On-the-way delivery app Roadie has partnered with Delta Cargo to enable first-of-its-kind same-day pickup and delivery of critical items such as medical devices and machine parts across the country using air cargo and last-mile drivers in tandem.
Roadie founder and CEO Marc Gorlin said critical-need items are the most natural use case for the partner solution, called Dash Door-to-Door, but added the capability could be extended in future to ecommerce deliveries as well.
The service is being launched in Atlanta, where both companies are based, reaching 55 U.S. cities with plans to expand to more. A Roadie driver, who has been screened and approved by the TSA, picks up the item from a business or home and delivers it to Delta Cargo at Hartsfield-Jackson airport in Atlanta. At the other end of the flight, another Roadie driver picks up the item and delivers it to the end customer.
The Roadie app also provides real-time visibility into the package during its entire transit, going beyond the scan and hand-off notifications of carriers. The new service is limited to packages weighing less than 100 lbs and less than 90 linear inches. TSA Known Shipper status is required to ship anything over 16 oz.
“This provides the opportunity for anyone to get something to someone else across the country the same day,” Gorlin said from Parcel Forum in Dallas. “Just like Roadie takes advantage of unused capacity in passenger vehicles, we know there’s a good deal of unused capacity in the belly of passenger aircraft. This pulls together the first- and last-mile capabilities of Roadie along with the line haul capacity of Delta Cargo.”
In a test, Gorlin said a package was picked up from Roadie’s office in Atlanta and flown by Delta to one of its board members in San Francisco, arriving by 7 p.m. local time that day.
Roadie has been working with Delta since 2015 to provide delivery of lost baggage items, now available in 70 U.S. cities. Altogether Roadie has 150,000 verified drivers nationwide, reaching 89% of the country with same-day delivery.
“The launch of Dash Door-to-Door is a game changer for Delta Cargo, as anyone who needs to get a small parcel somewhere urgently can now have a same-day delivery, door-to-door service in the U.S., without having to travel to the airport,” said Matt Weisenburg, Delta’s director of cargo strategy and alliances, in a release.
Roadie is one of several last-mile startups that began providing grocery delivery for Walmart earlier this year. Home Depot has participated in a funding round while also using the service for same-day delivery.