Shippers fined despite delivering essential goods

By Tat Dat, Gia Minh   August 9, 2021 | 09:40 pm PT
Shippers fined despite delivering essential goods
Shippers deliver food at a hospital in Thu Duc City, HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen.
Delivery persons in HCMC are complaining about unreasonable fines by police officers who fail to follow the city’s regulations.

Shipper Quoc Thien received an order last week to deliver food from District 7 to Binh Tan District to a neighborhood locked down due to Covid-19. He said the sender told him the receiver had been short of food for days.

But on the way he was stopped at a checkpoint in District 5 and fined VND2 million ($87), with officers being inconsistent about the reason for the fine: One said that Thien was not allowed to ship across districts while another said that he could only deliver essential items to hospitals and quarantine facilities.

But the city Department of Transport allows delivery of essential goods to people in locked-down areas anywhere in the city.

Thien had to pay the fine, which the sender later recompensed.

On Facebook groups, many shippers complain they are fined unreasonably despite strictly following regulations and being able to produce necessary documents.

Trinh Trung, one of them, said many of his friends have been fined due to officers’ lack of proper understanding of what essential goods are and where shippers are allowed to operate.

Nguyen Hoang Trung, CEO of delivery startup Loship, said many shippers fear being fined despite complying with regulations and are therefore reluctant to deliver.

The company offers to pay all fines of up to VND2 million if they have properly followed regulations.

Some other delivery companies like Grab and MrSpeedy also recompense drivers who have to pay unreasonable fines.

Shippers are required to carry ID badges and QR codes. They must show their destinations to officers when ordered. HCMC has recorded over 128,200 Covid-19 cases in the latest wave starting in late April.

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