We caught up with Stuart, a B2B delivery platform and on-demand logistics solution, who operate in 5 major capitals across Europe: Paris, London, Madrid, Lyon and Barcelona, as well as 28 cities across the UK, including Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Bristol and Newcastle. Launching our last-mile collaboration at an exclusive retail breakfast event in September this year, we are now offering a bespoke 'Hub-to-Home' solution featuring Parcelly 'City hubs' to serve as an intermediate for Cross-docking and Hyper-local Warehousing solutions.
Thought it was about time to ask a few questions and dig a little deeper on what Stuart is all about...
1. Can you tell us a bit more about when Stuart was founded, how the idea came to life and what problem in last-mile logistics you set out to fix?
Stuart was founded in 2015, with the aim to revolutionise how goods are transported within major urban areas. It was founded by two Frenchmen, who were running a marketplace platform called Resto-In on the continent. They quickly realised that the only way to help take away the headaches of delivery, which restaurants and retailers both faced, was by building an outsourced, white-labelled delivery model. And so Stuart was born! The predictive algorithms that the team created helped innovate last mile logistics, disrupting the delivery landscape - and in 2017 we were acquired by the Groupe La Poste.
Unlike many other delivery services that have a marketplace set up, Stuart’s platform enables and empowers businesses across all verticals. This means that businesses own their end customers and Stuart allows them to offer the fastest and most flexible options at check-out and an excellent delivery experience - an advantage for the business itself and their end-customer.
We aim to exceed customer expectations by being one step ahead of what end-consumers want and what the businesses need to satisfy these demands.
2. What inspired you to tackle last-mile logistics with a green, environmentally sustainable approach?
Last mile logistics is moulded around the ever-changing cityscape. The large urban areas we operate in, like London, Paris and Barcelona, are key players in driving awareness in the sustainability sector. We wanted to do our part in boosting this incredibly important approach.
We work closely with governments, who are trying to reduce CO2 emissions in urban areas and are very proud of our green fleet: 60% of all job completed are environmentally friendly. We believe that the last mile, as an innovation-driven field, will play a crucial role in making deliveries more efficient and help draw attention to the importance of sustainable-first approaches. With cities like Paris considering banning motorised vehicles from city centres, and London implementing the Ultra Low Emission Zone in 2019, delivery players like Stuart will shape more sustainable last-mile solutions for urban centres.
Stuart's recently launched OOH campaign in London
3. With now over 150 Stuart employees in 40 cities across 3 countries, what are your plans for the future?
It’s been a very exciting few years for us, and we have tripled the size of our business in the UK over the last 3 months! Our plan is to continue to scale across verticals and to continue to add more and more exciting products to our tech platform. As disruptors we want to stay ahead of the curve, so we will continue to work hard to keep that up!
The model that we have is scalable across Europe, so watch this space for where we go next ;-)
4. From your experience, how has the ‘on-demand’ trend developed in these 3 countries and what are the biggest challenges?
The on-demand trend has revolutionised the way in which customers shop and their expectations around delivery across Europe. End-customers expect fast and flexible deliveries across the board, with 79% of shoppers ready to switch from their favourite high street retailer if they didn’t offer their preferred delivery method.
The biggest challenge therefore is to stay one step ahead of the needs of businesses to help them retain and grow their customer base, by offering the best possible options at checkout. Our goal is to solve the challenges that they face: exact delivery times for end customers, same day delivery propositions, instant return slots, just to name a few.
The most exciting facet of the on-demand space is that it pushes retailers and tech platforms like ours to rethink and reinvent delivery options, increasing creativity and flexibility in the space. Think hub deliveries, instant returns, dispatch on demand and in-flight changes: and that’s just the beginning of the product offering that we’ve developed to keep up with the changing consumer demands.
5. In September this year we held a breakfast event together introducing our new Cross-Docking solution and showcasing how to make urban logistics more efficient. How do you see this trend progress in the future?
With urban spaces evolving at such a high speed - which, for us is incredibly exciting - we realised that we needed to adapt not only in terms of transport methods and delivery technology, but also in the reinvention of inner city DCs. Luckily, we came across Parcelly and your innovative approach for city warehouses. By combining our areas of expertise, we can deliver from hub to home within urban centres, restock stores during peak seasons, and help ship out trending SKUs in under 60 minutes.
This trend, which is one that we want to see grow across the industry, is that of collaboration. By combining economies of specialisation, each part can focus on what they do best and provide the business with the best possible service. Companies like Parcelly and Stuart complement each other, and our collaboration helps make urban logistics more efficient, and by consequence, more sustainable.
6. As you are scaling in the UK at the moment, how do you manage to grow and train your couriers so quickly?
The independent courier community at Stuart is a core part of our identity. The couriers - which are called Stuwies - are the lifeblood of our delivery machine. They turn our tech into physical success! They are a tight-knit community of drivers and are proud proponents of Stuart - check out our Instagram [@stuart_delivery] to see them in action!
We have a large (and growing!) fleet across the UK, with hundreds being onboarded every week, and the standard of our couriers is very high. We want our partners to be proud of the customer care that their end-consumers get when coming face to face with a Stuwie. This is why we have a very rigorous onboarding process, making our fleet best in class. We mix virtual and in-person onboarding stages, so that even in high growth periods, we can onboard efficiently, without losing the personal touch.
A big THANK YOU to Stuart from the team at Parcelly for answering our questions, and we can't wait to further shape the future of urban logistics together...! #parcellove