Local hubs are the delivery answer

The Beeb ran a piece last week which went along the lines of, isn’t the world a terrible place because we all have to wait for couriers to arrive now that we like shopping online. Well I think there’s a new business model to be had: the new-age home delivery hub.

Instead of all couriers dropping off to all and sundry at their home and workplaces, they deliver to a single ‘hub’ point. There, the goods are immediately filtered to:
a) personal collection, where the consumer collects via a drive through at a pre-allocated time slot e.g. between 5pm and 7pm next Monday; or,
b) home delivery, where goods are sorted for a delivery run to the local community, ideally within agreed time slots. Of course all should be highly trackable with RFID tags publishing parcels’ whereabouts online and SMS updates where necessary.

It’s greener because one courier would deliver to your village/estate rather than half a dozen (albeit with possibility of returning a few times to meet requested delivery slots).

The leaning would likely be towards evening deliveries. These would increase the first-time delivery success rate, bringing down the cost of average deliveries by reducing the need for second and third attempts and the fuel and costs associated with that.

I can almost see a big retailer like Tesco, Sainsbury’s or Argos filling this type of role as much as a delivery specialist. They are keen to squeeze every penny out of their local areas and they’d also gain market knowledge when consumers use their competitors (Tesco have become a competitor to just about everyone, haven’t they?).

Such players have got the geographical footprint for any mail order company to say, “Your parcel will be at your Tesco/Sainsbury’s/Argos superstore in X,” and not have customers complain. The kickback wouldn’t only be new revenue but while dad’s calling there on his way home from the office, he may as well get some milk and the batteries for Jonny’s new toy which he’s just bought.

There’s another green card to be played by offering to recycle all the packaging, which could be debunked on the spot.

Just some thoughts…
Photo credit: kamshots

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