Monthly Archives: March 2015

Sidecar Moves From Just Ridesharing To Same-Day Delivery

Atlanta CourierThe business world is changing and the faster you can get an item into a customer’s hands the better.  Same-day delivery is revolutionizing the way we do business and everyone’s knows it.  Even ride-sharing companies like Sidecar have decided to try their hand at it, testing the service in the San Francisco Bay area.  After six months of testing, it has actually found their version of the service works.  Now, Sidecar has decided to take the leap into officially offering the service.

Sidecar has announced that it is launching Sidecar Deliveries.  It expects the new same-day delivery service will become 50% of their business this year.  The new program will allow third party companies to use Sidecar vehicles to deliver their goods.  In the article by Vantor News, Sidecar stated, “By combining people and packages, Sidecar offers companies same-day delivery at prices that are 80% cheaper than traditional services, and cuts delivery times in half.”  If these are sure numbers, Sidecar’s cost will be down, which is the real key to same-day delivery.

Pricing is essential in order for same-day delivery to thrive and companies know the costs of the service can be their downfall.  When it isn’t, companies end up exiting the service market just as fast as they entered into it.  Physical store retailers and web-based only retailers have launched same-day programs with similar pricing scales.  Big name retailers like Amazon offer its’ Prime members same-day delivery for $5.99.  Non-Prime members pay $9.99 for the first item and $.99 cents per additional item.  Google Express is $4.99 per order or customers can pay $10 per month and an annual charge of $95.  Wal-Mart even offers same-day delivery in multiple cities and its’ service Walmart To Go costs $10, regardless of the order size.

“During our test period, Sidecar drivers earned 75% more when they delivered both people and packages. Riders also reap the benefits of this people and packages combo because there will be more drivers available, lower wait times and even lower prices.”  From this testing, Sidecar has researched and developed a same-day delivery solution that fits the company.  Most companies that enter into providing same-day delivery test it due to the important of costs and economies of scale.  The combination of packages and people helps the marketability of Sidecar, creating more of a relevance and demand for it to its’ customers.

Sidecar was founded in 2012 in San Francisco and is also available in Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Chicago, Charlotte, Washington DC, and Boston.  Now that it has figured out the right delivery service mix, the company is looking to expand the service nationwide this year, which shows it will be aggressive in the months to come.  Retailer Macy’s jumped into the same-day delivery race aggressively late last year once it proved it could successfully perform it.  The department store leader launched the service in San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, Seattle, Houston, Washington DC, New Jersey, and Chicago.

The company sees same-day delivery as a part of its’ long-term strategy.  Sidecar stated, “Same-day delivery will represent half of our business by the end of 2015. Our vision is that one day any business will be able to take an order and get it to the customer in an hour, and Sidecar will be the service that powers this capability.”  With same-day delivery becoming a staple option in on-demand services, more companies will implement it.  A same-day courier like AQuickDelivery can be a partner to any business seeking to implement a same-day logistics solution.  The Atlanta courier specializes in one-hour, on-time deliveries and can transport a wide range of items locally, even nationwide.

Reference:  2.9.15, Vator News, Steven Loeb, Sidecar launches its own same-day delivery service

Yelp Competes With GrubHub in Same-Day Food Delivery, Buys Eat24

Same Day Food DeliveryOne thing is certain and it is that same-day delivery is not just going to expand with retail products, but also in the food industry as well.  The new big move from Yelp shows that same-day food delivery is in high demand and the industry is moving towards being able to to provide this level of service throughout the US.

The Huffington Post has reported that Yelp has bought Eat24, a popular online food-ordering service, for $134 million.  Eat24 offers online delivery and takeout services to almost 20,000 restaurants in more than 1,500 cities in the United States.  Yelp paid $75 million in cash, plus 1.4 million Class A shares for the California-based Eat24.  What this does for Yelp is create quick expansion as it pursues to get heavily into the same-day food delivery market.  With the growth of mobile technology use, consumers are able to engage in e-commerce from anywhere, which means food orders can be place from anywhere also.  As consumers desire to maximize their time, food ordering is becoming more and more popular.

From the move alone, Yelp has experienced a boost in business stock, revenue and reviews already.  Its’ stock shares went up 6.5% and has raised its’ first quarter revenue forecasts.  The article stated that growth in average monthly unique visitors to Yelp’s website, yelp.com, and its related app slowed to 13% in the December quarter from 39% a year earlier.  Also, the acquisition of Eat24 for $134 million puts Yelp in a position to compete with market leader GrubHub, whose shares have risen about 50% since the company went public in last April.

With the Eat24 purchase, Yelp’s revenue forecast for the current quarter went to $118.5 million-$120.5 million, from $114 million-$116 million.  It also increased its full-year revenue forecast to $574 million-$579 million, from $538-$543 million.  Therefore, the surplus of growth has had immediate results as Yelp appears to be gearing up for expansion nationwide.

Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $115.7 million for the quarter and $542.8 million for the full year, B Riley & Co analyst Sameet Sinha stated that Eat24 has a 6% margin on an EBITDA basis, compared to GrubHub’s 30%.  “So there’s room for growth there,” said Sinha.  Essentially, Yelp grabbed Eat24 and its’ users at the same time.  Matt Maloney, GrubHub’s chief executive and co-founder, estimated the size of the US online food delivery market at $70 billion.  He stated in an interview to Reuters, “We didn’t even process $2 billion in 2014”.  It’s no coincidence that Yelp is strategically pursuing to catch up to GrubHub; its’ competitor could get to far along in expanding and controlling the online food market.  The business move makes sense before there is too much ground to cover with GrubHub.

GrubHub is conducting some restaurant buying of its’ own.  The article mentions that GrubHub bought restaurant delivery service DiningIn last week, and it plans to buy another delivery firm, Restaurants on the Run. What’s interesting is currently GrubHub only connects restaurants to customers and the restaurants must handle the deliver.  GrubHub and restaurants can also partner with a same-day courier likeAQuickDelivery to pick up and deliver food orders in the Atlanta area.  The Atlanta courier has the courier technology and expertise to deliver effectively, coupled with an experienced driver staff.  Yelp and others can benefit from AQuickDelivery and grow their same-day food delivery online.

Reference:  2.10.15, Huffington Post, Subrat Patnaik and Sai Sachin R, Yelp Challenges GrubHub With New Food Delivery Buy

Metro Post Now Launches In Washington DC

Atlanta CourierEven with its share of financial woes, the US Postal Service still can take the advantage it has with mail delivery and innovate.  The company is focused on making same-day delivery a staple to create profit, moving beyond just being known for dropping off mail.  With its’ same-day service Metro Post, delivering with the USPS won’t be the same and it doesn’t need to be.  Metro Post could be the game changer.

Being tested in New York and San Francisco, Metro Post is now being launched in Washington DC.  The Washington Post reported how the US Postal Service is expanding the service with hopes to not only grow, but also utilize the leverage it has to actually monopolize the delivery arena.  It has the only access to residential mail boxes that delivery companies like FedEx and UPS don’t have, unless given permission.  On a national scale, Metro Post can make it challenging for online merchants and e-retailers to compete, as the Postal Service has the local delivery fleet to match.

Metro Post will offer same-day delivery for participating retailers for all orders placed by 2pm, with items being received between 4 and 6pm.  There are a variety of same-day services and retailers are meeting customer demand for fast delivery of online orders.  Amazon is partnered with Metro Post to perform last-mile runs on Sundays in New York.  Google offers Google Express in US cities, partnering with brick-and-mortar retailers like Target, Wal-Green’s, BestBuy, and more.

Companies unexpected with the national facility scale to perform the service, have leaped into delivering same-day.  One big name retailer Macy’s, rolled out the service late last year in 8 major US cities, including Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, Chicago, Washington DC, and New Jersey.  Sister company Bloomingdale’s launched same-day delivery in some of those cities also.  Macy’s partnered with a same-day courier like AQuickDelivery to fulfill its’ online orders.  Barnes & Noble and Petco have also decided to take the plunge with same-day delivery.

The USPS experienced $5.5 billion in loses in 2014.  The hit is based on its’ governmental obligation to cover health retirement benefits for workers decades in advance, which has led to a number of defaults on government loans in order to handle the yearly payments.  It desires more autonomy from the government to be more innovative within the business sector and take advantage of the opportunities to expand.  Working with more retailers to deliver a range of items, even same-day groceries, is what the mailing giant is focused on.

There is no substitute for the cost aspect of providing same-day delivery, as customers will only pay so much for it.  With being the Postal Service, Metro Post has the delivery fleet and operational facilities to handle the service on a massive scale.  This means it can legitimately go after partnering with a variety of online retailers and physical store retailers.  Online retail is expected to reach $500 billion by 2018.  The Postal Service delivered 28 million packages on December 22nd of last year.  Therefore, its’ is on the right track to innovate within the delivery sector.  Retailers are doing the same, going in the direction of same-day delivery and partnering with an Atlanta courier to get it done.

Reference:  2.2.15, Washington Post, Tige Savage, The U.S. Postal Service is throwing a Hail Mary: Same-day delivery.

US Postal Service Sees Innovation In Same-Day Grocery Delivery

Atlanta CourierThe Postal Service has had its’ shares of financial challenges in recent years, including $5.5 billion in loses in 2014.  The source of it is the mail giant’s governmental obligation to cover health retirement benefits for workers decades in advance.  The result has been a number of defaults on government loans.  The USPS is now seeking after offering other innovative products, aside from your normal mail packages, in order to generate profit.

Reuters reported a few weeks ago that the US Postal Service sees same-day delivery of groceries as an innovative service and a viable solution to its’ financial woes.  US Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, who is leaving the position on February 1st, stated that the USPS can become profitable, if it can overcome its’ health burdens and given the autonomy to pursue innovative products, like same-day grocery delivery.  He mentioned how the mailing service needs greater control of its’ workforce and more flexibility in pricing and developing new products.

