Last-mile big and bulky is having its moment in the sun

(Source: Parca)

“Big and bulky” freight – or “ugly” freight as it’s more commonly known – is the most challenging sector of the e-commerce residential delivery space, particularly into regional Australia. 

This profile of freight does not naturally fit existing parcel automation systems, so companies need specialised equipment and vehicles to perform these deliveries. The rise of the gig economy start-ups and the ‘Uberisation’ of small parcel deliveries do not address this sector. You can’t exactly deliver a mattress in a small sedan.  

When we established Parca Logistics in November 2022, we decided we would embrace these challenges. We have set up a delivery company specifically aimed at the big and bulky sector.

It filled the Parca team with confidence to read that the last-mile delivery market for big and bulky e-commerce items experienced a compounded annual growth rate of 18.2 per cent from 2017 to 2021. That was according to Armstrong & Associates, who also predicted the market would achieve annual growth of 11.8 per cent from 2022 to 2025. It’s an exciting time to join the fray! 

Parca has partnered with Hi Trans Express, a renowned Australian, family-owned freight company, which has given Parca a considerable advantage of leveraging Hi Trans’ expertise and dedicated regional network.

Companies without such a partnership can be burdened by extensive delivery times and cost pressures. It is not easy to transport big and bulky items across deserts and plains, so most businesses and couriers choose not to. 

With Hi-Trans in our corner, we gain access to a handful of strategically located warehouses around Australia from which we can expand our reach. These locations include Townsville and Broken Hill, as well as Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane. 

By getting closer to our customers’ customers, we cut last-mile delivery costs significantly. This is a vital part of our success, as such costs are known to make up 30 to 40 per cent of total transportation costs. 

This is especially true when you’re talking about big and bulky items which quickly fill delivery vehicles and force more trips to take place.

Big and bulky freight may be a niche but research shows one-third of Australian consumers have had big and bulky items delivered over the past six months. My experience tells me this trend is set to increase over the coming years. 

At Parca we have built a formidable team led by my business partner and Parca co-founder, Hoy Yen Hooper. Together, we have 80 years of experience in the Australian logistics sector and we’re confident that last-mile big and bulky delivery will continue to grow as e-commerce continues to grow. Since Covid, we have seen an increase in the size and weight of online purchases. Sports equipment, office supplies, homewares and furnishing retailers have experienced significant growth over the last two to three years. Yes, there is definitely a slowdown of online retail sales due to the current cost of living pressures but demand remains strong and will grow again as we come out of this slump.

If your business is looking for alternative freight solutions, give the team at Parca a call, we will be only too glad to help.