Walmart has announced a new last-mile delivery pilot called Spark Delivery that employs independent drivers to broaden the company’s delivery network.
The drivers use an in-house platform to sign up for windows of time that work best for their schedules as well as access grocery delivery order details and navigation assistance. The platform uses technology from Bringg which allows automatic dispatch of planned orders and allows drivers to communicate availability, as well as sending smart alerts to ensure dispatchers don’t miss deliveries.
The drivers are managed by Delivery Drivers Inc, a company that specialises in last-mile contractor management. Delivery Drivers Inc manages recruiting, screening and background checks, payments and accounting for the drivers, who are paid by the delivery.
“We’re saving customers time by leveraging new technology, and connecting all the parts of our business into a single seamless shopping experience: great stores, easy pickup, fast delivery, and apps and websites that are simple to use,” said Greg Foran, president and CEO, Walmart U.S. “Spark Delivery is one way we’re exploring how to get quality groceries from our door to our customers’ doors.”
The pilot is currently running in Nashville and New Orleans and will roll out to additional metro areas later this year. Walmart now offers delivery in 100 metro areas, which covers 40% of US households. The grocery delivery service is available in 50 markets.
“Our customers love Grocery Pickup and Delivery – it offers convenience paired with the everyday low prices customers expect from us,” said Tom Ward, vice president, Digital Operations, Walmart U.S. “We’re always looking for the best ways to serve them, so we’re exploring a number of different options for getting groceries from our stores to the customer’s front door – some in-house, some third-party.”
Image credit: Walmart