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Gov’t to spend 13 billion won on delivery services

July 12,2017
The government will spend 13 billion won ($11.3 million) over the next five years to improve conditions for delivery workers nationwide.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced Tuesday that it will run a research and development project looking into the automation of loading and unloading processes for parcel delivery companies. Being a delivery driver is often described as being one of the most difficult part-time jobs due to the physical labor required.

“Working conditions for delivery men are often described as the ‘part-time job from hell’ due to the manual labor, but we expect them to improve significantly once the technologies are developed,” said Lee Ju-yeol, a director at the Transport Ministry. “The project is the starting point of giving actual help to delivery men that work in a tough environment and we will continue to come up with policies that will improve the conditions for them.”

The ministry is planning on using conveyor belts at the loading and unloading sites, taking the bulk of the heavy lifting away from the employees. It will also develop technologies to automate the distribution and sorting processes of packages to be loaded on trucks.

The government said it expects the automation will make the job more attractive in the future. All the automation technologies for the loading and unloading processes will be commercialized in 2022.

According to the Transport Ministry, it also will develop technology to control the height of cargo section on their delivery trucks. Currently, some delivery workers have no option but to use small carts to manually deliver packages to buildings with underground garages that they cannot enter due to height issues.

Lee added that the government will develop technologies for delivery men to lower the cargo section when needed starting in 2018, and that it will be commercialized in 2021.

Meanwhile, the Transport Ministry said it will announce further measures to improve working conditions for delivery workers later this year after discussing with industry insiders and experts.


BY KIM YOUNG-NAM [kim.youngnam@joongang.co.kr]