Zoned OutFebruary 14, 2022
Sticking with a Superbowl theme I want to talk about zones, not end zones, but ground delivery zones. UPS, USPS, and FedEx each have their respective zone maps, and there is a direct correlation between zone and price, “How much to ship to zone 8?” The next correlation is time, “How long will it take to reach zone 8?” This factor directly impacts customer experience and by extension sales and consumer loyalty.
In the current industry state, all retailers are programmed to operate within the constraints of the zone models dictated by the carriers. The available solutions to address these constraints include setting up multiple distribution centers or using warehouse and fulfillment partners. These solutions can be costly and complex to implement but do help retailers optimize shipping costs and enhance customer experience.
At the 2022 NRF and Manifest tradeshows, I was able to view a huge variety of services, technologies, and people trying to change this approach. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Supply-chain technology startups raised $24.3 billion in venture funding in the first three quarters of 2021” We all know retailers and manufacturers want cheaper and faster, with greater transparency. So, my biggest question is, how do we start?
When I joined SmartKargo in October of 2021 I wrote a post about how excited I was to join the team. Since then my excitement has grown exponentially. When we power the e-commerce delivery engines of our partners like Volaris and Indigo, we disrupt the status quo. By empowering airlines to transport e-commerce packages on their airplanes and existing flights, we can provide retailers with an innovative solution. We can get a package from New York City to Los Angeles much faster than moving a ground package from zone 2 to zone 8 for far, far, far greater value.
For an innovative retailer, they can truly differentiate their delivery as part of their brand by moving their product further distances at greater speed and exceeding the expectations of their customer. And do it while getting far more value – because the airplane is already heading in that direction, in some cases, 3-4 times a day, this allows us to offer a cost-competitive with a ground rate.
Looking at innovative solutions like SmartKargo can help your bottom line and enhance your customer experience. You just need to worry a little less about the zones and think about faster time, greater distance, and higher value –all of which we need a little bit more of today.