parcel delivery

The Uberization of Parcel Delivery


Four major trends are emerging in the parcel delivery business - reducing costs for shoppers and enhancing the overall customer experience. Such initiatives enable the consumer to receive his package where he wants it and when he wants it. Many of these solutions involve “crowdsourcing”- a term defined by Merriam-Webster as the process of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community. Typical examples of crowdsourcing include Airbnb that has created an enormous hospitality company with no hotels and Uber that has formed a large taxi company with no cabs.


Platforms that Connect Businesses and Couriers

These platforms offer home delivery services within a few hours or on appointment. They use software applications to allocate the delivery task to the closest/most appropriate “runner”. Runners can be independent professional couriers, companies with existing networks of couriers or any individual on a voluntary basis. Parcels are delivered by car, by bike or on foot. And real time tracking is provided to shoppers all the way to their front door.

The benefits for retailers are the following:

  • Each retail store becomes a distribution center, thus lowering the cost of delivery
  • Local corner stores can offer a convenient same-day home delivery service at a reasonable cost

On-Demand Shopping & Parcel Delivery Platforms

This idea allows customers to use a platform to place an order. The order is registered and matched with a courier that will make the purchase for them in the store, pay with a pre-paid card and deliver the goods within 1 hour. These companies use “runners” that can be either professionals or individuals.

The benefits for retailers are the following:

  • Large retailers: no picking and logistics involved in fulfilling these orders
  • Smaller local stores: access to a 1h home delivery service

Collaborative Peer-to-Peer Delivery Services

This is a community delivery service that uses an app to match people who need to send something somewhere with someone who has already planned to go there. By working together as a community people can make shipping easier, eco-friendly and more personal.

The benefits for Shippers and Travelers are the following:

  • Simple to use: As a shipper all you have to do is tell the platform what you are shipping and when and where you want your item delivered. As a traveler you just need to say where you are going and the platform will show you what is available for pick-up and delivery.
  • Environmentally friendly: The service uses resources that are already in motion, thus reducing fuel consumption.
  • Social Vetting: The app acts as a marketplace where shippers and travelers are socially vetted by their peers
  • Suggested Route Guidance: the quickest delivery route is provided
  • Integrated Camera: travelers can capture pick-up and delivery using the camera on their smartphone
  • Profile Editor: This enables travelers to supply details such as pictures and preferences together with information related to how far off the intended route they are prepared to go in order to deliver a parcel

Concierge Shipping Service

This involves the company collecting the item to be shipped on premise, packing it and shipping it domestically or internationally. The best carrier offer is selected for shipment and all of the paperwork is taken care of. This type of service targets businesses who do not want to bother with the hassle of shipping and potentially online shoppers who want to return unwanted purchases

Simplify Your Shipping

All of these trends are aligned with our commitment to helping retailers at every stage of the parcel delivery process. From making your parcels as small as possible to choosing the right carrier and keeping track of where your orders are.


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