For e-commerce furniture retailers, product delivery can be one of the trickier parts of their business. Delivering bulky items such as furniture can be expensive, particularly when they’re sending small loads across the country.
That’s the problem North Carolina-based Deliveright Logistics seeks to solve with its new nationwide B2B LTL service. The service was designed for customers that ship heavy or non-conveyable goods nationwide in lower, less-than-truckload volumes.
“With e-commerce, they don’t have a store, they don’t have their own delivery teams. So who’s going to provide that service?” said Doug Ladden, CEO, Deliveright Logistics. “And when we looked at the industry, we saw lots and lots of delivery companies who could handle heavy goods deliveries, but they tended to be smaller companies. You have some big players like the XPOs and JB Hunts and Ryders of the world who set up big agent networks, but you really didn’t have a FedEx– or UPS-quality solution for handling heavy goods.”
Deliveright’s program provides pickup and delivery service for North Carolina, Virginia and California vendors shipping to retailers, receivers and commercial locations. The service is cloud-based through Deliveright’s Grasshopper digital tracking platform and focuses on capacity optimization, allowing brands to maximize space inside vehicles.
“We’re already making lots of home deliveries for e-commerce sites—we hit about 90 percent of the zip codes in the U.S.,” Ladden said. “So we can also offer an LTL solution to people because we already have so much volume moving all over the country. That just means more freight moving onto our trailers, and if that trailer fills up sooner and gets sent down quicker, then we’ll start on the next trailer that much sooner.”
Deliveright initially offered the LTL service to independent brick-and-mortar furniture retailers. But Ladden said those retailers don’t tend to be early adopters, so while they told him it was a great idea, they weren’t signing up for the service.
But e-commerce retailers were quick to jump onboard. Ladden said filling trucks with multiple smaller loads from different vendors allows them to offer the service at a competitive price that appeals to online furniture businesses.
“The vast majority of our volume, more than 95 percent, is going full truckload,” Ladden said. “So at that point, your economics are pretty compelling.”
And Ladden said e-commerce retailers appreciate Deliveright’s digital capabilities through its Grasshopper platform, which allows them to easily track shipments and keep customers abreast of where their order is at any time during the process.
So far, Deliveright has seen a lot of interest in the program from e-commerce companies, and as it continues to grow, Ladden sees the combination of technology and the flexibility of sending smaller orders at an FTL, or full truckload, rate as a major plus for smaller furniture companies.
“Using technology, you can improve everything from the process to customer communication,” he said. “And the combination of those two, improving processes and communication, is a very powerful change in how this industry is performing. So we’re charging at this from the technology perspective, knowing that at the end of the day, two guys are going to be lifting that sofa and carrying it into the home. Technology’s not going to lift it, but technology can make their lives much easier along the way.”