Boxbot, a startup that pivoted from autonomous vehicle technology to automated parcel storage and retrieval for last-mile delivery applications, announced a $12 million Series A round that will help the company deploy its “three-dimensional conveyor belt” that handles sequenced sortation.
Same day delivery
Roadie, a crowdsourced last-mile delivery platform that is owned by UPS, is expanding availability of an app that allows same-day delivery and pickup of ecommerce orders by Roadie drivers from warehouses to local customers, which was launched a year ago by sports apparel retailer Fanatics. The app enables pre-sortation and staging of local orders in a designated area within a facility.
Instacart issued its long-expected initial public offering of stock on Tuesday, priced at $30 a share for a valuation of $10 billion, well below the $39 billion it was valued at after a fundraising round in early 2021, but at an offering price low enough to entice retail investors to join the party. The company has been profitable since Q2 2022 despite falling revenue, thanks to various trimming.
Better Trucks, a Chicago-based parcel delivery firm, has enlarged its footprint through opening new locations in Texas and partnering with West Coast-based GLS U.S., giving the two firms same-day to two-day coverage of 32 markets in 20 states, representing 40% of the U.S. population. The deal is similar to the joining of regional carriers OnTrac and Lasership in 2021, though on a smaller scale.
Amazon is testing pricing for non-Prime members to get free shipping in selected areas, raising the threshold from $25 back to $35 – the same as for shoppers who aren’t members of Walmart+ – as it probes the potential to increase order value when shoppers add items. Amazon has yo-yoed the order threshold as it reads the tea leaves of analytical data on shopper behavior and pulls the levers.
Amazon posted a blowout Q2, with net sales up 11%, profit doubled from 2022, analysts cheering and an upgraded fulfillment plan refocused on same-day delivery. But Amazon still needs to find ways to improve a grocery business that is getting failing marks from industry observers. AWS growth continues to slow, and management said GenAI won’t contribute meaningfully in the near term.
Evidence continues to mount that that having a range of options and more certainty about when a package will arrive are more important than 1-2-day delivery. In a July survey of 1,000 consumers commissioned by Ware2Go, 90% of respondents said they could live without 1-2-day delivery if given options like free shipping, real-time tracking and the ability to choose the delivery date.
Logistics experts had mostly positive reactions to Amazon Hub Delivery, the company’s latest last-mile move which enlists local businesses to earn extra money by making nearby deliveries in their spare time. Amazon is hoping to have 2,300 businesses recruited by the end of 2023 as it builds scale. Most saw it as a more economical option than the DSP model, giving Amazon more control.
Gently hopes to become a disrupter of urban fulfillment and major retailers with multi-billion-dollar networks, offering a same-day, nano fulfillment model using small nodes located around a city, tapping a predictive analytics engine to stock and position inventory in anticipation of demand.
Retailers and CPG companies have had a symbiotic relationship for decades, teaming up to offer customers more choice in convenient in-person and ecommerce storefronts. As both take on each other’s challenges, they must learn from the other’s processes and best practices to sustain new revenue streams in the long term based on evolving consumer behaviors, preferences and spending habits.