Many people who do delivery jobs get paid for their work based not on how much time it takes them, but on how many miles they travel. This helps to provide a wage that is related to the amount of useful work the deliverer does, as well as the amount of wear and tear on the delivery vehicle, which the deliverer often owns and must maintain.
OTR stands for “over the road,” and refers to long-haul truckers who deliver between cities, usually in large tractor-trailers. Many of these truckers own their own vehicles and work as sub-contractors for contractors who need materials moved.
Truckers who are paid by the mile submit a bid to the company for the work. They try to bid low enough to get the job, yet high enough to make some money. The amount per mile that OTR truckers make can vary widely, from 25 cents to a dollar per mile, depending on the size of the load, the distance that it needs to be taken, and sometimes other factors, such as whether it is hazardous material.
Delivery drivers of all kinds exist in large cities, where thousands of different items need to change hands every day. Some delivery drivers work for a fixed hourly wage, while others are paid by the mile. Some work for a wage, but also get a mile-based stipend that covers the cost of wear and tear and fuel for their vehicles.
City driving is far harder on a vehicle than OTR driving, because of the frequent starting and stopping. So, the reimbursement for vehicle degradation is an important part of a delivery driver’s pay. If a driver does this work for any length of time, his vehicle will very quickly begin to show its age.
Couriers are similar to delivery drivers, but often deliver only information or papers, often of a nature that requires very quick delivery. Some urban couriers work in cars, others on scooters, and others on bicycles. Bicycle couriers are effective in large cities because they can bypass the automotive gridlock that slows traffic. Couriers may be paid by the mile directly, or indirectly in the form of sector-based rates: the more sectors a courier is required to pass through, the higher the pay for the delivery.