Walmart trials new low cost delivery service

US retail giant Walmart has launched a new low cost last mile delivery pilot called Spark Delivery. This is a crowd sourced delivery platform providing independent drivers with the ability to sign up for windows of time to work with Walmart that work best with their schedule. This is not unlike the system used by Uber.

The Spark Delivery platform as powered by Bringg, a delivery logistics technology platform. Under the scheme being tested, a team of personal shoppers will shop for customers’ orders. The platform will engage the services of the independent drivers. The drivers already work with Delivery Drivers Inc, a company that specialises in last mile contractor management.

Greg Foran, president and CEO of Walmart US, said: “We’re saving customers time by leveraging new technology, and connecting all the parts of our business into a single seamless shopping experience: great stores, easy pickup, fast delivery, and apps and websites that are simple to use. We’re serving our customers in ways that no one else can. Using our size and scale, we’re bringing the best of Walmart to customers across the country. Spark Delivery is one way we’re exploring how to get quality groceries from our door to our customers’ doors.”

Spark Delivery is currently being piloted in Nashville and New Orleans with plans to roll out to a few more metro areas this year.

This is not the first delivery pilot that Walmart has run – a system where Walmart staff took overtime to deliver parcels to customers was tried last year and ultimately failed in its objectives. This seems to be another scheme where Walmart is trying to squeeze the price of final mile delivery. It remains to be seen whether this works.