SINGAPORE: ComfortDelGro taxi drivers will soon help to deliver RedMart groceries as Singapore sees a rise in demand for delivery services amid the COVID-19 outbreak. 

More than 1,000 drivers from the taxi company have indicated their interest in the new role, said ComfortDelGro and Lazada in a media release on Tuesday (Apr 14).

“The collaboration will help expand RedMart’s existing delivery fleet as Singapore goes into an unprecedented period of physical distancing to stem the spread of COVID-19,” they added.

The drivers will start these delivery jobs by the end of April, after undergoing training provided by RedMart. The online grocery platform is owned by e-commerce giant Lazada. 

READ: Delivery slots run dry as more turn to online grocery shopping amid COVID-19 concerns

As part of the trial pilot, drivers will pick up orders from RedMart’s warehouse at Alexandra Terrace and deliver them to locations within the town areas, said the companies.

The announcement of the collaboration comes after the Government temporarily eased point-to-point regulations to allow taxi drivers and private-hire car drivers to participate in a delivery service trials to help address the surge in demand for home deliveries.

Chief operating officer of ComfortDelGro Taxi, Mr Tommy Tan, said the COVID-19 situation has been “incredibly challenging” for the drivers.

“With the big mismatch in demand and supply for food and groceries, we reached out to RedMart. We have started the onboarding of drivers and have seen strong interest amongst our drivers. This will be a win-win-win situation not just for our drivers, for RedMart but for residents as well,” he added.

READ: S$77 million package to help taxi, private-hire drivers affected by COVID-19 outbreak

RedMart said it started experiencing a “growing surge of orders” in February.

“With ComfortDelGro, we are assured of a clean fleet of vehicles, as well as a pool of drivers who can help ease the delivery capacity. Under these protracted conditions, we are grateful to have ComfortGelGro’s fleet available, to scale our delivery operations as required,” said executive vice president of Lazada eLogistics Singapore Jamil Khan.

READ: ComfortDelGro board, top management to take pay cuts amid COVID-19 outbreak

RedMart has been trying to cope with the increase in online orders. 

Earlier this month, it announced that it will temporarily reduce the range of products available and prioritise daily necessities such as rice, flour and eggs.

Delivery slots will also be assigned based on location, with only specific days and times available for each address.

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