Rapidus Partners With Zapiet for Integrated App Functions


Providing Fastest Way to Empower Shopify Merchants With Local, Professional Delivery Services

Rapidus announced a strategic digital partnership with app designer Zapiet to integrate increased functionality and versatility into local delivery options provided to Shopify customers. Integration with Zapiet allows Rapidus to offer advanced tools and options related to inventory, warehousing, and scheduling, in addition to providing up to 30% cheaper rates by booking local shipping directly through the Zapiet and Rapidus interface. Already synced and available through the Shopify platform, Rapidus is a growing leader of innovative B2B delivery solutions, matching business customers with excess cargo capacity and providing fast, trackable, convenient, and guaranteed 24/7 deliveries across California, Colorado, Washington, Texas, and Illinois.

“We work with merchants who want to own their own customers,” said Olexandr Prokhorenko, CEO of Rapidus. “They do not want to outsource them, remaining at the mercy of content aggregators like Uber or DoorDash. We understand the value of customer loyalty and the relationships that many of our mid-market customers have been building for months or years. What is more important is to enable more sophisticated and advanced use-cases and business scenarios in the e-commerce sector. So Rapidus is partnering with Zapiet, the most advanced store pickup, delivery, and shipping tool for e-commerce platforms, to offer an easy, one-click solution with a professional courier delivery service. We’re taking e-commerce integration to the next level.”

Rapidus: Same-Day Delivery for Shopify Customers

The innovative Rapidus platform connects business shippers with professional courier delivery partners and offers free instant quotes and complete price transparency with no hidden surcharges, very short pickup times, reliability, and unbeatable driver availability. Rapidus beats any rate from any traditional courier vendor or gig-delivery service, with many more drivers to choose from: leveraging a pool of 5,000+ professional couriers. Rapidus routinely provides advanced technological services and full transparency, full chain-of-custody with real-time tracking, photos, and signatures. These services are all provided at no cost to end-customers, along with ETAs, easy-access on the web or mobile app, full integration with software, APIs, EDIs, and file uploads (CSV, Excel). And custom pricing can match any delivery need, volume, or frequency.

“Earlier last year, we announced that Rapidus became a Shopify partner in providing local delivery service for e-commerce merchants who were looking for fast, affordable and low-touch approaches with the highest end-customer satisfaction rate,” said Prokhorenko. “In the last 12 months, we’ve stepped up the game. Specifically, we’re responding to the needs of a mid-market that values branding and white-labeling services. Our customers cannot, nor would they tolerate unprofessional gig-approaches to delivery. They value a streamlined, deeply professional service. And that’s exactly what we provide – deeply enhanced with the versatility and ease of Zapiet’s unique software.”

Previously available only for large-scale enterprise businesses, Rapidus continues to focus on the mid-sector and SMB by providing a competitive advantage of fast, flexible, and cost-effective local delivery to end-customers at competitive prices. Over 91% of Rapidus’ business customers describe Rapidus as the best solution to their delivery problem, with the best customer experience.

Rapidus Introduces Cashless Tipping Option for All Deliveries


Innovative Transportation App Continues to Set Bar for How Businesses Interact With E-Commerce Delivery Drivers and End-Customers

Rapidus (http://www.rapidus.com/) announced the addition of a cashless tip option to its popular transportation service app, allowing business customers a secure gratuity-payment portal while also enhancing the overall customer and delivery driver experience. Rapidus is a leader of innovative B2B delivery solutions, providing one-hour and same-day, last-mile delivery for a wide variety of industries and businesses across California, Colorado, Washington, Texas, and Illinois. Rapidus matches business customers with excess cargo capacity, providing fast, trackable, convenient, and guaranteed 24/7 deliveries.

“Rapidus is focused on the long-term working relationships between business shippers and professional couriers,” said Olexandr Prokhorenko, CEO of Rapidus. “And while tipping has always been fully discretional by the shipper, we strongly believe that putting effort into improving the user experience of these interactions will meaningfully improve the overall courier experience. The tipping functionality has been fully integrated with our portal and is even possible through integration with Rapidus back-office API and EDI platforms. With our growing presence in the retail, pharma, and e-commerce distribution space, our business partners are able to offer a pass-through of tips from their end-customers in a safe but reliable and transparent manner.”

