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The collaborative delivery trends in France

New players have emerged in the logistic industry through collaborative delivery. Modelled on the carpooling model, individuals deliver parcels by taking advantage of their daily journeys. An overview of this growing market.

In recent years, through the development of collaborative consumption, online platforms have been created on this same principle in the logistics sector. What is the objective? To provide new solutions to retailers and e-merchants for these last mile challenges, via collaborative delivery. In France, the first initiatives emerged in 2010, but this new format was developed in 2015 with the appearance of applications such as Uber, which have made it possible to democratise contact between private individuals via an exchange platform.

collaborative delivery

Collaborative consumption and online platforms

These platforms act as an intermediary between the shipper and the carrier while managing the association of players, payment and guarantees linked to the shipment. For all of them, the challenge is to create a large community of “individual deliverers”. In 2019, a Capgemini study indicated that 55% of consumers would agree to make deliveries to the inhabitants of their neighbourhood.

For 64% of them, the person making the delivery is not an important criterion. Finally, 79% said they would be prepared to make these deliveries for a lower price than that offered by distributors. For consumers, the advantages are multiple: lower delivery costs, often shorter delivery times and flexible hours. The platforms also emphasise the reduction of CO2 emissions from transport.

Multi-faceted collaborative delivery

Collaborative delivery is protean. “It can be categorized in two ways: the distance of the delivery, either over long distances – for example, an individual who wishes to ship a sofa from the south of France to Paris – or short or intra-urban in relatively dense areas,” Romain Hurez analysis (Sia Partners). The second point concerns the actors involved in this delivery: B to C to C – initiatives still at the POC stage, of experimentation at a local level, whether or not supported by a central or national entity – or C to C to C, a more specific requests where the market must go beyond the stage of early adopters”

Many retailers, especially in the food industry, have made this new delivery service available to their consumers. For mass distribution, it is an opportunity to offer a differentiated offer, promoting environmental values, and to reach a new audience, highlighting mutual aid between individuals. Several players have positioned themselves in niches, such as Shopopop or Yper, and are now working with… Leclerc, Intermarché, Système U, Carrefour, Cora, the Match supermarkets…

collabrative consumption

Address the shortcomings of traditional carriers

The business model of the platforms is broken down into two parts, with retailers and merchants paying a monthly service fee to access the platform. Privately, those who benefit from delivery pay a fee on the distributor’s website and, added to this sum, the players in the collaborative delivery take a commission and give a part to the private delivery drivers, referred to as “shoppers”.

The sustainability of the model is only possible if the platforms compensate for the shortcomings of professional carriers, particularly in rural areas where the latter do not have enough markets to set up offers in drives, supermarkets or shopping areas on the outskirts. . competition remains more complicated when you are in big cities. Economic conditions and the quality of services are not the same.

Another difficulty is that delivery drivers should not be semi-professionals whose main activity would be to deliver parcels. Freight transport remains a regulated profession in France. Also, many start-ups restrict the number of possible deliveries and avoid creating a dependency on their delivery drivers. A user can only make between 6 and 9 deliveries per month. Algorithms that take into consideration a user’s activity on the platform have been implemented and, if it is deemed too high, available deliveries within an additional time frame will be displayed compared to other people who would have less intensive use.