A Time to Recharge or a Carryover of Fatigue?
A Time to Recharge or a Carryover of Fatigue?
  • Reporter Lee Seung-ah
  • 승인 2020.09.03 15:32
  • 댓글 0
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▲Parcels piled up in a warehouse terminal in Cheongju / The Joong-Bu Maeil
▲Parcels piled up in a warehouse terminal in Cheongju / The Joong-Bu Maeil


On Aug. 13, notices were posted on various online shopping malls that delivery of ordered items will be delayed from Aug. 14 to Aug. 16. This is because the courier industry set Aug. 14 as “No Courier Delivery Day”. Major courier companies decided to completely stop courier services, such as courier delivery, item collection, sorting, and transportation, for three days.
“No Courier Delivery Day” was discussed and decided as a result of the incident in which three courier workers died due to overwork this year. Earlier this year, people began ordering daily necessities online as COVID-19 spread. For this reason, the volume of deliveries in the first quarter of this year increased by 30 to 40% compared to the same quarter of the previous year.
Most courier drivers are considered self-employed, earning fees per delivery as income. They have consignment contracts with courier agencies and are, therefore, not recognized under the Labor Standards Act. Even when courier drivers take a few days off, the amount of delivery they must do afterward accumulates, so it is not easy for them to go on holiday.
 “No Courier Delivery Day” was designated by the Delivery Committee of the Korea Integrated Logistics Association in consideration of courier drivers under such circumstances. The government announced that, through discussions with the courier industry, it will designate Aug. 14 as “No Courier Delivery Day”, so that all courier drivers can rest.
On the other hand, some courier drivers claim that “No Courier Delivery Day” is meaningless as drivers will eventually have to deliver a larger amount of parcels after holidays if the number of orders is the same as usual. 
To overcome such limits of “No Courier Delivery Day”, various solutions from different perspectives were raised. As a campaign-oriented solution, a “#It is okay to be late” campaign appeared on social media. Consumers and some online shopping mall operators decided to postpone their orders by setting Aug. 13 as a “No Order Day”. There is also a technical solution by installing automatic parcel sorting machines in each warehouse terminal to minimize sorting labor. Moreover, the courier industry is devising institutional solutions, such as regulations that allow courier drivers to voluntarily adjust their own delivery volume.