An evening out making deliveries with drivers: how much you earn, lights and shadows

We are about to tell you about a working sub-region where algorithms live. Made from personal scores. Price auctions to win delivery. But there is also freedom to manage one’s life. From low wages. And at the same time earning over three thousand euros a month. A “parallel” world that showcases its spiky and more relaxed sides. There is an army of private couriers working in pizzerias and restaurants, which we told you about a few years ago (when the movie was shot on the subject). “I’m sorry we forgot about you” by Ken Loach).

And then there are the bike and scooter riders who work on behalf of the most well-known delivery platforms: Deliveroo, Glovo, Just it and others who are increasingly gaining a foothold in Salento. Uniforms equipped with reflective strips. Bluetooth headphones are fixed on the ears. I wear the shoulder straps on my cooler bags. Mobile phones were mounted on the handlebars of bicycles and motorcycles.

We often see them standing in groups in Viale Cavallotti. beep Notification that will inform them about the next delivery: arrive at that location, pick up the goods, deliver to the specified route. Then you return to base and wait for another beep. There are around fifty cyclists in the city who have been doing this job full-time and on a planned basis for several years. We met with them that day to tell them a story about how the event was run. And then again dreams, difficulties. In short, lights and shadows.

We get into their vehicles to make deliveries and to understand from the inside the world that the colorful jackets make visible but is actually not yet discovered. First of all, from the unions.

From the national secretariat of the union

“To date, there are around 80 thousand workers in Italy doing this job with withholding tax or VAT. Gianluca Mancini, Ugl Rider’s national secretary, says that around 30 thousand euros of these are carried out on a permanent basis, while the rest are carried out occasionally. “Fortunately, those working in delivery companies are not in the dark because of this. Underground service will often be seen in some private buildings. The picture is completely different from what is perceived in the media. Drivers are depicted as exploited workers. In reality, the amounts are more than reasonable,” continues the Roman trade unionist.

“Obviously, a lot of sacrifice is being made with workers being on the streets for ten, eleven hours. But it also has an economic benefit, which allows you to earn reasonable amounts, especially in big cities and with more than one client,” continues Mancini. The first collective agreement for passengers at the European level was signed by Ugl. “Of course it is an agreement that can be improved, but it gave it an identity and regulated the minimums. ” – Mancini explains: “This also included and accepted the public holiday, the Inail deposit paid by the platform and economic bonuses for each delivery. We are currently talking about a 3-year contract. In the meantime, we had the Covid problem, then the war and the changing world. In the next renewal, a renewal work will be carried out for economy and protections. But in the meantime, I can guarantee that this is a decent job that allows you to earn up to 4 thousand euros a month,” concludes Mancini.

real earnings

However, if it is true that drivers on delivery platforms are quick to rack up taxes and contributions, avoiding “black” work, it is equally true that many disagree and turn up their noses at the staggering profits unionists point out. Ugl national secretariat. We met around ten freelancers in the Lecce area and hinterland, split between Deliveroo and Glovo. He left Uber in June, but from the end of September the Just it platform was also added to Lecce. There are some convergences and many differences between them.

“Let’s start by saying that very few people earn 4,000 euros – we always talk about gross. Maybe I work 12 hours a day,” Vito replies. (all names are fictitious, ed.), The person who makes deliveries in the afternoon after doing another job in the morning. “Whatever figure we talk about, we need to take into account that many of them have VAT. Then you must deduct fuel costs, scooter purchase, maintenance of the vehicle and food during the break. “Not to mention the various, inevitable punishments.”

It starts from €3.77 gross per delivery with Deliveroo. The algorithm, as drivers from Lecce explained to us, pays not by mileage but by estimated time, a sort of weighted average of the entire fleet. “Despite the increase in gasoline prices, we do not see any increase in the tariff. Vito continues: It is increasingly common for customers to be forced to wait because no passengers find the delivery suitable. It is one thing to have order in the city at this speed. Another issue is if, as is often the case, these deliveries have to be made in the surrounding areas: Merine, Lizzanello, Arnesano, Surbo, Giorgilorio, San Pietro in Lama or Monteroni di Lecce”. Only when more than one passenger refuses, the delivery price increases, which takes the appearance of an auction .

