Date: June 12, 2018
Some of these new arrivals, like Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), could eventually become a direct threat to 3PL business. Some are hybrids, like the on-demand warehousing space service Flexe. Known as the “Airbnb” of warehousing, the company helps their customers find available space in 3PL facilities with extra capacity. The firm could provide an ideal solution for those 3PLs looking to monetize every last inch of their warehouse1.
As the saying goes, “knowing is half the battle.” So, we have outlined why creating mutually beneficial relationships with same-day delivery partners is a key decision 3PLs need to consider today - and not tomorrow - so you can be the power-player of choice for your customers.
One of the greatest opportunities for 3PLs is the arrival of one of the many new on-demand, same-day delivery services that have launched in cities around the U.S. These services clearly enhance a 3PL’s ability to deliver the superior customer experience today’s consumers now demand.
Such web-based, fast-turnaround delivery companies are not entirely new. Several, in fact, actually operated in the late 1990s during the dot-com boom. Included among these were such well-known firms as Kozmo, Webvan, and Sameday.com. Unfortunately, after the dot-com crash of 2001, most of these companies went by the wayside2.
One of the reasons for their decline was that perhaps they had arrived too soon. The eCommerce industry was still in its infancy, and the technology required to make these services profitable hadn’t been perfected yet.
But over the last few years, this has changed. eCommerce sales have skyrocketed and the technological and hardware breakthroughs needed to support same-day delivery are now widespread and seamless. These include everything from the availability of high-speed wireless internet connectivity, to the proliferation of GPS technology to the near-ubiquitous use of smartphones, mobile apps and digital payment systems.
Together, these factors have combined to create the framework for the modern “on-demand” economy that dominates our world today.
Of course, of all the aspects involved in making the on-demand economy work, perhaps the most important - and difficult to get right – is “last-mile” delivery. The new delivery firms that have appeared on the scene are all vying to fill that void. Delivery partners are ideal partners for 3PLs who are looking to differentiate themselves by providing3:
On-demand, same-day delivery providers exist in almost every major metropolitan area in the U.S. These include local courier and delivery services, many of whom have been around for decades. But they also include some larger, eCommerce-focused firms who have just sprung up in the past few years.
These include such firms as Postmates, Deliv.co, and, until recently UberRush (the parent company recently announced plans to discontinue the service at the end of June, 2018)4. All of these companies were specifically created to deliver items that were purchased online. And new players continue emerge into the marketplace, like PigeonShip, who list a range of benefits for many 3PLs.
Built from the ground up for the needs of the “on-demand” economy, these new entrants are designed to deliver, as Postmates puts it, “Anything, anywhere, anytime.”5 And while such larger players like FedEx, UPS and USPS do offer some limited same-day delivery service, these new players could actually make better local delivery partners for 3PLs because they are:
In short, partnering with one of these new on-demand, same-day delivery services could provide yet another way for 3PLs to delight both their eCommerce clients and the consumers who purchase their offerings.
We hope you have found our pro-tips on partnering with on-demand, same-day delivery firms to be helpful. If you would like to read our full 2018 State of the Third-Party Logistics Industry Report, click here to access your copy right away.
3PL Central provides cloud-based WMS solutions for 3PLs so they can transform paper-based, error-prone businesses into service leaders focused on customer satisfaction, efficient operations, and growth.