What is Crowdsourced Delivery?

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Two men loading a cargo van for a crowdsourced delivery

Small business owners want in on the best delivery methods, along with the best collaboration methods. What if there was a delivery method that works hand-in-hand with collaboration? That's exactly what crowdsourced delivery is!

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Crowdsourcing deliveries allows you to take a lot of bites really quickly. It saves time in tedious logistics coordination, and lets you deliver multiple large shipments at the same time with ease.

What is Crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing is a collaborative approach to business that involves the individual effort of a lot of people to complete a task. It’s popular amongst freelancers and small business owners. 

Crowdsourcing can get multiple insights and skills for a given project. As the saying goes, more hands make less work; crowdsourcing is a way to spread responsibility around to accomplish more tasks more efficiently. 

It’s important to note the difference between crowdsourcing and crowdfunding. Crowdfunding involves raising money to support a new business, organization, or charity. Simply put, crowdfunding is more focused on supporting a business through payment, while crowdsourcing involves supporting a business through work hours. 

crowdsourcing vs crowdfunding

What is Crowdsourced Delivery?

Crowdsourced delivery means that contracted drivers are hired to ship by a business. Over the past couple of years, crowdsourced delivery has gained popularity due to its convenience for customers and business owners. For many companies, the only requirement to deliver is to have a driver's license, a car, and a safe driving record. 

Many delivery companies have taken on crowdsourced delivery. Some of the best and most successful examples of crowdsourced delivery are third party food delivery companies such as Uber Eats and Postmates. Both of these companies hire drivers as independent contractors to deliver food across the country.

Related Article: Jobs Like Uber Eats: How to Earn Money While Driving 

The Benefits of Crowdsourced Delivery

It’s no surprise that crowdsourced delivery comes with a handful of advantages against other delivery methods. Small business owners that have to deliver a handful of different products to different places or are on a tight timeline can benefit from crowdsourced delivery. 

Community Work

One of the greatest benefits that comes with crowdsourced delivery is the pool of independent drivers across the US. Having number drivers you can count on makes for a guaranteed delivery. 

While you’re not necessarily guaranteed to get the same driver for every shipment, these independent drivers are generally thoroughly vetted. Companies that facilitate crowdsourced delivery care not only about a fast delivery, but the safety of everyone on the road. They only allow those with safe driving records and reliable equipment.

For small business owners, shipping and delivering can be tough to tackle. Open Road Shipping is a delivery marketplace that connects small businesses with hotshot truck drivers for less than truckload shipments. Our mission is to make shipping and delivery a lot easier for you and your business. Sign up today to book a shipment from our independent hotshot truck drivers. 


Another big advantage of having crowdsourced deliverers is the timeliness of delivery. It should come as no surprise that faster delivery is one of the most sought-after traits any shipping company can offer. With crowdsourced delivery, the job gets done a lot quicker because of a few different factors:

  • Driver availability
  • Driver independence
  • Vehicle accessibility

For industries such as construction and roofing, timing is everything. When contractors can’t get their supplies when they need them, they can’t finish the job, leading to unhappy customers. Being able to maintain a quoted timeline gives businesses the leg up on a competition.

Challenges of Crowdsourced Delivery

Even with all of the incredible conveniences that crowdsourced delivery has to offer, it still has a few shortcomings. While some of these challenges are quite difficult to work around, they can be overcome with a solid plan and patience.

Delivery Fee & Difficult Payment

The most prominent disadvantage that comes with crowdsourced delivery is the fees that can be tacked on. In cases such as food delivery, the crowdsourced drivers act as middle men, which can cause anyone ordering to pay extra. 

Luckily, Open Road is a B2B platform, so it doesn't have any hidden fees or subscriptions.

Crowdsourced delivery apps for consumers can also involve difficult payment methods and convoluted tipping requirements. Tips can take up a large percentage of a driver's income, but they put a lot of pressure on the consumer. Luckily, this isn’t an issue in B2B crowdsourced deliveries.

Driver Shortage

Depending on the area and demographics, it may be difficult to find qualified drivers. Either interest is low, or many people don’t have the right equipment. In metropolitan areas, where people get around on bikes frequently, small parcel couriers may be more common than LTL crowdsourced delivery that usually requires a pickup truck and trailer

benefits and challenges of crowdsourced delivery

How Does Crowdsourced Delivery Play a Part in Last Mile Delivery?

Business owners need to have a good understanding of the delivery logistics puzzle. There are three steps in any delivery process—the first, middle, and last mile. 

The first mile describes how the product is delivered from the manufacturer to the distribution center. The middle mile is how the product is delivered from the distribution center to the fulfillment center, and the last mile takes the product from the fulfillment center to the customer.

Related Article: Middle Mile Delivery Explained 

Crowdsourced delivery usually works with last-mile delivery. Getting a product or materials to its final destination is generally responsible for a customer’s satisfaction or disappointment. Utilizing  the speed and ease of crowdsourced delivery leads to more business and higher profits.

Related Article: Last Mile Logistics Explained

Crowdsourced Delivery at Open Road

Open Road Shipping provides simple and smart solutions to last-mile and middle-mile LTL delivery. We help multiple different industries deliver their products including construction, automotive, retail, and many more.

It’s easy to post jobs, track your shipment, and communicate with your driver. The crowdsourced drivers are thoroughly vetted and experienced shipping LTL cargo. Sign up today and get shipping on your schedule.

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