According to Court Carruthers, vice president of Business Development for Veredex, same-day carriers include everything from documents moving with bicycle and car messengers to full trailer loads.
“The same-day delivery market is even more fragmented than the trucking market. It is very local, but the users of these services tend to be multinational companies, high-tech companies, professionals and financial services companies,” he said.
Large corporations using same-day service can deal with up to 200 separate couriers, with 200 individual invoices. “It's an inefficient process,” said Carruthers.
Here's where Veredex comes in.
According to Carruthers, Veredex offers three modules at its home page. All three also have their own indentities on the Web.
* United Couriers (www.unitedcouriers.com) claims to be the world's largest network of same-day couriers, with more than 1,000 companies representing more than 15,000 vehicles. Couriers are invited to join for free to gain business through the network and other benefits. According to Carruthers, members maintain their relationships and name recognition with current customers.
* Hotship (www.hotship.com) provides an online marketplace for the services of United Couriers members. At Hotship, customers compare courier prices and quality based on a number of parameters.
* Virtual Dispatch (www.virtualdispatch.com) offers software that member couriers use to enhance efficiency and supply customers with tracking and tracing information among other things. Virtual Dispatch provides the software as an ASP (Application Service Provider). Member couriers pay only for use; they need not purchase or maintain the software.
Shippers pay for Veredex's other services, Carruthers explained. “When the shipper sees the matrix of all the carriers and all the pricing, they see a fully marked up, fully loaded cost. They are getting a significantly better administrative savings to justify the markup,” he said.
Carruthers said that Hotship customers enjoy all the benefits of working with UPS or Fedex. “You can ship, you can track, you can get quotes and you can store address information,” he said. “We send advance shipment notifications by e-mail and e-mail proof of delivery back to the shipper.” For the time being, however, proof-of-delivery does not include signature images.
Like Fedex and UPS, Veredex has its eye on Internet commerce.
“Over time, more and more transactions are going to happen in electronic format. We really don't see shipping as a transaction on its own. We see it as part of a larger transaction,” said Carruthers.
So Veredex is negotiating relationships with other Internet entities. “You will start to see press releases in the next few weeks covering exactly those types of deals,” said Carruthers.