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‘Shipper' becomes hot job in urban areas

Update: October, 16/2015 - 09:04

A shipper transports goods to customers in HCM City. A shipper is now considered a hot job for young people and motorbike drivers. — Photo giaohangnhanhhcm.com

by Hang Nguyen

HA NOI (VNS) — Vu Thanh Quy, 22, a student of Thang Long University, works part-time job as a deliverywoman, locally called as "shipper" in Ha Noi, for a cell phone case shop in Ha Noi's Nguyen Hong Street.

Her job over the past few months has given her interesting experiences.

"I learned how to earn pocket money, how to navigate the shortest route to most places in the capital and how to communicate with sometimes difficult customers", she said.

A shipper is now considered a "hot" job for young people and motorbike drivers in urban areas at a time when online shops have mushroomed because of the development of social networks such as Facebook and Instagram in recent years. Busy office staff tends to be frequent customers because they have no free time to go out shopping.

While there are no official statistics on the number of shippers in cities and urban areas, a shop owner or anyone who has a demand to hire shippers can find them with one click.

Quy earns VND20,000 (nearly US$1) for each bill. She often collects five to seven bills, using Google maps to find the shortest route to deliver goods each shift.

"It helps me saving both travelling time and money," she said.

In addition to interesting experiences, Quy also faced challenges with her job.

"There were customers who rejected the cell phone cases I delivered because they said they no longer liked the cases. I had to bring the cases back to the shop without a shipping fee," she said.

"Other customers ignored my phone calls when I arrived after travelling 15 to 20 km to ship the cases to them," she said.

"I'm angry, but I don't know what to do with this type of customer," she said.

Another shipper, Pham Van Bien, 47, a motorbike xe om (taxi driver) of Long Bien District's Thuong Thanh Ward, said that when he had no passengers, he earned money by shipping items for online shops, including clothes, food and cosmetics.

"I receive about VND150,000 ($6.50) each shift for four to five jobs, depending on how long the distance is," Bien said.

"It costs about VND20,000 to ship goods within 10km and VND30,000 (nearly $1.50) if the distance is farther," he said.

Bien said it was easy to earn money by shipping goods. However, every job has its own challenges.

"It's so hard to ship goods on days that are rainy or stormy and in extreme hot or cold," he said.

There were also unexpected things that happened, he said. Bien once received no shipping fee when he shipped two boxes of chicken soup to a customer.

The soup spilled after he hit a pothole on the shipping route, and the customers shouted at him for the loss.

Another time, he was shipping lunch foods to a couple in Hoan Kiem District when his motorbike suddenly broke down along the way. It took time to repair, and he was 30 minutes late. The customers rejected the food because it was too late.

The customers complained to the online food shop, and he had to pay VND200,000 ($9) for the food. The shop refused to hire him for another job.

Nguyen Thi Bao Ngoc, 26, owner of an online apple juice shop in Thanh Xuan District, said she sought shippers via two ways: hiring xe om or searching through a Facebook group called Nguoi tim ship – Ship tim nguoi.

Shippers often received about VND10,000 to 30,000 per shipment, Ngoc said.

She said that when she posted on the group that she was looking to hire a shipper, it took only 15 to 20 minutes to find one.

Nguyen Thu Ha, a busy office worker, said she prefered to buy goods via online shops.

She started her working day at 7am and came home at 8pm, so buying goods via online shops is a more convenient option.

Both Quy and Bien said they learned a lot from their jobs and hoped customers would be more sympathetic to the difficulties faced by shippers. — VNS

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