UPS’ dive into the last mile is getting deeper, with the delivery giant announcing it has acquired Delivery Solutions, a software-as-a-service delivery orchestration platform.
“Delivery Solutions’ leading technology helps merchants offer their customers more flexibility and an engaging online purchasing experience as they increasingly look for an experience-driven omnichannel strategy,” UPS said in a statement published on its Customer First story page.
Based in Plano, Texas, Delivery Solutions’ SaaS platform enables smoother logistics experiences in same-day delivery, curbside pickup, in-store pickup, shipping and post-purchase transactions. Shippers and retailers using Delivery Solutions’ technology are connected to an ecosystem of same-day delivery providers.
UPS (NYSE: UPS) said the current Delivery Solutions team will remain in place and the company will continue to operate independently and under the same name.
This is not the first acquisition for UPS in the last-mile delivery space. In September 2021, Big Brown acquired Roadie, an “on-the-way” delivery platform that leverages a gig economy workforce. Like the Delivery Solutions deal, Roadie continues to operate as a separate entity but benefits from the UPS ecosystem.
In June 2021, UPS CEO Carol B. Tomé said the company was considering the launch of a same-day delivery service, suggesting it may go outside its network.
“We don’t have this all the way figured out, but we have a team of people looking at it,” she said at the time. “There’s an opportunity there that’s very different [from what] we’ve done in the past.”
With the Roadie deal and now Delivery Solutions, UPS is making that expansion a reality.
Nate Skiver, a parcel and e-commerce delivery consultant, wrote on LinkedIn that the push to acquire companies in this space leads to more questions.
“Granted Roadie (announced September 2021) and Delivery Solutions are different solutions, but one has to wonder why both were acquired,” he wrote. “Apparently, UPS sees the need to diversify their service offering beyond their much beloved ‘end-to-end delivery network.’”
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Skiver went on to note the additional capabilities of Delivery Solutions, including the ability to support buy-online, pickup-in-store and other omnichannel solutions for retailers.
“I’m not quite sure if UPS is only collecting data at this point, or if they’re actually building something,” Skiver asked.
UPS also owns Ware2Go, an on-demand warehousing and fulfillment network.
Skiver said the purchases could be part of a bigger picture effort by UPS to improve its overall service offerings.
“This is kind of a stretch, but by offering omnichannel solutions, in addition to same-day delivery, UPS enterprise retail customers don’t have to go elsewhere for these needs,” he wrote. “It also provides UPS with a better understanding of retail customers’ inventory and order data.”