Rapidus: Courier-Friendly Delivery Services

Rapidus offers flexible choices for delivery services that include custom pickup and delivery times, instant quotes, automated delivery placement, advanced notifications via text and email, full chain-of-custody accountability, and real-time tracking. These are some of the services that have always elevated Rapidus above its competitors, but keeping the payment and gratuity process transparent while also providing additional value to couriers is a central Rapidus priority as well.

“Thousands of professional courier delivery companies use Rapidus to connect with business shippers across our multistate service area,” said Prokhorenko. “They are the lifeblood of a variety of processes that keep economies up and running around the world. We realize how a disproportionate impact on businesses may suddenly result in a lack of resources to stay open and maintain regular operations. So Rapidus will continue to innovate and invest in our delivery partnership with courier companies nationwide, using technology to leverage and strike a perfect balance between adequate, prompt, and proper compensation for couriers in a cost-effective way that also serves our business shippers. This is just a good idea for the entire delivery chain: from business companies through delivery drivers, all the way to the end-customer.”

Rapidus continues to invest in fine-tuning innovative models that maximize its delivery partners’ engagement with business leads while building stronger relationships and ensuring prompt and proper compensation to each delivery professional. This is one of the reasons why Rapidus is trusted by over 5,000 businesses, including high-tech industries, major airlines, medical and bioscience companies, in addition to engineering, retail, warehousing, manufacturing industries, and more.

Rapidus Adds Customer-Service Satisfaction (CSAT) Tools to Last-Mile Delivery App


Helping Businesses Secure and Maintain Impeccable Reputations with Valuable CSAT Data Collection

Rapidus (http://www.rapidus.com/) announced a newly integrated CSAT function that allows end-customers to offer a wide variety of feedback responses and comments based on the overall delivery experience. Rapidus can then leverage these CSAT reports to help guide the evolution of its services in tandem with customer needs while also providing valuable feedback to each business client who uses the Rapidus service. Rapidus is a leader of innovative B2B delivery solutions, matching business customers with excess cargo capacity and providing fast, trackable, convenient, and guaranteed 24/7 deliveries across California, Colorado, Washington, Texas, and Illinois.

“After stepping into the e-commerce space just a few years ago, we quickly realized how the vendor selection process works in the minds of our end-customers,” said Olexandr Prokhorenko, CEO of Rapidus. “Large or small, the key to your company’s success is the end-to-end experience of your customer. And the vast majority of customers do not separate their delivery experience from their shopping experience. That has profound implications for every business that needs to deliver goods and services. Poor delivery services can irreparably damage a brand that e-commerce merchants are working so hard to build. Collecting data on customers’ experiences is the only way to know for sure how customers are impacted, and thus, whether or not they will return.”

Rapidus: Helping Businesses Understand Customers’ Needs

In an e-commerce world where customer data has become a critical research resource, traditional courier companies are struggling to meet the demands of a fast-paced and dynamic market. Rapidus prioritizes customer satisfaction, using CSAT feedback in a way that allows companies to proactively analyze, monitor, and take action to correct even the tiniest deficiencies.

“CSAT reports are often the only voice that customers have, and frankly, I’m surprised this has been largely ignored by most of the players in the delivery space,” said Prokhorenko. “Our unique approach to CSAT data collection allows us the flexibility to adapt to different aspects of the delivery process. This affects efficiency in many ways: turnaround, estimated delivery times, customer location, handoff processes, and more. We also work with merchants to collect CSAT data they consider important, especially as we begin to work with a wider range of customers for a virtually unlimited variety of products: food, gifts, electronics, groceries, etc. After partnering with Shopify last year, we experienced strong demand in local delivery services from e-commerce merchants, so we will continue to improve and enhance our service offerings to match the needs of those customers as well.”

Rapidus is expanding its footprint in technology-driven e-commerce platforms, providing a competitive advantage to SMB and mid-sector businesses in delivering purchases to their local customer base. On the path to becoming a nationwide delivery service, Rapidus is also working on providing a more holistic approach to delivery by facilitating pickups and dropoffs to airport cargos.

What types of service does Rapidus provide?


We have 3 tiers for delivery service.

Delivery service


The item can be picked up and delivered anytime between 9 am and the end of the day.  Basically, the more time we have to plan the delivery for, the cheaper price you get.

Don’t have the full day, but still want to get cheaper pricing? No problem. Specify the earliest pickup time, and select same-day service, and Rapidus will automatically discount your delivery.


