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The sorry state of delivery services in Ghana

The sorry state of delivery services in Ghana
Source: Ghana|Myjoyonline.com
Date: 11-07-2019 Time: 06:07:47:pm
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Akosua looked at her watch for the second time, as she thought to herself, “didn’t this rider say he was only 5 mins away”? It had been an hour and 15 mins. She called him again.

“Boss, please, where are you? I thought you said you were 5 mins away; it’s been over an hour” She was full of rage.

She had had a stressful week, especially today. Back to back meetings till 6 pm on a Friday was quite intense for her. She had woken up that morning and wasn’t proud of what she saw in the mirror. She had lost so much weight in just 5 days due to stress, that even a month of keto dieting couldn’t achieve. Even though she was grumpy over the fast, she was also more than happy with her “new” body.

She felt the need to pamper herself with a special meal treat. After all, she felt she had earned it and her body was proof enough. Now back to this delivery rider who wanted to mess with her, she guessed he didn’t know “a hungry man is an angry man”.

The delivery rider unapologetically said “I thought I was 5 mins away too o. I’m coming please” “Where exactly are you?” Akosua asked. “Madam I’m coming”, the delivery rider hung up.

“How annoying!”Akosua thought to herself. The restaurant said they were not responsible for the delay because deliveries were outsourced to individual motor riders.

She decided to lay in bed while she waited but ended up falling asleep. She shot out of bed an hour later as though she had had a nightmare. “Ei my food” She exclaimed. She quickly grabbed her phone to check for missed calls. No missed calls. Akosua was going mad at this point.  Just when she was about to dial the delivery rider’s number, he called. “Madam, I’m here o. Is your house the one with the yellow gate?” Akosua, fuming and almost in tears, responds“How many times do you want me to tell you?”

She stormed outside to meet the delivery guy taking the food out of the box. She could tell the shito oil had spilt into the rubber. At this point, she didn’t have any energy left to exchange words with him, she just wanted to eat, her stomach had been grumbling. Just as the delivery guy sped off, with no apologies, she decided to just open the pack to see the long-awaited food. Where is the grilled chicken?


“Oh Laawwddddd”, she screamed, her eyes filled with tears.

Many people can relate to Akosua’s experience. It’s always one bad experience after the other. The delivery system in Ghana is almost like a nightmare- the sleep is nice, everything is smooth until the horror starts. You see something you like, place an order and pay for it. When it comes to delivery-Asem aba!

The delivery rider doesn’t bring your item in the nick of time but you are forced to accept it and still pay him.

If you’re unlucky, the wrong item is delivered and somehow, you only find out after the delivery rider has left.

The unbearable part is when the delivery rider shows up in one of those tricycles that announces its arrival with a loud noise. 

The current state of the delivery system in Ghana is appalling. There are no reliable individuals or organizations that ensure the safe delivery of an item right from the order to your doorstep. Restaurants and vendors outsource the delivery of orders to individual motor riders or delivery services but that’s where their job ends. They wash their hands off the delivery process with the excuse that the rider has picked it up. That means the reception of your item is left to you and the rider.

They leave you with the extra burden of calling the rider to give directions. Woe betides you if the rider is a newbie and doesn’t know the nooks and crannies of the city, get ready to waste your airtime.

Unfortunately, Ghanaians seem to be stuck with dealing with this unscrupulous attitude. The bustling nature of Accra life, coupled with traffic jam and bad roads makes delivery a better option than pick up.

Apart from the frustration that delivery comes with, it’s actually costly. Think about it like this, when the delivery service is unsatisfying, productivity is less. Here’s the breakdown, when your item doesn’t get delivered on time, your plans are messed up and delayed because of the long wait.

Imagine how much money a company loses if their employees spend almost two hours on lunchtime because they have to sit in traffic for so long just to buy food. Time is money, remember? Employees are unable to meet their targets for the day in the long run because they spend a chunk of their lunchtime in traffic just to purchase food worth GHC10.

Productivity can be maximized when the structure of the delivery system is set right. 

A few delivery services have sprung up and are trying to change the narrative. However, there’s still no excellence or sustainability of methods. They have a number of riders who deliver, but there comes the problem of unavailability of riders when there are multiple orders. The issue of directions to locations still remains.

Imagine how convenient it would be if there was a system that allowed your delivery rider to see your location on a map and deliver at your doorstep without any hustle. If clients could track their delivery riders in real-time, ridiculous lies from delivery riders like “I am at your junction” when he hasn’t even moved, would be avoided.

The courier industry is undeniably a major sector that contributes to national productivity.

When the citizens of Ghana say they want to change, there’s no doubt it starts from here too.


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