In fact, out of these 3.77 euros, only around 2.50 euros remained in the courier’s pocket. There are bonuses, that’s true. A “privilege” that very few people have in the workplace: You can receive up to 1,500 euros per year, depending on the number of deliveries processed. “Not everyone manages to bring home these bonuses; those who can make this sum count thirteenth,” adds Samuele. “I am one of those who decided to move slowly on the road. It is true that speed is required in this activity, but I neither want to risk an accident nor consume excessive fuel.”

And encountered late delivery? “Nothing is happening, there is no penalty at the moment.” The customer can see the driver’s location from the phone app and his movement. In case of any delay, couriers have the number of a help center that can contact the person taking the order.

Significant differences between major platforms

Many of them (in Lecce as well as in other cities where delivery takes place: Gallipoli, Casarano, Copertino, Maglie, Nardò and Tricase) work in parallel for more than one company: Deliveroo and Glovo in particular. Precisely with this situation, the situation changes: Here, workers are hired as employees. In the other two, activities are carried out with withholding tax on annual income up to 5 thousand euros. When the amount is exceeded, it is important to have a VAT number: for those who work there in a structured way, it goes without saying that freelancing is the only valid contractual way. The main difference between the two companies lies in the way they work.

Deliveroo prefers ‘free entry’: no ​​shifts but you start your working day whenever and wherever you want. Just check the “online” option, enable geolocation and accept notifications of incoming orders. Same simplicity as submitting your application on site: no interviews, directly online. There is no specific age requirement or limitation. You go through a medical examination, take a safety course, and then get on your scooter or bike.

However, you need to “book” the hours you plan to work at Glovo in advance. When you sign up as a driver, you enter the personal “points” mechanism, up to a maximum of 5 after the first 50 orders. In the first stage (that of the first 50 orders), the dynamics of the race arrangement In fact, the worker was saved. “The fewer orders you reject, even on a rainy day, the higher your score. With a “rating” of 2.3 out of 5, Pietro explains: “However, if you have a one-hour reservation, you cannot return.” “Even if your phone’s battery is below 20 percent, you may encounter a scoring issue.” ,” he continues.

“At Glovo, it is better to be available on the weekend, otherwise the score will decrease,” continues the worker who applied for this profession two years ago. “Initially, fares were based on kilometres, which Deliveroo still does. 20 or 30 cents per kilometer was expected, but the time from the start of the job to the restaurant was also taken into account. And then from the location of the goods to the destination. Months ago, salaries were slightly higher. There was also a bonus for each hour (lunch and dinner time slot, higher multiplier for rush hour). However, it is worth noting that the Glovo application often crashes. IT failure is a notorious issue,” the driver concludes.

“At Deliveroo we are definitely more free and we don’t need to go out into the field,” says Federico, who left his job as a worker specializing in fiberglass processing four years ago to devote himself to deliveries in the city.


Lights and shadows

“This job is suitable for me because it is the only job that can be reconciled with my studies at the conservatory,” Saverio adds. “I can only continue to attend classes and courses by managing my time independently.” Everyone has their own motivations. “I have no obligations other than those specified in the contract: personal hygiene, cleanliness of the uniform, severity, speed of delivery. But I am also free to reject the order, take the car back and return to the state. Every day I travel twenty kilometers, park the car and ride the scooter parked in Lecce,” continues her colleague Simone.

“I am free to decide every morning whether I will work, when and until what time I will work. “Not to have to return home if I have an appointment with my wife, or to ask for time off for my daughter’s medical examination or a dance recital at the end of the year,” says Alessio (he was also a rider in London in the past). On the other hand, with a flat-rate VAT number, I won’t be able to ask for a bank loan for the house and I won’t be able to get the same financing. “It will also be difficult for me to buy a car,” he said.


The fear of not having certainty is spreading among drivers. Guarantees. Not seeing wages increase over time. Costs are increasing, but the number of passengers is also increasing in parallel. “What is subject to penalty is the value of our work,” they say. As the number of passengers increases, platforms pay less. And most importantly, when the same fee is given, there is a corresponding expansion of the area to be served. It’s a bad market law. “So do you have any idea what piece work legitimized by VAT number means in 2023? Feeling a little more than just following orders? Do you know what it means to be addicted to work? But what kind of life is this? “concludes Davide.

From LeccePrima

Source: Today IT