Typically delivery within 2-4 hours from the pickup time, of course, contingent on destination. For short-haul, it is never more than 2-4 hours once the item has been picked up, and you can specify any pickup time.


We’ll match you with the closest delivery partner to your pickup, he/she will pick up, and delivery directly to a drop-off location. Typically, it’s driving time and traffic. (We can’t beat traffic, unfortunately.)

Scheduled deliveries and routes

While all our deliveries have to happen during the same day (typically, our delivery partners are unable to hold to the package and keep it overnight), you may schedule your delivery for any time in the future, ie. tomorrow 8 am pickup, or next week, Monday, 10 am pickup.

Do you have a need to store your items overnight? We’re launching a new pilot program that would allow delivery partners to store items overnight and would love to chat. Please schedule time for the call.

You may also have a single pickup and multiple stops: 2, 5, or even 15. Most of our customers tend to collect orders and delivery requests until some certain cutoff time, and then schedule deliveries for the next day. The resulting multi-stop delivery is scheduled for 8 am or 9 am pickup, and the driver picks all the packages at once, and goes through the list of drop-offs in the most time effective order.

Oh, and you never have to worry about a proper order of stops – our system will optimize it for you automatically. You can either manually input a list of stops or upload a simple CSV spreadsheet to our system, so we can create routes from the list auto-magically!

Looking for assistance?

We are happy to walk you through a sample delivery request and we can place it together. Contact us if you would like that! 

Would you like to receive more delivery requests in future?


Rapidus got you covered and launched a Future Bookings service for courier delivery partners. We know that our delivery partners would love to receive as many deliveries to keep them busy, so here we go.

How do you get started?

First, go to https://www.rapidus.com/future-deliveries-announcement/

Make sure to use your registered email and password to login. If you get an error, you are most likely using the wrong email or password.

Login using your email and password

Check your Rapidus Driver app

Depending on your current status, location, and other factors, you might need to launch your Rapidus Driver app on your mobile device. Once done, click on the Refresh button or reload the page again.

Choose the deliveries you are interested in, and click on “I can deliver”

Important to remember

Clicking on “I can deliver” does not guarantee you will receive the delivery. You will be notified in priority order, and you will have to accept the delivery request before it will be assigned to your account. The best way to increase your chances is to keep your Rapidus Driver app open to monitor any status changes.

DO NOT GO TO THE PICKUP LOCATION UNTIL THE DELIVERY APPEARS IN YOUR APP. Even if you’ve done the recurring service before, know the location, or else. We don’t want you to waste your time, and gas until we can confirm the delivery has been assigned to you. Make sure you’ve enabled “Push notifications” and unblocked Rapidus support phone number (you can check this by texting 844-777-1123)

You may see more or fewer requests than other Rapidus partners. It depends on a number of factors, like your location, vehicle type, past performance, and others. You may not be able to accept delivery if the vehicle type in your Rapidus profile is smaller than the requested. To update your vehicle please contact [email protected]

Please do not contact Rapidus Support for a favor, exception, or preference. We truly would love to accommodate all your preferences, however, we are NOT ABLE to assist you with such requests.

Rapidus Slack App

Fast, Affordable and Professional B2B Local Delivery – Rapidus – Now Seamlessly Integrated With Slack Workspace


‘Rapidus’ Forms Strategic Partnership With ‘Slack’ – Fast, Affordable and Professional B2B Local Delivery Technology Now Seamlessly Integrated With Slack Workspace to Help Companies Overcome Pandemic Delivery Challenges

Rapidus (https://www.rapidus.com/) recently announced a strategic partnership with communication hub, Slack, to provide same-day local delivery service for over 12 million Slack business users. Accessed directly from the Slack Workspace, Rapidus offers integration without the need to use a separate app or Web service, empowering Slack users with convenient tools to fulfill their delivery needs despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Rapidus deliveries are available anywhere in California; Colorado; Seattle, Washington; Dallas, Texas; and Chicago, Illinois; with new service areas added regularly.

Featuring instant quotes, one-hour, and same-day service with digitally tracked drivers, Rapidus represents the power of tech leveraged to help businesses thrive.

“We’re thrilled to announce this partnership with Slack, giving its business users even more access to valuable functionality,” said Olexandr Prokhorenko, CEO of Rapidus. “Both companies are tech and process innovators – importance that has been thrown into sharp focus by a recent global pandemic straining small and mid-sized companies to the breaking point. Clear communication and rapid and safe delivery of goods has never been more vital to keep businesses growing. And Rapidus and Slack offer both together with the touch of a button: fully synchronized and designed to be used interchangeably with reliable cross-device functionality.”  

