Before the world shut down from COVID-19, the delivery industry was already booming. In any industry when something takes off rather quickly, it brings new challenges and changes at a rapid pace – often leaving companies struggling to keep up. With new variants of COVID happening, many companies are still trying to understand how to pivot into this new era and how to make delivery a standard operation for their book of business. The gig economy has grown to over 6 million workers in the past decade. With more Generation Z entering the workforce, gig platforms and freelance work are appealing to their lifestyle. Here are some trends we can expect to see in 2022 and beyond:
Technology is front and center in the delivery space. Companies in the transportation space, especially in last-mile delivery, are increasing their spend in technological developments around human behavior. With the increased use of smartphones, companies will be able to start tracking human behavior which will in return guide the user on what to purchase or extras to add to their cart. This will lead into data driven driver recruitment, drivers will be able to upload stats on their driver performance, share their profile to show MVRs and Background Checks and real-time feed from driver cams.
Not only will driver recruiting get smarter, but Drone Delivery will become a popular option. With more COVID cases coming into play, contactless delivery has become standardized. According to Commercial Drones in 2022 more than 12,000 fully autonomous drones will be shipped this year to the US. In 2016 the drone industry was evaluated at $1.3 billion, leading into 2022 it is estimated to reach $15 billion.
Lastly, Electric Vehicles will get their time to shine. With same day delivery and micro fulfillment becoming the new norm, electric vehicles will help gig workers cut out the rising gas prices that standard vehicles require. Gig workers look for ways to cut down on overhead, like gas prices, to keep their expenses down.
Worker Classification continues to be a polarizing issue across US politics, with many States seeking to make it more difficult for companies to classify workers as independent contractors, while some States, like West Virginia are easing the burden on businesses. In 2021, 27 States proposed new legislation to adjust regulations around 1099 work and workers. Anticipate more of the same in 2022.
Safety boards and independent contractors are pushing the importance of driver safety. While this has always been a priority for DDI, bigger companies like Uber or Lyft are updating their safety standards to attract independent contractors who didn’t feel protected before. Many apps will focus on driver safety like, automatically connecting to emergency dispatch if in a dangerous situation or companies mandating that drivers use real-time dash cam apps to track every delivery to mitigate risk while on a job. These safety tools are being created to help drivers in everyday situations.
This industry is on the move ~ literally. Mile to mile it’s changing. Micro fulfillment is here and so is the “have it in 2 hours or less” expectation. With compact fulfillment centers popping up, we will start to see brick-and-mortar stores use their facilities as pick-up points. This will lead to the increasing evolution of retail delivery. According to EY FCI, 28% of US consumers still said they were shopping online more than before the pandemic. Retailers are going to have to rethink their relationship with workers and partnerships with other retailers.
With delivery becoming a way of life, so is CryptoCurrency and digital assets. We are already seeing strategic partnerships with delivery companies and digital asset platforms who allow the payment of digital assets from their consumers and payouts to their workers.
Partnership & Beyond
2022 is a very exciting time to be in the delivery industry. More than ever this industry is focused on the workers and technology itself. At Delivery Driver’s, Inc. we are here to help companies navigate through the evolving changes. Let us help build, support and grow your business into the future of last-mile delivery.