After last year’s holiday shipping faux pas, FedEx and UPS are making an effort to ramp up and prepare for the holiday shipping 2014 season. However, this doesn’t mean that online retailers aren’t seeking other options.
Looking for alternatives to traditional shipping carriers — and aiming to compete with the instant gratification that brick-and-mortar retailers provide — online marketplace and ecommerce giant Amazon has once again taken a creative approach to holiday shipping.
According to an article in Gizmodo, Amazon.com recently began testing package delivery by cab in San Francisco and Los Angeles using a taxi-hailing mobile app called Flywheel. In the test, Amazon ordered cabs through Flywheel to drive to distribution centers, where the cabs picked up as many as 10 packages at about $5 per package, all destined for the same zip code.
The article reported that the Flywheel test took place early in the morning, when taxi use is low and deliveries are less likely to be noticed by customers.
While the taxi cab solution may seem like a logical approach to speedy delivery, it probably won’t hold as a viable shipping strategy in the long term. Primarily because there are a lot of risks involved in using taxis for delivery, starting with the fact that cab drivers are independent and not trained package handlers.
While we always value innovative approaches to shipping, this holiday season’s package delivery is probably best left to the guys who’ve been doing it forever — the USPS®, UPS and FedEx.
What do you think? Would you trust a taxi driver to deliver your handmade Christmas sweater? Let us know in the comments below.
For more insight, check out our ecommerce tips and trends page.