- Amazon delivery partner drivers typically have 170-350 packages to deliver per shift.
- Insider interviewed three drivers who explained the difficulties of working so fast.
- Drivers have confirmed many things that have been reported before, including peeing in water bottles.
Before stepping down as CEO this year, Jeff Bezos built the Amazon empire by being customer-obsessed. But there is a lot to be done to get packages delivered in two days.
Sometimes this comes at the expense of human dignity, three workers told Insider in new interviews, expanding on themes that workers have already detailed in recent years. The three employees drive for various Amazon delivery service partners, or DSPs, across the country. Insider has verified their identities and jobs, but withholding full names at their request for fear of retaliation from the company.
Drivers say typical parcel loads can range from 170 to 375 parcels per day on a regular shift, not just during Prime week. Sometimes their scheduled stops can reach over 190. For busy shifts, drivers have confirmed what others have said before: that pissing in water bottles is sometimes part of the job – much like many. other drivers have complained about the years for keeping pace and meeting high delivery quotas.
“I resort to pee in bottles and women urinate through funnels into bottles, just so I can complete my deliveries,” Valerie G, a driver for one of the delivery service partners at, told Insider. Amazon (DSP). “These conditions are extremely unsanitary, and we are here with all of these packages and our own urine and body fluids. It is unsanitary for the customers who receive the packages.”
Another driver previously told Insider’s Kate Taylor and Avery Hartmans earlier this year that having her period at work was a “nightmare” and that she had no choice but to change her towel at the rear of the delivery van.
“It looks like a giant war between us and Amazon that Amazon has started,” Ryan, another DSP driver, told Insider. “In the end, Amazon will win because they have the power to let go and control anyone: Driver, DSP, anyone.”
Amazon has long denied allegations about the water bottles, sometimes finding itself in conflict with activists and politicians. “You don’t really believe in the idea of peeing in bottles, do you? If it were true, no one would work for us,” the company’s PR account tweeted to the rep. from Wisconsin Mark Pocan in March.
The company then went back to the comments, saying, “We owe Rep. Pocan an apology.” The tweet was incorrect. It ignored our large driver population and instead focused erroneously on our distribution centers. “
Contacted for this story, an Amazon spokesperson told Insider that Amazon is helping delivery drivers take breaks as needed, and the company is working with its delivery partners to “find solutions to these issues.” .
“We help drivers take the time they need to take breaks between stops and drivers can use the Amazon Delivery app to view nearby restrooms and gas stations,” a spokesperson for ‘Amazon at Insider. schedules, which still allows more than 90% of routes to end earlier than the scheduled working time. Our drivers, like others in the industry, face the challenge of finding available public washrooms and we continue to work closely with our delivery partners to find solutions to these issues. “
Still, the problems persist even as different drivers take over vans between shifts, the drivers said.
“I have driven vans that smelled so bad of urine and have already found bottles full of urine in vans,” said Valerie. “The worst part is having to eat in the same van due to time constraints.”
Another driver told Insider that taking proper breaks and staying on time for deliveries has become such a struggle that he has to eat and drive with one hand.
“Managing adequate breaks is impossible due to the extremely high number of packages and stops, so it is impossible to stop to eat. Ryan said. “I am extremely fed up and mentally broken from my time here. It has changed my personality.”
Such high pressure appears to have an impact on the turnover rate of Amazon workers. The New York Times reported earlier this year that Amazon’s turnover rate was almost double the industry average. Perhaps this is no surprise to some experts, who say that the effects of hard physical labor with little or no reward can be extremely damaging to a person’s mental and physical health.
“If you work really long hours and you’re not really fulfilled, and you don’t get the kind of rewards that help you maintain a very busy lifestyle, you are physically straining,” Michael Leiter, professor of psychology at Acadie University in Nova Scotia, Insider said. “Stomach trouble, heart trouble, all that stuff starts to lean on people, and then they’re stuck in that state. So physically and mentally it’s really hard on people.”
“I’ve raised a ton of concerns with my managers, but it’s basically a leak,” Ryan said. “I know they technically don’t have the power to make my concerns Amazon’s problem because, like drivers, DSPs are also consumable and replaceable.”
Ryan said he has tried to find ways to make work better for himself and his colleagues, but believes Amazon and its DSP are not afraid of high churn rates.
“They don’t mind a quick turnover because when people stick around they start to learn too much about it. They start to get injured,” he said. “They start to get frustrated and start talking.”
An Amazon driver for another DSP previously told Insider’s Hayley Peterson that he received no sympathy from his supervisor when he cut his sights during his delivery route. The manager “advised him to drop them [packages] all before returning to the station or seeking treatment. ”
The sources of this story agree: “DSPs have become reckless. We are disposable for them, ”said Valérie. “They treat us without any dignity and in a very inhumane way.
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