Delivering A Safe Fourth of July
Zedify's UK expansion, Nikola's meager Q2, DashPass plays Wordle
Ugh… who’s still recovering from the Fourth of July? Seems unfair to put a holiday on a Tuesday and then make us all go back to work so soon… Alas, there’s plenty of industry news to catch up on!
A No-Driving Holiday
Cargo Bike Delivery Conquers Britain
Chart Time | Nikola’s Tiny Haul
DD Gets Creative in Pushing DashPass
POLICY | Incentivizing Safe Behavior on the Fourth of July
While most holidays tend to be festive, it’s safe to say that in America, the Fourth of July can be down right raucous. Not just the rattle of the fireworks, but in terms of beers chugged and shots chased. As such, public, private and nonprofit organizations tend to cook up a number of incentives to stop people from drinking and driving. You see it in initiatives like “Decide to Ride” and “Take a Ride on Us” - offering folks free credit to take an Uber or Lyft to the party and back. A number of transit operators also temporarily pause fare collection, as they try to get revelers to stay away from the wheel.
The Big Picture: Here’s an idea… why not extend these promos to cover delivery as well? Think of the number of folks that made a mid-party beer run, or after watching the fireworks decided to grab a late night meal? Those are the exact same risky trips that folks want to discourage. Maybe next time let those Uber ride credits cover Uber Eats in a few markets as well, and study the effects?
LOGISTICS | Zedify Brings Cargo Bike Delivery to the U.K.
After launching in London, Bristol and Cambridge, Zedify is coming to Manchester — the U.K.’s second most populous urban area. The cargo ebike powered delivery service is now in 12 cities, and has teamed up with Fedex and DPD to tap into existing networks. The startup already counts major retailers like Zara as customers, and aims to serve 20% of the U.K. sustainable delivery market by 2025.
The Big Picture: While cargo bikes are great ideas for cities everywhere — they’re especially good fits for Europe, where windy, narrow streets mean cars often go slower than bikes, and congestion pricing dings trucks with heavy fees. The U.K. in particular has a very competitive parcel and delivery market, as reforms in 2011 opened the sector up to a number of new competitors.
CHART TIME | Nikola’s Unimpressive Growth
Almost a decade ago, Nikola burst onto the scene, promising to be the Tesla of trucking. After a 2020 IPO valued the company at a cool $13 billion, the story started to unravel. Not only were their doubts about its hydrogen technology, it turned out the company’s famous unveiling of its vehicle had relied on gravity to make it look the truck could move. Today the company is flirting with penny stock status, and execs are looking for anything to turn around the narrative. At first glance, today’s release that “Nikola achieves strong quarterly sales for Nikola Class 8 battery-electric trucks, doubles retail sales vs. Q1.” sounds like cause for celebration. But when you look at how small these numbers are, even if they are growing, it’s hard to pop open the champagne. That 66 in the chart means sixty six trucks, not 66,000… Oh, and a fire at the HQ certainly couldn’t have helped.
3PD | DoorDash’s Latest DashPass Ad Gambit
Remember Wordle? Evidently DoorDash does, because the delivery giant is turning to the spelling game in its latest effort to boost the user count of its premium DashPass subscription service. The company is actually set to to be the first brand to run mobile ads on the online game, as the New York Times will show video ads for the service, with the winning word of the day set to be a promo code that unlocks 75% off first purchases.
The Big Picture: Using the winning word of the day as the promo code is a clever way to make this interactive (and perhaps stay a few minutes ahead of RetailMeNot and Honey) but nothing about this promo seems particularly tailored to DoorDash. At this point, the 3PDs are looking for every last angle they can to grow their premium subscription services, which help keep users sticky in an otherwise commodity business. As DD and its peers have already tried partnering up with Amazon, Chase, Hulu and more, it’s only fair to see if Wordle players — who generally skew higher income and urban — are interested as well.
A Few Good Links
Paying drivers and couriers in cash looks to be extra important in emerging markets. UPS and Teamsters walk away from bargaining table - strike imminent? Customer leaves cash tip on doormat, DoorDash driver won’t take it. Uber Eats heads to more of Australia. Service-oriented supermarket Publix plans growth spurt across Virginia.
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