Kick it to the curbageddon - eCarts solve last mile curb delivery chaos

03/03/2022
 

Back in November 2019 – in the pre-COVID world – one thing was very much the same as today: e-commerce was seeing massive growth. That month, the New York Times reported that between 2009 and 2017 the number of e-commerce deliveries to residential addresses in New York City had tripled.

Since then we’ve witnessed almost unbelievable growth in e-commerce driven by the global pandemic. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. saw 31.8% sales growth in 2020 compared to 2019. By 2021, New York City residents were receiving an average of 2.3 million packages daily.


The scourge of Curbageddon

This explosion of e-commerce transactions has led to a very modern problem: chaos on the sidewalk as delivery drivers unload, stack, and sort massive piles of packages right in the way of pedestrians on the sidewalk and occasionally in the road blocking traffic. Crain’s New York Business recently called this “The Wild West of Package Deliveries.” At BrightDrop, we call it Curbageddon.

This package-filled curb delivery chaos carries the potential for crashes (and lawsuits) as pedestrians, cars, and cyclists navigate around them. Drivers and couriers are also at risk of injury as they unload and sort heavy packages. Additionally, idling vehicles contribute to air pollution and often incur parking fines, while skilled and expensive drivers waste large amounts of time running haphazard sorting operations.

It’s not the fault of the drivers or couriers who often bear the brunt of public complaints – Curbageddon is a symptom of a larger problem. While some point to aging infrastructure as one root to the problem, e-commerce companies and fleet managers must innovate and adapt their operations to meet growing customer demand.

The solution is to change the way we deliver packages.

So, how do we bring package delivery into the future?

To innovate package delivery operations, fleet and operations managers must think of e-commerce as a holistic ecosystem. Here at BrightDrop, we’ve developed an end-to-end delivery platform that is designed to help improve your first to last mile operations.

Spending hands-on time with some of the largest delivery companies in the world during our product development gave us direct insights into what drives operational efficiencies, improves worker conditions, and helps make the communities where you deliver safer.

Enter the BrightDrop eCart and software platform

Our eCart is an electrified, enclosed, and secure delivery cart. It’s been designed to work in perfect harmony with our line of EV delivery vans via a rapid load mechanism that loads and unloads the carts in less than a minute each. Fleets of non-BrightDrop vehicles can also be upfitted with this loading mechanism to seamlessly integrate the BrightDrop eCart into your operations without turning over your fleet.

According to Roadshow it’s a “gamechanger,” and our customers would agree.  An initial pilot showed that it helped to handle 25% more packages per day and eliminated sidewalk sorting, resulting in a significant decrease in curbside dwell time. As packages are sorted directly into the BrightDrop eCart, the number of touches and errors decreases as well. From the perspective of Curbageddon, our electric cart has strong potential to help address the curb delivery problem.

Once off the delivery van, the eCart is a dream for couriers. The cart is highly maneuverable with pinpoint turning and an electric motor that matches your walking speed up to 3 mph. Delivery persons can easily navigate the cart up ramps, through tight hallways, and onto elevators while carrying up to 200 lbs of packages.

The BrightDrop software platform* is also a key component of tackling Curbegeddon. Both managers and field personnel can access real-time data such as location, charge levels, cart status, and chain of custody insights. Administrators are able to control individual access to the platform, limit cart access to specific drivers and couriers, and create custom names for their BrightDrop products. Both at operations hubs and in the field, those with access are able to unlock and lock the carts remotely. Lastly, constant connectivity turns every delivery into a learning opportunity: a steady stream of data and insights provides a real-time view into your delivery operations for continual optimization and planning.

To learn more about our efforts to tackle Curbageddon, follow us on LinkedIn, or get in touch today.

*A separate subscription may be required to access the BrightDrop software platform

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