Australian supermarkets turning to couriers for grocery home deliveries

To meet pandemic grocery delivery demand, Australian supermarkets are increasingly turning to delivery startups for their grocery home deliveries.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Woolworths is using startups Drive Yello and Sherpa as well as existing companies Uber and 13 Cabs for grocery home deliveries across the country. Meanwhile supermarket rivals Coles is also trialling Drive Yello for its Richmond store in Sydney.

The spike in demand due to the pandemic led to both grocery chains shutting down their delivery operations, but both are now using the startups to double their delivery capacity. By the end of next year, Woolworths estimates that the grocery delivery market in Australia could be worth AUD $3bn by 2021.

Woolworths director of e-commerce Annette Karantonie said “Our ‘last mile’ partners play an important role complementing our existing network of 800 delivery trucks and allow us to respond quickly to changes in demand.”

Meanwhile a spokesperson for Coles told the newspaper, ”Subject to customer feedback on the trial, we will consider whether to offer similar services in other markets.”

Both supermarket chains are plugging in the startups’ services into their own businesses as a cheaper alternative to setting up the infrastructure for grocery home deliveries themselves.

Drive Yello founder and chief executive Steve Fanale said, “We are connecting businesses through couriers directly. As a consumer, you don’t know who Drive Yello is. You don’t order through us — you still order through the respected brands and we just connect them to the courier community.”