Rapidus: Professional Business Same-Day Delivery Reimagined

“Most delivery services have remained shockingly static, despite massive tech evolutions and investment in the sector,” Prokhorenko said. “And service quality varies widely from carrier to carrier. Even the largest carriers are only scratching the surface of what tech can achieve for their customers. We’ve been leveraging tech and productized local deliveries to be as easy as a text message or a Web page click. A typical Rapidus experience looks something like this: send a message to a Rapidus app via Slack, get an instant price quote and estimated time for arrival, request a courier delivery service, and have a driver arrive within 20 minutes or less to take packages or documents wherever they need to be delivered. You get a full chain of custody, track packages status right in the Workspace, oversee real-time GPS coverage of the delivery vehicle, and receive photos of the delivered. This is possible because of a massive network of delivery partners to help us reach all of our coverage areas. We have over over 10,000 active delivery partners that support thousands of our clients, including hundreds of SMB and mid-size companies through our partnership with Shopify.”

Reviews from Rapidus business customers have always been strong, with nearly 98% of users describing the company as “the most optimal solution to a local delivery problem with the best customer experience – exceeding expectations.” Some of Rapidus’s current tech clients include Palantir, Snowflake, Facebook, Airbnb, Dropbox, Splunk, Pinterest, Google, Lyft, JFrog, and Unity. 

Using its growing connections with SMB, mid-sector, and Fortune 500 companies, Rapidus will continue to provide excellent delivery solutions to meet the rising demands of an industry seeking a massive delivery service evolution.

About Rapidus

Established in 2016, Rapidus was founded to challenge the business delivery status quo with innovation and unmatched focus on business customers. Offering a vast network of professional delivery partners with unused cargo capacity, Rapidus matches them to business customers who need delivery services in its growing, multi-state service area. Connected via technology with local and global destinations, drivers within targeted neighborhoods continuously recycle unused ground and air transport capacities to establish solid, reliable deliveries anywhere in the service area — 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Rapidus delivery marketplace offers a low cost of carrier switching with a greater choice of delivery agents, complete visibility at every step of a supply chain, cost-effectiveness, convenience, and a seamless experience. For more information on Rapidus, please visit: www.rapidus.com

Media Contact

Olexandr Prokhorenko, CEO
Rapidus Inc.
[email protected]

AI-based local deliveries optimization

Rapidus Launches New AI-Powered Service that Optimizes Logistics of Last-Mile Delivery


With a goal to improve logistics of one-hour and same-day local delivery, Rapidus, a leading B2B local delivery marketplace, recently launched an AI-powered service that can predict the future time and location of new deliveries.

The new technology helps decrease time to pick up, increasing delivering partners’ density in heavy-demand areas and minimizing the cost of delivery for shippers. It also enables e-commerce businesses and retail distribution centers to benefit from the most cost- and time-effective deliveries, and provides logistics analysis for cost estimates, route planning and distribution optimization for warehouses and hub placements.

Rapidus’s AI-powered service is the first to provide such logistics insights to SMB and mid-sector businesses with smaller delivery volumes, who couldn’t benefit from low-cost local deliveries previously, but were forced in to the cost-prohibitve services due to pandemic.

Rapidus utilizes data from the company’s previous history of deliveries and uses the data from Rapidus’s delivery partners. The company is combining this information with market data (such as fundraising and industry growth) and commercial real estate data (such as new tenants and the consolidation of assets).

“Rapidus is not a traditional courier company. We’re leveraging technology to address low-tech logistics problems. With years of experience in the technology sector, building products for multibillion-dollar companies, we know how to use technology for the benefit of businesses,” said Olexandr Prokhorenko, CEO of Rapidus. “With the launch of our new AI-powered service, we combine the power of machine learning algorithms to do what computers can do the best — pattern recognition and making predictions; while we will continue to focus on the ultimate human advantage — making the right decisions.”

Rapidus Local Delivery
Last mile deliveries by Rapidus

The launch of Rapidus’s AI-powered service also showcases the rapid momentum that the company is experiencing at this time. This news comes off the heels of its June announcement regarding a partnership with Shopify to launch new services for Shopify merchants.

