Warehouses thrive on predictable, repeatable actions. That includes how they ship: e-commerce orders here for scheduled parcel shipping; pallets and cases there for carrier transport to stores. But some transportation needs don’t fit neatly into those categories. Maybe a store requires a rush replenishment of goods to support an unexpectedly successful sale. Or a pair of bulky tires is needed today at a repair shop 10 miles away. It could be that a customer wants a product the same day, but the order missed the regular delivery truck.
Crowdsourced delivery has emerged as a cost-effective way to satisfy customers and keep inventory — and revenue — moving. Just as restaurants and grocers have turned to the gig economy to get take-out orders to customers, warehouses are taking the same approach to time-sensitive, bulky goods and other transport needs that don’t fit typical lanes and schedules. It can also scale up and down as needs change.
Crowdsourced delivery cut the average time required for deliveries up to 75% from the previous 12- to 24-hour turnaround.
Yancey Bros. Co., an Atlanta-based distributor for Caterpillar and Blue Bird bus, began using crowdsourced delivery company Roadie in 2020 to speed up delivery of critical parts to field service technicians for urgent repairs. Taking this approach, the company cut the average time required for deliveries up to 75% from the previous 12- to 24-hour turnaround.
With the right planning, crowdsourced delivery slips easily into most supply chain networks. Follow this playbook to spot gaps in your transportation network, learn how crowdsourcing can help and get best practices for making crowdsourced delivery work for your warehouses — and your customers.