- Pitney Bowes launched a door-to-door same-day delivery service within its SendPro platform, the company announced Tuesday.
- Delivery windows as small as two hours are facilitated by third-party, same-day, last-mile logistics providers. The firm is working with two same-day providers and expects to add a third in early 2021.
- "Same Day Delivery rates are on par or slightly lower than the typical next day air service from the major carriers," Shemin Nurmohamed, senior vice president of product management at Pitney Bowes, said via email. The program is intended for shippers in locations that facilitate two-hour windows, shipping parcels weighing up to 50 pounds distances of 50 miles or fewer.
Offering same-day delivery alongside more traditional parcel shipping options could allow smaller shippers to compete with larger retailers on delivery.
And as the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, customers, especially in pharmacy and retail, have been inquiring about same-day service, Nurmohamed said.
"During our pilot we have seen strong interest from our small and medium business client base," she said, adding B2B and offline fulfillment companies also have taken to the service in its pilot phase.
Pitney Bowes was not prepared to share the names of its delivery partners, but a spokesperson said they are gig-economy companies.
Gig economy players have been gradually integrating into e-commerce and omnichannel operations over the last few years — largely through partnerships with and acquisitions by major retailers.
Target acquired same-day delivery provider Shipt in 2017. Shipt now delivers for Target as well as Costco, CVS, Petco and more. Instacart has grown beyond grocery to deliver for Best Buy, Rite Aid and Sephora among others. Walmart has partnered (and unpartnered) with multiple same-day providers in addition to its own last-mile network.
Pitney Bowes' same-day offering is an early sign of the gig economy penetrating the small parcel market for shippers of all sizes — and pairing it with the tools of parcel shipping management software like tracking, automated customer communications and scheduled pickups.