A leader of innovative B2B delivery solutions, Rapidus connects tens of thousands of professional delivery partners with thousands of business customers, providing fast, trackable, convenient, and guaranteed deliveries across California, Colorado, Washington, and Texas. The company also has a growing footprint in Georgia, Florida, and Oregon.

Rapidus provides one-hour and same-day last-mile delivery for a wide variety of industry verticals and sectors and already has a strong reputation with many mid-market organizations. The company currently works with and is trusted by thousands of businesses in the high-tech sector, commercial air travel, medical and bioscience, construction, printing, legal, food, engineering, retail, warehousing, manufacturing, and more. Additionally, 91 percent of courier delivery customers who have tried Rapidus describes its service as “the best solution to a delivery problem with the best customer experience.”

About Rapidus

Established in 2016, Rapidus was founded to challenge the business delivery status quo with innovation and unmatched focus on customers. Offering a vast network of professional delivery partners with unused cargo capacity, Rapidus matches them to business customers who need delivery services in its growing, multi-state service area. Connected via technology with local and global destinations, drivers within targeted neighborhoods continuously recycle unused ground and air transport capacities to establish solid, reliable deliveries anywhere in the service area — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Rapidus delivery marketplace offers a low cost of carrier switching with a greater choice of delivery agents, complete visibility at every step of a supply chain, cost-effectiveness, convenience, and a seamless experience. For more information on Rapidus, please visit www.rapidus.com

Media Contact

Olexandr Prokhorenko, CEO
Rapidus Inc.
[email protected]

Rapidus Local Delivery

Where Are The Best New Local Deliveries?


Rapidus launches a new service for delivery partners to find the best location and time to receive more local deliveries requests.

We’re using thousands of data points, over 5 years’ worth of history, and information about delivery requests scheduled in advance to show the “heatmap” of time and locations.

How To Find New Local Deliveries?

First of all, you need to join the Rapidus marketplace – a one-hour and same-day local delivery for businesses – as a delivery partner. Click here to submit your application.

Go to Settings

You may also go to your Driver’s account, if you are using a computer, by clicking on https://delivery.rapidus.com/driver/account

Select Settings tab in your app or use computer to go to your Driver’s account

Select “When and where are the most deliveries?”

Click on the blue link at the bottom of the screen

Type In The Address

Start typing the address of the location of your interest

Select Date And Time

Choose a day and time from the dropdown menu

Check Out Highlighted Areas

Rapidus Local Deliveries
Highlighted areas will represent the potential location for new local deliveries for the selected day and time period

We hope you will find this useful!

You may use the heat map to compare the demand in different areas around your city and neighborhood. The map displays different color intensities to indicate areas of low and high for deliveries.

Please note: this heat map is not a map of actual deliveries, but a computer-simulated model predicting the likelihood of delivery requests in the certain area. There is neither guarantee the delivery request will actually happen in this area during these hours, nor that the delivery request will be available or assigned to you.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact [email protected]

Local Courier Delivery

Couriers: Price Shopping Or Value Shipping?


Decision biases are ingrained in most of us. Behavioral science research finds that we tend to focus more intently on the first piece of information presented to us and prioritize price over value. This line of thinking is also evident when choosing a local delivery service.

Low-cost may come at a high price

A low-cost strategy is leveraged by businesses across industries and niches. However, it is difficult for businesses to compete on price and assure quality or invest in innovation. A lack of sufficient quality assurance or innovation can diminish the value proposition.

Have many deliveries going out in a month or during certain times of the year? Wish to maintain a long-term relationship with your courier? Considering value over dollar savings can be beneficial.

Say JR Semiconductors needs to deliver its products to many small engineering firms every month and to a few public colleges every quarter. The semiconductor manufacturer chooses My Local Courier for local delivery as it charges some ridiculously low price per mile, undercutting other couriers in the state.

Meanwhile, My Local Courier is targeting capacity maximization and isn’t really focused on providing the best possible customer experience. My Local Courier doesn’t have much of a tech budget and is “light-years away” from having a mobile app or a Web site to provide instant information in the event of any incident (ex: ETA).

For a lower cost per delivery, JR Semiconductors is compromising on reliability. In the event of any unforeseen incident, their package may be in limbo and inability to make that urgent delivery may affect their relationship with clients.

This hypothetical situation can play out in the real world. The cost of failed deliveries can impact you in dollar terms as you may not be refunded your full amount, and will need to place another delivery. And if you’re unhappy with the courier, you have to go back to square one and switch to a different provider.

