Keep On Shippin'

Same-Day Service

Is it outlandish to think you can get your product to a customer's doorstep in 24 hours or less? Not in today's high-tech world. Many small businesses have already started experimenting with same-day delivery. in Los Angeles, California, is one such business. It offers same-day delivery service to retailers who stock their merchandise in's fulfillment centers. Currently, can fulfill orders placed no later than 2 p.m. by 8 p.m. in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco (Atlanta, Dallas and Seattle to come). But expect to pay for the convenience: Delivery charges average about $10 per order.

To date, has been used mostly by large companies that can support inventory in multiple centers. But as e-commerce customers get used to having their purchases delivered in a single day, more entrepreneurial businesses should become interested.

"The e-commerce consumer, who is used to working with a very interactive and quick process on the front-end, isn't going to want to wait five to seven days," says Andrew Krainin,'s senior vice president of marketing. "[The traditional] model doesn't really meet the needs of people buying online."

Comparison Shopping

It pays to shop around.

Art Avery, a principal consultant at Avery & Associates, an e-commerce distribution and logistics consulting firm in Allentown, Pennsylvania, says the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) provides the most affordable delivery options compared to other carriers. Here, he compares how much it would cost to ship a 3-pound package from Allentown, Pennsylvania, to Norcross, Georgia:


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Melissa Campanelli is a technology writer in Brooklyn, New York, who has covered technology for Mobile Computing & Communications and Sales & Marketing Management magazines. You can reach her at

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This article was originally published in the June 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Keep On Shippin'.

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