Doing same-day grocery delivery is not a fluke for the Postal Service.  Metro Post, the USPS’s last-mile delivery service, is already delivering for Amazon on Sunday’s in New York.  Donahoe’s idea surrounds expanding Metro Post to more web-based and physical store retailers.  Most of these retailers don’t provide the actual deliveries themselves, yet partner with a same-day courier like AQuickDelivery to optimize transportation costs.  Whether it is an Atlanta courier or whatever major US city the retailer is launching the service, a contracted courier is the most viable model.

“There’s plenty of interesting opportunities going on, we think, from the standpoint of delivery, many different things.  The grocery business could be a multi-million dollar business from our perspective … You can’t limit yourself to what you’re doing now.”  There are a number of companies providing same-day grocery deliveries, such as Instacart.  Also Amazon, which has its’ well-known Amazon Fresh in a number of US cities.

The article also quoted Donahoe stating at the National Press Club, “Congress needs to look at the Postal Service as a business that is going to be a lot different in the coming years and it should view this as a positive, desirable outcome”.  E-commerce has changed how we do business and has created doors to meet more customer needs, which via deliveries, the USPS can certainly provide.  It has a massive vehicle fleet that already operates in major cities and the operational facilities to match.  For whatever the Postal Service seeks to innovate, delivering a wide range of products is doable, beyond even groceries.

For online shopping, the USPS delivered 28 million packages on December 22nd of last year, which was a one-day record for the company.  As online retail is expected to increase to $500 billion by 2018, becoming a different company is what the mailing giant will have to do to survive.  Google, Macy’s, Barnes & Noble, eBay, Petco, and more have all jumped in to meet online demand with same-day delivery.  Metro Post can do the same, helping the USPS turn the corner of innovation and thrive.


Reference:  1.6.15, www.reuters.com, Jason Reed, Outgoing U.S. postal chief hails grocery delivery, seeks innovation  

Instacart Partners With Petco For Same-Day Delivery

Atlanta CourierRetailers like Google and Amazon have made same-day delivery popular for a number of household items, electronics, clothing, and groceries too.  Instacart is in the mix for groceries too, however, it is now broadening its’ business into pet food.
Instacart has announced it has landed a $2 billion valuation from Petco and will begin delivering goods for them same-day.  Petco has now become Instacart’s first non-grocery partner.  The Wall Street Journal reported the news a few days ago.  Instacart’s couriers will deliver to Petco customers their online orders of pet items, like kitty litter, dog food and birdhouses as fast as within one hour.   The fee will be between $3.99 and $5.99. Petco deliveries will launch in Instacart’s hometown San Francisco and in Boston.

Instacart makes money from delivery charges and fees that store owners pay, as well as product markups.  Safeway and Whole Foods are two examples of the grocery stores Instacart has contracted couriers to pick up customer orders to deliver to their front door.  The article mentions how this model alleviates warehousing and inventory costs by the delivery company.  The result is a delivery service that is affordable and can remain that way, ultimately to the end customer.  Same-day delivery isn’t sustainable with high operating expenses.

The Petco deal may help with Instacart and gain more market share in the delivery industry, now that customers can see the company can pick up and delivery pet items.  The article stated that customers may pay a delivery fee to pick up heavy items like dog food and bags of litter.  It does make sense, especially if that’s all they need.  The question is will Instacart get enough of these online order types to be profitable and also, will it be able to keep the delivery fee where it is.  Either way, online retail is estimated to grow $500 billion by 2018, therefore, the demand will be there.

“Groceries are more than sufficient for us, but why stop there?”, stated Instacart’s CEO Apoorva Mehta.  The Wall Street Journal spoke with Mehta early this month, in addition stating Instacart would likely expand into other areas.  Quite a few retailers have all launched testing of same-day delivery in San Francisco, being a number of big name e-retailers started there, including Google, which partnered with Target, Wal-Green’s, Toys-R-Us, American Eagle, and others.

The pet food company appears to be joining in with other retailers rolling out same-day delivery.  Various retailers are doing so, like Macy’s late last year, launching the service in 8 major US cities, including Los Angeles, San Jose, Houston, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Washington DC, and New Jersey.  It will also utilize its’ five web-focused fulfillment centers in Arizona, California, Connecticut, West Virginia, and Tennessee.  Macy’s has partnered with Deliv, a contracted delivery partner, to make direct shipment to customers from stores within close proximity to stores.

In Atlanta, Whole Foods utilizes AQuickDelivery to perform same-day delivery of groceries from its’ stores directly to its’ customers, from residential shoppers to businesses for lunch occasions, meetings and other events.  The Atlanta courier has the driver expertise and same-day delivery solution experience to be a same-day courier for any retailer needing online order fulfillment.


Reference:  1.23.15, Wall Street Journal, Greg Bensinger, Instacart Now Delivers Kitty Litter With Petco Deal