As legacy shippers lack the capacity or network to quickly deliver parcels, you will need to fall back on a smaller player. This is inefficient and stressful if you cannot trust your existing courier any longer and need to make a quick switch.

Maximizing customer value with the right tech initiatives

Digitalization in the courier industry means that you have more options than ever before to stay on top of your deliveries. Couriers have the opportunity to offer value to both customers and driver partners while improving their competitiveness.

Before Amazon was a household name, it was already exploring ways to utilize new technology for supply chain and price optimization. Amazon’s big data systems today select a warehouse closest to the customer and/or vendor to cut shipping costs by up to 40%. Additionally, the innovative e-commerce giant uses graph theory to determine the best delivery schedule, route and product grouping, which further reduces shipping costs.

Amazon’s price optimization strategies draw more customers and help increase profits by double-digits annually. Prices are set based on customer activity on the website, product availability, order history, competitors’ pricing and other factors. Product prices fluctuate throughout the day as big data is updated and analyzed. It is why you can buy a best-selling book on Amazon at a quarter of its retail price.

Rapidus’ innovative B2B delivery solutions are value-focused. To drive improvement, we’ve identified a few new technologies, including machine learning and artificial intelligence. Our pilot ‘experimental pricing’ program is in effect for one-fifth of our customer base. We’re using artificial intelligence and machine learning to predict and optimize deliveries based on a variety of factors apart from route, including timing, service, parking, traffic and accessibility of packages.

We expect the data to help us provide more benefits, meaningful features or improve upon existing advantages/features. Our strong technology capabilities have allowed us to proactively optimize real-time routes and delivery engagements. It has resulted in a decrease in quoted costs of local courier delivery by over 26%. We expect our experimental pricing to deliver critical insights and new information. We can use it to improve our service and provide more benefits that positively impact your margins.

Operating with integrity and fairness

Delivery services have come under the public’s scanner for abusing drivers and ripping them off. Uber’s surge pricing algorithm was criticized because the company wasn’t passing on the extra earnings to drivers. It is only under pressure and criticism that DoorDash began giving its drivers tips rather than using them to drive down costs.

Rapidus’ value-driving initiatives aim to refund any savings to the company back to the customer. We don’t have any unfair tip policies that affect driver earnings. We’re committed to ensuring a win-win for shippers and delivery agents.

In contrast, a low-cost courier is more concerned with finding drivers who’re going in the same direction and provide ‘gig deliveries’ that often net drivers less than $10 for 40-mile trips. A network of drivers who ‘take anything’ is unsustainable. Sooner or later, drivers will call it quits, feel unmotivated to make the deadline, and stop caring about the customer.

Rapidus local courier delivery services can courier your package to its destination anywhere in California, Colorado, Washington and Texas. We focus on providing you with professional B2B courier service with real time tracking during your delivery and signature confirmation.

Professional drivers are more likely to demand fair compensation and do their job ethically. To be able to serve drivers’ and customers’ interests without taking a margin hit, couriers need smart technology solutions. One isn’t achievable without the other.

If you need a B2B courier, resist the temptation to make decisions based primarily on the base and per-mile rates. Review the provider based on these factors to make a difference to your business:

Does the courier have a vast and distributed network of professional drivers?

  1. Does it provide real-time tracking and notification, and up to the minute ETA for pickup and delivery times?
  2. Does it have a fallback plan in case of incidents?
  3. Do you get real-time proof of delivery, including emails, text messages, update feeds (web and mobile), and phone calls?
  4. Does it offer a competitive price and flexible refund policies?
  5. Does it treat drivers fairly?

Contact us any time to talk about local delivery.

Rapidus - "Uber" for Courier Delivery

Traditional Delivery Services are in a Flux and Uberization of Delivery


The package delivery industry finds itself in interesting times. On the one hand, it is being disrupted by crowd-shippers and new B2B marketplaces connecting business shippers with delivery partners. On the other, dominant players like FedEx and UPS are facing the heat in local delivery as they race to boost B2C and B2B volumes.

Traditional delivery models

FedEx has carved a niche in express, long-haul deliveries. Online purchases are reliant on local and regional deliveries. For online sellers, long-distance deliveries can be costly, not to mention, a time-consuming affair. Ecommerce relies on short-distance delivery, which isn’t exactly FedEx’s strength.

