Fresh off a $20 million Series B funding round, last-mile delivery firm AxleHire has announced its expansion to the Chicagoland area. The expansion represents AxleHire’s 10th sortation center.
In addition to Chicago, AxleHire currently operates and has sortation centers in Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, New York, Phoenix, Seattle and Portland, Oregon.
AxleHire, based in Emeryville, California, offers same-day and next-day delivery service through an asset-light transportation network that utilizes the gig economy, couriers and traditional carriers. It leverages proprietary technology to create denser delivery routes that move more packages in fewer vehicles. Routes are dynamically changed on demand based on needs. All its sortation centers are located close to dense populations to facilitate faster delivery times with 99% on-time delivery with package tracking.
“We’re looking forward to operating in the Chicago metro area, one of the most dynamic logistics markets in the country,” said AxleHire CEO Adam Bryant. “With so many Midwest retail, e-commerce and perishable products companies in the region, we’re now in a great position to help our current customers expand and offer new companies a better overall last-mile delivery service.”
AxleHire counts HelloFresh, Deliverr, Freshly and Pet Food Express among its customers.
In April, AxleHire announced it had closed a $20 million Series B funding round led by Ajax Strategies. The company at the time said the new funding, which included participation from Eclipse Ventures, Quiet Logistics, Bee Partners and Acorn Pacific Ventures, would be used to enhance its sortation technology, expand its network of locations and add staff.
AxleHire was founded by Daniel Sokolovsky, who had grown up working in his family’s courier business. Realizing that many of the tasks in the business were repetitive and required manual coordination, Sokolovsky used his math background from Berkeley and went to work on a solution with a group of engineers.
AxleHire is participating in zero-emission delivery zone projects in Santa Monica, California, and Seattle. The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) and the city of Santa Monica launched the first Zero Emissions Delivery Zone (ZEDZ) in the nation in March. Seattle followed earlier this month.
The Santa Monica effort features a zero-emissions zone that encompasses 1 square mile covering ZIP codes 90401, 90405 and 90403. The zone is home to 15,850 residents and two primary commercial districts — downtown Santa Monica (including Third Street Promenade) and Main Street — that together employ roughly 28,900 workers in a wide range of industries. The ZEDZ is a pilot program and a voluntary one at that, but it has the support of many major companies, including Ikea, Guayaki, Alsco Uniforms, Foodcycle, Shopify and REEF Technology as well as AxleHire. The firms will voluntarily deploy and test zero-emission modes for last-mile delivery in Santa Monica’s downtown, Main Street and Ocean Park neighborhoods, LACI said. Tech providers include LACI startups Automotus, Maxwell Vehicles, Circuit and FreeWire as well as collaborations with Coco, Kiwibot, Tortoise, Rollo, Blue Systems, Fluid Truck, Motiv Power Systems, Nissan, ROUSH CleanTech and Lighting eMotors.
In Seattle, AxleHire is part of a group that includes the University of Washington’s Urban Freight Lab (UFL) along with Coaster Cycles, BrightDrop and REEF. The pilot is being conducted in collaboration with the Seattle Department of Transportation.
The Seattle Neighborhood Delivery Hub will allow companies to test zero-emissions vehicles and other technologies designed to create a greener delivery service. It is part of the city of Seattle’s strategy to reduce climate emissions related to goods delivery by 30% by 2030 as outlined in the city’s Transportation Electrification Blueprint.