Commentary

Why carriers are welcoming social delivery services

Since the taxi company, Uber, was founded in 2009, similar collaborative services have started to emerge, especially in the delivery business. In 2013, two Nordic Uber-inspired delivery services were founded: Nimber in Norway and Trunkbird in Denmark. Trunkbird co-founder Daniel Nyvang gives his explanation on why social delivery services start to emerge: “It is expensive to send parcels with professional carriers and people might feel insecure by sending valuable items with someone they do not know. The price and the personal contact is very much the reason why we exist. The technology is of course also a great reason why. Today we have an online personality and rating systems that verifies services like Trunkbird.”

Big players like Amazon and DHL are at the moment experimenting with social delivery services like Trunkbird. According to Nyvang, 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. ”

Morten Villberg, managing director at DHL Nordics, is not afraid that Uber-inspired delivery services might take over the transport business: “Firstly, I do not think that there is one kind of delivery that covers everyone’s needs. Customer expectations and needs are very different. Some need a standardised product, others fast delivery and high security. Secondly, 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.”

Convenience is the key

DHL announced in May 2015 that they together with Amazon and Audi is experimenting with using the car trunk as mobile delivery address.

“As said, it is not about finding that one transport solution that works, but rather give the customer the opportunity to choose which delivery alternative that suits their needs,” Villberg explains.

It is particularly in relation to convenience that Villberg sees a strength in social delivery services: “Trunkbird would not be able to compete on price, as most carriers in the cities charge 4-to-5 euros per delivery. It is more about convenience – 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.”

Nyvang from Trunkbird agrees that convenience is a strength. He is also open to cooperation with professional carriers, but he has his demands: “We are here for two purposes: to connect users through an open API platform and to ensure a good experience. If a carrier fits into this, we would like to cooperate,” he concludes.

Trunkbird Co-founder, Daniel Nyvang, is pictured above at the Nordic Delivery Conference 2015, which was hosted by EDI-Soft. Read more about the conference here.