DHL: “Plenty of room for social delivery services”

DHL: “Plenty of room for social delivery services”

You might think that new and innovative delivery services are a thorn in the side of established delivery companies such as DHL. But managing director Morten Villberg says there’s plenty of room for Uber-inspired delivery services in the market and he welcomes new initiatives.

Ever since Uber started in 2009, an impressive amount of similar collaborative services have started to emerge. There are startups like PiggyBee, Friendshippr, Barnacle, Nimber, Zipments For You, Trunkbird, Swapbox, Deliv, Pleasebringme and much more. And these are companies that could take market share from the bigger delivery companies.

Social delivery services help in growing the market
But big players like Amazon and DHL are experimenting with such social delivery services. According to Daniel Nyvang, who is the co-founder of Danish company Trunkbird, his business complements professional carrier services. “Social delivery services are helping in growing the market. We can do things that were impossible previously. I am not sure if we are a competitor to carriers, as we are more focused on C2C, where professional carriers also focus on B2C and B2B. However, Trunkbird complements the carriers’ delivery services and meets the high fragmentation that lies within deliveries.”

He thinks the price and the personal contact are the reason why his company, that connects people who want to send items with people who are willing to bring the item with them on their journey, exists. “It’s expensive to send parcels with professional carriers and people might feel insecure by sending valuable items with someone they do not know.”

DHL welcomes cooperation with social delivery services
DHL on the other hand, also thinks there’s room for such social delivery services. “I don’t think that there is one kind of delivery that covers everyone’s needs. Customer expectations and needs are very different. Some needs a standardized product, others fast delivery and high security”, he says. “Also, both B2C and C2C markets are growing a lot right now, so I think there is room for all delivery services. It will be interesting to see what the future holds, and as a starting point I welcome a cooperation with social delivery services, if it makes sense for both parties. ”

And such cooperation already took place. In May this year, DHL announced it teamed up with Amazon and Audi to launch a pilot project for a new service that allows car owners to use their cars as mobile delivery addresses for their parcel shipments. “Like we said, it’s not about finding that one transport solution that works”, Villberg explains, “but rather give the customer the opportunity to choose the delivery alternative that suits their needs.”

And convenience, that’s what it’s all about if it comes to social delivery services, he thinks. Because these startups can’t compete on prices. So it’s more about convenience. “Like helping with carrying a parcel up the stairs to an apartment. If our end customers want social delivery services, we will of course offer it.”

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