Notoriously precarious, hazardous, and stressful, delivery jobs became even more onerous and dangerous during the pandemic. In this study, set in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, we applied Structural Equation Modelling to a large sample of primary data to measure delivery riders’ intention to quit their jobs at the height of the pandemic. We found that job burnout was the key trigger to the intention to quit whereas the risk of Covid-19 infection did not directly affect this behavioral intention. Female riders, migrants, persons living with chronic diseases, and those who had seen their income decimated during the pandemic were more likely to want to quit their job. But if a mass of delivery drivers or riders had failed to show up for work, the last-mile delivery sector would have become paralysed, leaving individuals in various states of lockdown or isolation without food and supplies. As the sector is poised to retain its importance in the post-pandemic period, we recommend a number of approaches for both private companies and public policy makers to persuade riders to stay in their jobs. First and foremost, strategies to prevent and mitigate job burnout should be formulated.
To cite this study:
Nguyen, M.H., Pojani, D., Nguyen-Phuoc, D.Q., Thi, B.N. 2022. What if delivery riders quit? Challenges to last-mile logistics during the Covid-19 pandemic. Research in Transportation Business & Management, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rtbm.2022.100941.