Dispatch CEO on the last mile delivery race
The American rides in trucking, from 18 wheels to light trucks that can navigate impossible urban streets.
Trucking is the lifeline through which food appears overnight in our supermarkets, and a host of other commodities that use highways as a circulatory system to meet the needs of a nation.
Aside from these high platitudes, much of the trucking and logistics is stuck in another decade and, in rare cases, the last century. Andrew Leone, CEO of a logistics startup Sending, could not stand the inefficiency any longer. So he did something about it. Don’t call him a disruptor.
“Disruptor is a term that’s used a lot these days,” Leone told PYMNTS. “I would absolutely say that we are an innovator. What we are doing is bringing a very outdated space up to current standards and beyond.
“When I think of a real disruption,” he joked, “it would be like inventing teleportation logistics. I think we’re probably somewhere between some real innovation and maybe some disruption.
Noting the reduction in delivery times from seven days to two days, next day to same day in about five years, Leone, like others, is focusing on ‘last mile’ logistics for businesses. which do not have the weight of investments. to build their own systems.
Noting that last mile delivery has undergone major changes after historically requiring tons of capital, Leone told PYMNTS that “most organizations don’t make tens of billions of dollars where they can invest in that level of capital. ‘infrastructure. But they still have to compete. “
This is where Dispatch technology comes in.
“Let them be [a small- to medium-sized business (SMB)] or a company, companies have the option of operating a fleet of vehicles or a capacity to be able to deliver non [just] the same day, but within the hour. “
Dispatch combined the Grubhub-style aggregator model with the Uber– like the carpooling method for an approach based on concerts for logistics. Dispatch recruits drivers who, after being carefully vetted, use their own vehicles in a same-day courier update.
“Automate the whole room”
Leone intends to operate in 50 US markets by the fall; the business is currently in over 40 years.
To achieve this, Dispatch plans to launch its own delivery management platform in the fall, where orders for auto parts or printed retail signage will be routed through the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) so that the use of truck inventory and opportunities can better align. .
“Our goal is to completely cover the nation, so this is available in every market,” he said. “This is the delivery element of our business. The idea is that [companies] do not have to manage a fleet. They don’t have to handle outsourcing. This is all handled through our software in a holistic way so that a distributor or company can link us to their ecommerce environment, their ERP system, and then we facilitate last mile delivery, whether with their existing assets on our outsourced network. It doesn’t really matter. We automate this whole room. “
The majority of Dispatch’s business is B2B – think an auto parts store providing nearby repair shops, paper goods for restaurants, signage for retail stores – that sort of thing. These are smaller packages delivered quickly, with full application-based traceability.
Distribution A “massive” opportunity
Shipping is a reminder how FedEx and UPS has gone from drab to dazzling as they have become a feature – and a valuable service – in everyday life. Leone is reluctant to compare his startup with these corporate giants, but he’s not afraid to fight for his market share.
“In the United States alone, distribution is a $ 6 trillion business,” he said. “It’s a third of the US GDP. It is a huge and massive space. “
Leone’s sites are placed on a nice slice of this action, like others.
That’s why, as the country crouched at home, Leone and his team remained busy expanding into nine more U.S. markets during the depths of the pandemic. Since the April craters, Leone has seen volume improvements on a month-to-month basis.
“Supply chain, innovation, and last mile strategy are things a lot of companies know they need to do, but when you gobble up market share, operational expenses and some of those other things seem less. important, ”he told PYMNTS.
Having raised $ 22 million from investors to date, Leone said the money was intended for investments in the system that increase drivers’ income and end logistical inefficiencies, such as a truck dropping off its freight and returning to the empty depot.
Here’s the point: This trip’s margins could be improved with an AI-powered platform that pairs trucks with loads, maximizing utilization, Leone said. And he wants to do it.