Couriers – the most vulnerable workers during the outbreak

Couriers – it always puts a smile on your face when you see them. They always bring us goodies that we ordered online, and you always know that when the courier knocks on your door, then parcel that you’ve been waiting for is finally here, oh joy. You know the local courier, the guy from DPD, or the one from RoyalMail. He’s always nice, he hands over the goodies and wishes your a great day – how can you not like them?

courier

But unfortunately, these couriers are the most exposed and vulnerable people to the outbreak. They go from house to house, being in contact with hundreds of people every day. If only one of them has the virus (without even knowing it), they can immediately get infected.

What’s worse is that even if they get infected without knowing it, they will still deliver packages for the rest of the day, and there’s a small chance they might infect someone else. We’re not saying to avoid them altogether, or to be rude with the couriers. Just be sure to stay at a safe distance and avoid unnecessary contact.

Taking precautionary measures

While all couriers are wearing masks and gloves nowadays, it is still important to be very careful around them. Try to be as quick as possible whenever receiving your parcel, and keeping contact at a minimum. It’s the safest way.

Also, if possible, have the courier leave the package outside of your door, so you can pick it up after he leaves. While it is still possible to get the virus from packaging, this is highly unlikely.

Why are couriers so vulnerable?

Think about the number of packages and parcels they have to handle each day. It has to be over a few hundred parcels per courier. But why so many? With more and more people self-isolating at home and unable to go to the local store to purchase the items that they need, most of us, including me, order everything online. From electronics to household items, there are more products being ordered online than ever.

This automatically translates into more work for the couriers, and it also means they’ll be in contact with more people than ever before. I know my local courier personally, and he told me that he has a lot more deliveries than usual, and he even showed me inside his van. I was shocked to see the van being full of items (including toilet rolls, I wonder where people found those, as eBay and Amazon have banned them). Nonetheless, we can all agree that couriers have a lot more work to do nowadays, and this is very dangerous for them.

More online orders, more work for the couriers = delays

As mentioned in last week’s blog, there have been many delays in parcel deliveries, especially international deliveries. It is a bad situation we’re currently in. Shipping companies that carry goods from China to the rest of the world say that they are reducing the number cargo ships from China to Europa and USA.

In a nutshell, there’s a global shortage of products due to this. But consumers are ordering more products than they usually do, because they’re stranded at home. This is very bad, because there is high demand and low supply. If we add price gouging for certain items to this, it truly is a recipe for disaster.

What can you do, as a customer?

First of all, it is adviced to stay home. We do not recommend going to any stores, and the best you can do at the moment is to order everything online. But don’t forget that there are a few caveats.

Deliveries can and will take longer than usual. Prices might bit a tad higher than before, and stocks for essential items will definitely be lower, and as such, make sure to only buy as much as you need. Do NOT over-stock on items, that is just selfish.

As previously mentioned, be sure to take all precautionary measures and stay at a safe distance from everyone else. You will be in contact with couriers more often than you might usually be, so try to stay at a safe distance and avoid unnecessary contact.

And last, but definitely not least – be friendly to your local courier. Make sure to thank him and crack a smile when you do, even if you’re wearing a face-mask . Without them, we would be in a totally different situation. Just try to picture a world without couriers (may I remind you, no couriers means no online shopping at all).

Stay home and be safe!