DHL Parcel Metro Delivers New Options for Online Retailers
Eager to tap into the growing ecommerce market, DHL recently announced its re-entry into U.S. domestic parcel delivery. With DHL Parcel Metro, the company will provide a delivery service for online retailers that meets consumers’ increasing demand for same-day and next-day delivery.
For DHL Parcel Metro, the company created a “virtual delivery network” of local and regional contract couriers. Once an order is placed, users can select from a range of delivery time windows —including two-hour, same day and next day—and their preferred delivery destination. A mobile interface, which the retailer can choose to customize with their own branding, allows end consumers to track shipments in real-time, communicate special instructions to their couriers, reschedule deliveries and rate their delivery experiences.
While the high-cost of same-day and next-day shipping won’t change overnight, DHL Parcel Metro service represents competition for major players, FedEx and UPS. Over the last few years, both have consistently raised shipping rates for the growing consumer delivery market. Further, DHL Parcel Metro is not the first to throw their hat in the ring; as we reported Amazon is piloting their Shipping with Amazon (SWA) program in the Los Angeles area and is expected to expand to other U.S. cities soon. As part of SWA, Amazon will pick up packages right from their third-party retailers and warehouses and deliver them directly to consumers. Sure, DHL and Amazon hope to win their share of the domestic market, but neither can be or will be everywhere and everything to the shipping industry.
The million—billion?—dollar question is will greater competition eventually lead to price stabilization or even reductions? It’s too early to tell, so stay tuned as the story unfolds.