UPS Steps Up Same-Day Offering with Delivery Solutions

UPS Delivery Solutions logo feature

UPS has acquired Texas-based startup Delivery Solutions, a platform that offers multi-carrier, same-day delivery services with an impressive client roster across categories that includes nameplates like Walmart, Abercrombie & Fitch, Giant Eagle, Office Depot and Sephora.

Delivery Solutions also helps out platform providers and carriers, including Flexe, Pitney Bowes and Onfleet.

Like the acquired Roadie before it, Delivery Solutions will operate as a separate entity from mothership UPS, which nonetheless can extend and broaden its service offerings in same-day and last mile. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Now combined with UPS’s capabilities, it will create new solutions to speed up growth for our customers by improving end-to-end online shopping experiences,” the parent company said in a blog post.

Roadie, acquired in September five years after an initial investment, gave UPS entre into areas outside its network including big-bulky and grocery delivery.

In addition to same-day delivery, Delivery Solutions offers access to services including wholesale/retail distribution, omnichannel tactics like ship from store, curbside and BOPIS plus post-purchase tools like tracking, communication and order notifications.

At its 2021 investor day, UPS CEO Carol Tome said the company was busy working on same-day pilots and had a team looking at it. She said it would operate outside of the UPS network, unlike healthcare, which she said was a network within the network.

“And once we get some more experience under our belt and a stronger point of view, we’ll come back and talk to you about that,” Tome said. “But I think there’s an opportunity there that will be very different than what we’ve done in the past.”

Nate Skiver, principal of LPF Spend Management, said in a blog post that UPS is looking to make itself stickier with enterprise accounts by giving them less reason to look outside for value-added services like same-day delivery. He added the carrier could also use it as a customer order and inventory data pipeline, in the nature of FedEx’s early 2021 acquisition of ShopRunner, “which to date, isn’t a ringing endorsement.”

“I’m not quite sure if UPS is only collecting data at this point, or if they’re actually building something,” Skiver wrote.