It's probably long overdue that we speak of the unspeakable – companies challenging the giants of delivery business like FedEx, USPS and others. To be honest, the postal services and package delivery business in the US is expensive, but it's well worth the money. Package delivery leaders in the international arena have been able to build efficient empires where everything works like Swiss watches. Well, at least in the US.
But the fairy tale may come to an end in coming years as outsiders are trying really hard to dismember the value chain of established players. Let’s look at some interesting examples, which FedEx may find stepping on its toes one day.
Uber is one of those companies spreading like a plague (although it didn't quite work in China) and reaching to unexpected spheres sometimes. UberRUSH is an example of it. UberRUSH is an on-demand delivery network that “makes getting things in your city more convenient, affordable, and reliable than picking it up yourself.”
Another challenger of conventional ways to send and receive packages is Rickshaw, a same-day local delivery platform that makes it simple for businesses to provide fast, dependable, high-touch deliveries to their customers. “We use smart algorithms and savvy mobile apps for dispatch, routing, and tracking to ensure a high success rate and delighted customers,” the company states.
Starship Technologies is “here to deliver.” The company is building a fleet of autonomous robots designed to deliver goods locally in 15–30 minutes within a 2–3-mile radius. The robots drive autonomously but are monitored by humans who can take over control at any time.
Kanga is on the quest to enable local companies to compete with the convenience and speed of big-box stores and online retailers by offering convenient and competitive on-demand delivery. The company provides an easy and affordable way to offer same-day delivery of products to customers.
Deliv uses the technology advancements of omnichannel platforms and GPS-enabled smartphones to mobilize its crowd of drivers. The company has built a local, same-day delivery network and allows to schedule a delivery for the same day or up to 30 days out.
Dispatch is creating a platform for local delivery powered by a fleet of autonomous vehicles designed for sidewalks and pedestrian spaces. In April this year, the company raised $2 million in a seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz.
Bringsy hosts a network of professional courier companies who provide ‘last mile’ delivery throughout North America. The company offers last mile delivery options to every type of business. Bringsy's technology is easily integrated into businesses e-commerce website via its last mile API.
Not particularly a delivery company, one very interesting player is Schlep, a Web-app connecting a network of ‘schlepers’ that will come and help to take almost anything from one point to another on the same day with a two-hour notice and within the timeframe of 8:00 AM–8:00 PM. The company allows scheduling ‘schleps’ up to one month in advance.
Similar to Schlep, Buddytruk is another delightful ‘mover.’ “From the ease of your mobile phone, we want to bring social hauling to the forefront, and seamlessly connect you with the perfect, background-checked driver and their vehicle for your needs.”
There are certainly more interesting tech-driven companies challenging the industry leaders with vast global networks. The younger rivals may have an advantage with their localized focus as their capacities wouldn't allow competing on the large scale. Over time, however, when they expand their presence in enough number of cities, the large players will start feeling their presence.