In the past, a business that offered delivery to local customers needed a vehicle and a driver, both of which significantly added to the overhead. No longer. Newark, Del.-based DeliveryCircle, founded in 2014, lets businesses schedule deliveries — including same-day service — via an app or an online platform.
Consumers can also benefit from the service. Indeed, CEO Vijaya Rao founded DeliveryCircle because she was frustrated with the lack of a timely delivery service on the consumer side. A corporate executive before launching DeliveryCircle, she wanted to enjoy her free time instead of running routine errands.
She also saw the business-to-business advantages. “The delivery space is fragmented, and there wasn’t a good last-mile solution for businesses, who need an outsourced logistics partner they can count on to grow their top line — without adding fixed costs to the budget.”
Using the app or online service, customers can schedule the date and time of the delivery, pick a driver and track the item’s progress in real time through the delivery cycle. All drivers are pre-screened, and deliveries are guaranteed and insured. Once the delivery is complete, the customer can rate the driver, who is an independent contractor.
What’s in it for the driver? DeliveryCircle’s take on the shared economy lets them transport products from several companies instead of being tied to just one. Flexibility is another perk. Some drivers work a few hours a week; others put in eight hours a day.
DeliveryCircle has tweaked the collaborative platform in response to customers’ input. It’s clearly caught on. The company started in the local Greater Wilmington area with five drivers. “We are now serving more than seven metropolitan areas with 400-plus drivers on the platform,” Rao says. “We have grown 300 percent year-over-year.”
Delaware is the ideal location for DeliveryCircle, Rao says. “It has one of the most business-friendly environments, and it’s also strategically positioned for our logistical needs,” she explains. Same-day deliveries to Washington, D.C., or New York are easy to make. “That I happen to live here is a plus.”
In addition to markets in the tri-state area (Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey), DeliveryCircle has entered markets in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Connecticut and Georgia. Initially, the e-commerce company started with small businesses, but now the customer list includes such well-known brands as HoneyBaked Ham, Zoës Kitchen, Eurofins and car dealerships. In more ways than one, DeliveryCircle is
on the road to success.