There are two ways you can drive for Amazon: as an Amazon Flex driver, or as a full-time employee of an Amazon Delivery Service Partner (DSP). Here are the details:
As an Amazon Flex driver, you:
- Use your own vehicle
- Choose blocks of time when you want to work
- Pick up packages at an Amazon distribution center
- Deliver packages to customers’ homes
- Earn an estimated $18 to $25 per hour (including tips)
- Remain an independent contractor (no company benefits)
Although Amazon isn’t yet offering opportunities to be employed by the company as a driver, they do use DSPs that hire drivers as employees. You can find out about these opportunities through Amazon’s website or job posting websites such as indeed.com.
As a driver for an Amazon DSP, you:
- Drive an Amazon delivery van within your community
- Work 4 to 5 days per week (shifts are typically 10 hours long)
- Follow strict safety standards
- Receive competitive compensation (most drivers start at $15 per hour)
- Have employee benefits available
With Amazon, there’s a choice between being a freelance/independent contractor driver (Amazon Flex), or being employed by an Amazon DSP, and it’s up to you to decide what works best. As a Flex driver, obviously, you have no company benefits, but you’re also not locked into a 40- or 50-hour-per-week schedule.
Delivering for Walmart+
This retail behemoth is going toe-to-toe with Amazon in as many ways as possible. One way is through its new Amazon Prime-like service called Walmart+. For a monthly fee, customers receive free, same-day delivery on their orders from Walmart, plus discounts, a scan-and-go service through the app, and early access to new items.
Walmart continues to use DoorDash and Spark to supply drivers who keep their promises about those same-day deliveries, but lately they are taking a new approach. Walmart is now offering delivery drivers jobs as employees of the company.
- Drive a company vehicle
- Pick up and deliver merchandise from Walmart to the customer
- Have the option to be a personal shopper as well as a delivery driver
- Interact extensively with customers to make sure they are satisfied
- Work with the fulfillment team at the store
- Receive employee benefits (based on the number of hours you work)
As a driver for DoorDash or Spark in support of Walmart, you:
- Drive your own vehicle
- Work flexible hours
- Wait for the Walmart fulfillment staff to prepare your orders
- Receive a payment of about $9 per order, plus tips
- Remain an independent contractor (no benefits)
Because Walmart+ just had its inauguration on September 15 of this year, the waters around the employee/contractor issue are someone murky. However, Walmart is very serious about aggressively building its delivery capabilities, as we’ll see in the next section. First, let’s look at 7-Eleven.
Delivering for 7-Eleven
It’s not just the corner store anymore. Brand-new to the idea of rolling out a large delivery fleet, 7-Eleven is in the process of hiring 20,000 new workers, in addition to the 50,000 it has added since March of this year.
Also, the company has rolled out a delivery app called “7NOW.” Its vast network of stores and the large array of goods offered put them in a position to slip right into the niche of delivering items to customers who’ve become accustomed to the convenience as well as the safety of this kind of service.
- Drive a company vehicle
- Work a schedule set by the company
- Perform duties inside the store, as well as deliver
- Possibly also deliver for Jimmy John’s
- Make about $17 per hour
- Get employee benefits, based on whether you’re full- or part-time.
This is a brand-new announcement, so some of these items could be fluid. It will be interesting to watch how this develops, and at this point it sounds like a great possibility for drivers who are looking for a steady gig with benefits.
Weighing your options and maximizing your earnings
So, what do you think? Would you like to deliver for any of these companies? It looks like they all have options for you to work part-time as an employee, or as an independent contractor. Much depends on your needs, and of course, theirs. Check your local job listings to see what’s available. Just in case you’re not clear, we’ll recap your options:
- Work as an employee for one of the companies
- Work as an employee for a partnered delivery company
- Work for another company as a gig worker
- Work for one of the companies as an independent contractor
Before you decide, take a look at what you’re currently earning, and spending, as a driver for your favorite rideshare or delivery company. How can you do that? Just download Gridwise!
The Gridwise app lets you track earnings and mileage for multiple companies, and then it combines the data so you can see which one is making you the most money. You also get traffic, airport, and event information; easy access to our blog; and the informative and fun Gridwise YouTube Channel.
Don’t miss deals for drivers in the Perks tab, and join us on Facebook to get in on Gridwise gas giveaways and chat with an incredible community of drivers just like you.
And, as always, leave your comments below and tell us what you think of these big three companies going deep into delivery, and anything else you want us to know.