Inflation speaks louder, and Uber, 99, and iFood increase prices and fees in Brazil

The country was already suffering from inflation arising from the pandemic's demand shock; now, it also receives the impacts of fuel and food prices altered by the war in Ukraine.

A iFood courier wears a face mask.
Photo: Nelson Antoine/Shutterstock
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The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is aggravating the rise of inflation in the world and, especially, in Latin America, where countries have been forced, since last year, to raise interest rates as the only remedy for rising prices in the face of a tight fiscal. Just last week, Petrobras announced the readjustment in the liter of regular gasoline (18%) and diesel (24.9%). As a result, three of the largest apps in the country – Uber, 99, and iFood – announced this week a readjustment of fees charged to users and amounts paid to drivers and couriers.

Uber has adjusted the price of rides in Brazil by 6.5%. The company, which ended restaurant deliveries on Uber Eats on the 7th, said the price increase for users was “temporary,” without estimating an end date for this higher price. Also without giving details, the company said that it would invest BRL 100 million in Brazil in initiatives to increase earnings and reduce costs for partner drivers.

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99 announced a 5% increase in the value of the km traveled in the 1,600 cities where the app operates. “In addition to this readjustment, the Mais Ganhos 99 package, with measures such as the Zero Rate, which offers drivers 100% of the value of rides in specific periods and cities, in addition to more gains from the congestion charge, and travel fee continue in force,” the company said in a statement. The company also said it was studying a subsidy solution capable of tracking, more dynamically, fluctuations in fuel prices.

In the case of iFood, as of April 2, the minimum route (the minimum that couriers receive each time they are called) will increase by 13%, from BRL 5.31 to BRL 6, and the minimum for kilometer traveled will increase by 50%, from BRL 1 to BRL 1.50. According to the company, the 2022 adjustments will affect half of the current routes made by motorcycles and 70% of deliveries made with bicycles. In the next 12 months, iFood estimates that it will transfer more than BRL 3.2 billion to the platform’s more than 200,000 delivery partners.

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Claudia Storch, iFood‘s director of operations, said that with the increase, couriers who work 169 hours a month would earn BRL 3,020 gross per month, more than 89% of the Brazilian population. In this case, the average net gain per logged hour becomes 2.5 times higher than the minimum wage and is 33% above the motorcycle freighter ceiling.

Switching to kids, she said the net gain per mile “will come back on par with the earnings they had in the past,” without specifying what that past is.

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