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Pubey

Guest
Was thinking the other day about Uber and how it's changing taxis and stuff.

Would an Uber business model be viable for parcel delivery/couriering etc?

- Let's say that every city has a couple of depots, and every town has 1.

- You get home from work and know you're going to be in for an hour - you can pay to have that parcel delivered within the hour from the depot

- Let's say you're in from work and know you're going to be in all evening - you can pay (less) to have that parcel delivered in the evening.

- Let's say you're a company, with 9-5 reception. You can therefore receive parcels at any time during those hours.

- Delivery drivers can accept jobs (develop their own route or accept jobs within a certain delivery area) and a sat nav system can ensure that they only accept jobs which are feasible. They then drive to the depot, collect the parcel(s) and deliver them, getting paid for the service.

- Delivery drivers require minimal training or anything, just a car and insurance. Members of the public could in theory become delivery drivers very easily if they so wish. Download an app, prove they have insurance (maybe additional insurance required), start courier-ing.

- A standard logistics system remains for bringing in shipments from abroad and moving them to the nearest depot.

- System works in reverse for collection too.

Seems like a much better system, but what are the flaws?

If anyone wants to steal my idea then fine - I come up with about 100 a day:winking:
 

callan

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 13, 2006
Messages
3,603
Was thinking the other day about Uber and how it's changing taxis and stuff.

Would an Uber business model be viable for parcel delivery/couriering etc?

- Let's say that every city has a couple of depots, and every town has 1.

- You get home from work and know you're going to be in for an hour - you can pay to have that parcel delivered within the hour from the depot

- Let's say you're in from work and know you're going to be in all evening - you can pay (less) to have that parcel delivered in the evening.

- Let's say you're a company, with 9-5 reception. You can therefore receive parcels at any time during those hours.

- Delivery drivers can accept jobs (develop their own route or accept jobs within a certain delivery area) and a sat nav system can ensure that they only accept jobs which are feasible. They then drive to the depot, collect the parcel(s) and deliver them, getting paid for the service.

- Delivery drivers require minimal training or anything, just a car and insurance. Members of the public could in theory become delivery drivers very easily if they so wish. Download an app, prove they have insurance (maybe additional insurance required), start courier-ing.

- A standard logistics system remains for bringing in shipments from abroad and moving them to the nearest depot.

- System works in reverse for collection too.

Seems like a much better system, but what are the flaws?

If anyone wants to steal my idea then fine - I come up with about 100 a day:winking:

First of all you need to work a tariff system out, within 1 hour deliveries are fairly hard to achieve particularly during busy parts of the day.

Also certain parcels would not be able to be carried unless drivers were specifically trained to carry ...hazardous chemicals etc....so working on the minimal training thing you would be ruling out certain packages.

Competition....the reason that certain courier companies are so cheap and successful is that they only follow certain routes on certain days.
 

Pubey

Guest
First of all you need to work a tariff system out, within 1 hour deliveries are fairly hard to achieve particularly during busy parts of the day.
Yeah I think the system would need critical mass for it to work, but the system could pay drivers to head to the depot so that quick deliveries could be achieved. Once the parcel arrives at the depot it could be that the system informs the recipient and they are offered different delivery times/options with different prices.

Also certain parcels would not be able to be carried unless drivers were specifically trained to carry ...hazardous chemicals etc....so working on the minimal training thing you would be ruling out certain packages.
Yeah that's a fair point - I think 99% of parcels delivered by UPS/My Hermes/Royal Mail would be fine in general.

Competition....the reason that certain courier companies are so cheap and successful is that they only follow certain routes on certain days.
Yeah, I think that system would still work on the whole, there could be some kind of mechanism which means as drivers prove they're reliable, they can take on certain routes or times which mean that in many ways it can work as 9-5 for deliveries to companies/shops etc.

I think the main idea is that it's an option for people who are busy and want the ability to select a time for a delivery and it to happen - I think people would pay a premium for that, rather than having to go to the depot or have it left at a neighbours.
 

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
35,913
Location
London
Was thinking the other day about Uber and how it's changing taxis and stuff.

Would an Uber business model be viable for parcel delivery/couriering etc?

- Let's say that every city has a couple of depots, and every town has 1.

- You get home from work and know you're going to be in for an hour - you can pay to have that parcel delivered within the hour from the depot

- Let's say you're in from work and know you're going to be in all evening - you can pay (less) to have that parcel delivered in the evening.

- Let's say you're a company, with 9-5 reception. You can therefore receive parcels at any time during those hours.

- Delivery drivers can accept jobs (develop their own route or accept jobs within a certain delivery area) and a sat nav system can ensure that they only accept jobs which are feasible. They then drive to the depot, collect the parcel(s) and deliver them, getting paid for the service.

- Delivery drivers require minimal training or anything, just a car and insurance. Members of the public could in theory become delivery drivers very easily if they so wish. Download an app, prove they have insurance (maybe additional insurance required), start courier-ing.

- A standard logistics system remains for bringing in shipments from abroad and moving them to the nearest depot.

- System works in reverse for collection too.

Seems like a much better system, but what are the flaws?

If anyone wants to steal my idea then fine - I come up with about 100 a day:winking:

Reliability?

If someone only earns 50p delivering a parcel on their way home there's little incentive to not get distracted and actually deliver on time. IF the company fails to meet service standards people will stop using it very quickly - remember people basically pay for couriers because of speed and security and you're not going to have much control over that - and with it your reputation.

Other than recruiting part-time drivers is this model any different from how couriers (ie cycle couriers?) operate currently?
 

steveo

mine to stay the same please
Joined
Aug 30, 2005
Messages
7,545
For deliveries to be cost effective they usually need to be part of a multi drop load. As in most other businesses margins are tight, going out to do one drop would not be financially viable unless the postage/carriage being charged was quite high, and as members of the public, we always want to pay the bare minimum.

Route planning is essential for cost effectiveness. Say SUFC requested a delivery for between 11 and 12 at Roots Hall, and The Railway Prittlewell requested a delivery for between 3 and 4. Also on this route there was an evening drop for 7-9pm. The driver could more or less spend all day doing 3 drops for a wage of say 3 quid less petrol and overheads.

Also, would the sender be guaranteeing delivery within a 1 hour time slot? What happened if the driver hit traffic? Would the customer be able to claim compensation?
 
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