The global courier and delivery services industry is expanding with each passing day. The fundamental reason behind this expansion is the creation of new business models (e.g. eCommerce), which require logistics for success.
Following figures and statistics (IBISWorld) show the strength of global courier and delivery services industry.
Total revenue in the year 2018
Number of businesses in this industry
Annual growth of this industry in the last five years (2013 to 2018)
The top three companies in this industry are FedEx Corp, United Parcel Service Inc and Deutsche Post DHL Group.
Delivery services industry
Traditionally, mail, courier and delivery services all were clubbed together under the head of courier and delivery services industry. However, in the current decade delivery service has carved its own niche. It is now an industry itself worth billions of dollars. How did this happen? It was eCommerce which transformed the concept of delivery. Delivery services evolved to become an industry when B2C and B2B deliveries became a functional part of daily business.
Two business models emerged in the delivery services industry.
- Customers shop online and delivery service delivers their items at their place
- Customers want an item to be picked up from one place and get it delivered to another place or customers’ own place
The first scenario is nowadays a common business transaction. It is the second scenario (customised delivery) which has a good business potential for start-ups.
Customised Delivery: Business model
It also has two business models.
- Customised delivery using own transport
- Customised delivery using community drivers
The first model suits established delivery companies like FedEx, UPS and DHL. The second model is getting popular amongst start-ups who have technical (information technology-software development) capabilities and team management skills.
Customised delivery using community drivers
In this business, the software is the key to success. Following characteristics in the software wins customers:
- Simple user interface
- Accurate algorithms (for calculating delivery charges with variables like time, distance, priority etc.)
- Live GPS tracking
- Mobile App
- API support for eCommerce and ERP platforms of companies
Deliv is an American company headquartered in Menlo Park, California, United States. It was founded in the year 2012 by Daphne Carmeli, who is also the company’s CEO. Deliv offers customised delivery services.
The company’s website has a slick user interface with a calculator which computes the delivery charges based on users’ input (pickup and delivery place, item, time, delivery time preference etc.).
Deliv uses community drivers (retirees, stay-at-home moms, professional drivers, and college students) for its logistics. This is the core component of its business. The company has stringent policies in place for its community drivers to ensure smooth business operations. It calls its drivers Independent Delivery Specialists. They have to earn the company’s certification and are required to pass a multi-tiered screening which includes:
- Background check
- Driver’s license, insurance and registration verification
- Driving history check
- Proof of their dependable vehicle (pickup trucks, SUVs, sedans)
Deliv encourages its customers to rate service provided by Independent Delivery Specialists. The company ranks drivers by looking at their consistent record of timeliness, reliability, and good overall delivery results.
To gain the trust of its customers, the company also provides insurance up to $100,000 per delivery for theft, damage or loss of merchandise while a Deliv certified Delivery Specialist is providing delivery services.
Deliv: Delivery service types
Deliv’s services are both for individuals and businesses. It has also partnered with branded retailers (e.g. Adidas, Macy’s, Bose) to deliver their products to their buyers. However, three of its services stand out from the rest.
The company markets itself as “last mile logistics partner” for businesses dealing with fresh produce (fruits and vegetables, flowers etc.)
Through this service, Deliv delivers medicines, medical equipment, test reports etc. to its customers.
The company’s API integrates with eCommerce stores without disturbing the website structure and theme. The online customer gets delivery (shipping) options (e.g. express, time-specific etc.) at the time of checkout.
Customised Delivery and Deliv
There’s no denying that the customised delivery industry has great potential. There are many opportunities for start-ups who want to launch their platform. Retail giants trying to compete with Amazon are desperate for delivery logistics partners.
Walmart had partnered with Deliv to offer delivery to its customers. The partnership ended because Walmart could not manage its part of order fulfilment.
Deliv has received funding of US $80 million (five funding rounds) to date. The investors of the last funding round of US $40 million included Alphabet Inc’s Google and United Parcel Service.
Deliv currently serves over 4,000 retailers and businesses and is poised to lead the customised delivery industry in the time to come.