Drivers, you’re in demand! In today's market, you may be deciding how to grow your business as an independent contractor or owner-operator. Do you lean towards scheduled work or the gig economy? The great news is that you have a wide variety of options, facilitated by the growth of mobile platforms. You may already be running package delivery routes through a mobile gig platform like Amazon Flex. Or you may be looking to connect with other carriers or even directly with logistics providers to drive scheduled routes. When you’re growing your business as a driver, there are multiple pathways for you to choose!
According to Pew Research, 16% of American adults have earned money at some point using an online gig platform. Some popular examples of gig platforms for drivers include Uber, Post Mates, Instacart, Shipt, Amazon Flex, Grubhub, and DoorDash. Drivers using these platforms carry packages, groceries, restaurant meals, and people. In 2021, 9% of U.S. adults considered themselves to be gig workers, and among this group, 31% reported that gig work was their main source of income.
There's no denying that the gig economy opens doors for independent contractors, offering flexibility and room for growth in the spirit of entrepreneurship. Thanks to recent advancements in technology, mobile platforms make finding gig work more streamlined and personalized than ever before. Drivers choose gig work for many reasons. Some of the pros include flexible scheduling, the ability to work a variety of jobs and tasks, and advantages of technology like knowing your pay upfront and the simplicity of accepting jobs from a mobile app. Many independent contractors - especially drivers - have capitalized on the gig economy and seen their businesses boom.
On the other hand, gig work presents its own challenges. In certain markets, some gig platforms are competitive, which can make it hard to consistently get the jobs you prefer. It can also be difficult to secure benefits as an independent contractor, and many independent drivers who use gig platforms aren’t accessing the support they need to discover and purchase their benefits. Finally, drivers report that the lack of job security through gig work is another hurdle. It can take more than a year of utilizing gig platforms to figure out how to make a steady and predictable monthly income. Gig workers facing these challenges may find that the benefits of gig work outweigh the costs while others will choose to build their business through scheduled work.
Traditionally, independent contractors who earn income as drivers, especially package delivery drivers, have sought work with a carrier or logistics company that includes scheduled routes, the availability of affordable contractor benefits, and a steady monthly income. This type of work can provide stability and predictability. Relationships between drivers and companies are formed, and when an independent driver contracts with the same company and serves the same customers over time, they develop a niche expertise within logistics that offers a competitive advantage when seeking other driving opportunities.
While drivers may choose gig work over scheduled work for the simplicity of onboarding and securing routes through gig platforms, securing scheduled work as an independent contractor doesn’t mean you have to forgo the benefits of technology. In 2021, Pace launched our mobile app called Drive by Pace, which offers real-time access to:
- New driving opportunities
- Roadside assistance
- Company news
When logistics companies and 3PLs leverage technology to connect with and support their driver base, they help bridge the gap between the benefits of scheduled work and those of the gig economy.
Further, carriers and logistics companies may offer access to benefits specifically for independent contractors. At Pace, we partner with companies such as Stride, Zayzoon, and Porter Freight to support our network of preferred carriers driving scheduled consistent routes with insurance, financial health, and freight factoring to help their businesses grow.
So, as an independent contractor, courier, or final mile driver - whether you decide to focus your driving opportunities on gig work, scheduled routes (or a combination of the two) - take time to consider the pros and cons of each.
While you are growing your business, Pace is here to help! If you’d like to consult with a Pace Recruiting Business Parter to learn more about driving as an independent contractor, email us at email@example.com. We’d love to connect with you!