Delivery App Roadie Says More Retail Clients on the Horizon

The founder of crowdsourced delivery app Roadie said the company will soon be adding major retailers to its portfolio as it continues to expand its driver network across the country utilizing a “going my way” fulfillment model.

Founder and CEO Marc Gorlin said Roadie currently services major airlines such as Delta, a major home improvement retailer and a large grocery company, both of which he could not name. A network of 50,000 drivers are available to deliver items large and small. They all use their own vehicles, including long-haul truckers going interstate, cross-town commuters and college students shuttling from home to dorm.

“Walmart has been testing a service in which their store employees deliver orders on their way home, and we’ve taken that a step further,” Gorlin said. “Employees are not necessarily heading everywhere that items need to go. We tap people in your community who might be proximate to a local store and already headed toward the end customer. It’s a variable cost delivery system with lots of flexibility to go longer distances using a variety of vehicle sizes.”

Roadie offers insurance of $500 on standard deliveries, and up to $10,000 on high-value items through UPS Capital; UPS joined a $15 million investment round in 2016. The app provides real-time tracking of deliveries in all 50 states, with drivers earning anywhere from $8 to $50 for local gigs and $650 or more for long-distance hauls. To screen drivers, Roadie asks for a valid license and Social Security numbers.

Gorlin said the Roadie app taps data analytics to determine the right driver and vehicle at any point in time to fulfill a specific order from point A to point B, in the delivery window required. “We pay drivers for what they’re doing anyway, to make a grocery order or maybe pick up a ladder from a hardware store. Or maybe you get off a flight, and you take a bag that was mishandled to a neighbor two streets down. It’s all possible with Roadie.”

Like other services such as Deliv, Instacart and UberRUSH, Roadie gives retailers a same-day delivery option without a lot of integration or commitment to an asset-based model. Because it’s a crowdsourced platform, it works just as well in Knoxville as it does in major markets like San Francisco or Atlanta.

Gorlin said more retailers are coming to the conclusion that same-day delivery “is table stakes, and everyone is trying to figure out a strategy to get there.” He’s hoping many of them opt for Roadie as a viable solution.

“Airbnb felt like it was out of the box at the beginning,” Gorlin said of concerns some may have about crowdsourced delivery. “But mainline retailers going online need to provide the kind of delivery experience everyone wants and expects today, and need to do it more efficiently, so they can compete with the Amazons of the world.”

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