- UPS company Roadie launched a local same-day delivery service for oversized items last week.
- Through RoadieXL, items over 60 pounds are matched with drivers certified to have a large vehicle and dolly, according to the crowdsourced delivery platform's website. No packaging is required.
- "When I go to the big box stores and see all the people struggling in parking lots with televisions and couches, that's a perfect aspect of where our driver base can come in and help make that process super seamless," Roadie COO Dennis Moon said in an interview.
Retailers' customers are clamoring for larger items like televisions and grills to be delivered to their homes in the same fashion as smaller goods, Moon said. While Roadie has been making deliveries of larger items "for quite some time," it hadn't yet applied the technology necessary to scale it further.
With RoadieXL, Roadie's technology will connect the retailer with a driver who has the proper vehicle, like a cargo van or a pickup truck, and equipment ranging from furniture dollies to blankets to handle the bulky item. Drivers can travel up to 100 miles from the pickup point, according to a post on Roadie's website.
"We're able to find the exact vehicle that can do that delivery based on what it has available from a space standpoint," Moon said.
Roadie has more than 200,000 drivers on its platform nationwide and reaches more than 20,000 ZIP codes, its website says. Its new RoadieXL offering gives people with larger vehicles, such as a pickup truck, more opportunities to participate in gig delivery work, according to Moon.
"We want to be able to provide to them the same access to the gig economy that anyone in a two-door sedan can," Moon said.
The bulky items RoadieXL targets are often the victim of pricey surcharges by traditional parcel carriers. RoadieXL's base delivery cost is determined by the item's size, per Roadie's website. Added fees — which don't stack, so shippers will only be charged one fee for a delivery — include delivery of an item over 60 pounds and delivery requiring a driver with a trailer.
Roadie is expanding its product lineup as it bolsters its customer roster. The company announced in September a partnership with online sports apparel retailer Fanatics for local next-day delivery.
In a softer demand environment, Roadie is targeting growth through new customer acquisitions, rather than just relying on expansion from their current shipper base, according to Moon.
"We have fully anticipated a very high level of growth, but we're not going to see that from existing customers," Moon said.
Other companies have also stepped up their big and bulky delivery options. UPS rival FedEx announced in November that it expanded its FedEx Freight Direct service, which offers to-or-through the door deliveries for large items. Also last year, Instacart unveiled a same-day and scheduled delivery service for bulky goods.