Here, UPS does a better job as small package delivery is its core business. A huge selling point of online merchants is their ability to deliver goods as quickly as possible to customers. Given the sheer number of online purchases made every day, merchants accord logistics a big role in retail success, which explains their dependency on traditional package delivery companies like UPS and other last-mile carriers. It is one of the reasons supporting UPS’ business.

UPS has one delivery network to manages its many businesses – ground, air, domestic, international, residential and commercial. A single network provides some competitive strengths in the form of better network efficiency and asset utilization. FedEx operates its various business units, such as ground, express, freight and services, independently. About 96.8% of FedEx clients use two or more of its business units, which is advantageous for the company.

The two delivery services may look the same, but they operate their business differently. And while both have benefitted from the surge in a B2C business, it has come at the cost of their B2B volumes. This is starkly evident in FedEx’s SME focus that affected some of the company’s larger customers in the coronavirus pandemic. FedEx and UPS have also increased home delivery fees in response to the surge in ecommerce-driven deliveries.

B2B vs B2C margins

In Q1 2020, UPS’ B2C deliveries were up 19% while B2B volumes were down 2%. However, operating profits were down by a whopping 50% to $364 million, with adjusted margins dropping to 3.5% from 6.6% over the same period last year.

On an average, only 1.5 packages are delivered per stop for B2C. In contrast, twice the number of B2B deliveries are delivered on average per stop. B2C isn’t as good for margins as B2B.

UPS does have a technology advantage: On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation (ORION). First deployed in 2013, ORION uses fleet telematics and advanced algorithms to provide UPS drivers with optimized routes. It uses real-time information to solve an individual route in seconds and find the best way for a route to run. According to the company, ORION results in savings of 100 million miles per year, and a reduction of one mile per driver per day annually, saving UPS up to $50 million.

However, UPS will need more than an industry-leading technology for steady margins, and it must act fast. B2C deliveries are likely to become increasingly important for couriers, but traditional carriers face the challenge of maintaining healthy margins. Divergent dynamics may come at the cost of their B2B focus, where a consolidated last-mile delivery system can drive higher margins.

FedEx has substantial investments in express air infrastructure. But in the current times, ground has taken over. An express package weighing 20lbs, that needs to be delivered within a day, costs $30-$40. Ground can ship for as less as $10, unless it is needed by 10 AM. If ground can accomplish what express can more cost-efficiently, it will cannibalize sales from express.

New players and crowdshipping

New entrants in the courier market can accelerate delivery operations at the cost of delivery drivers’ lack of financial knowledge

There are relatively new entrants in the courier market. One brands itself as an ‘on-the-way delivery network’, which allows the company to deliver packages at a very low marginal cost by people who can make some extra money, and who may be driven by the desire to support their local neighborhood. This new system of personalized freight delivery and informal logistics networks has its charms and drawbacks.

For example, it can accelerate delivery operations, allowing businesses to offer same-day delivery. It may improve the efficiency of last-mile logistics, benefiting providers and customers. A beneficial impact on energy use, emissions and traffic levels may also be seen.

However, fundamental weaknesses also exist. The possibility of theft, fraud, and lost or damaged goods is higher compared to a delivery network that has vetted, professional drivers.

Another downside is that couriers may be subject to exploitation. Separate trips or long detours may be financially burdensome on couriers. As couriers have joined the network voluntarily, crowd-shippers are not responsible, but they do contribute to exploitative practices.

For B2B deliveries, these risks are magnified. Businesses may prefer to partner with delivery services that have professional drivers who can fulfil deliveries smoothly in specific industries.

In this regard, we, at Rapidus, a matchmaking service focusing on local B2B deliveries, work hard to get it right. While it is neither the absolutely dollar-cheapest nor white glove, premium branded service, the majority of B2B customers describe Rapidus as “the best cost-effective local delivery solution” by offering a multisided marketplace connecting business shippers – medical, construction, engineering, retail, commerce and more – with delivery partners, who are both professional independent operators and courier companies. The company offers a full chain of custody, along with integrated technology solutions that make tracking deliveries easy and convenient.

Not all disruption is good

With traditional delivery services ramping up their B2C focus and crowd-shippers grappling with reputational and scalability issues, the advantage may lie with couriers that offer professional B2B delivery, can promise same-day delivery, and cater to several business verticals, while staying on the cutting edge of technological innovation.

Want to discuss? Talk to us at [email protected]