In the race for the fastest delivery, Mercado Libre launches app for autonomous couriers

The app connects delivery drivers to the e-commerce platform and expands the company's last-mile logistics network for deliveries within cities

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Latin America‘s e-commerce giant Mercado Libre launched on Monday (8) an app called Mercado Envios Extra, which connects self-employed couriers to the e-commerce platform, similarly to what delivery apps like iFood and Rappi already do. With this, Mercado Libre expands the speed and capillarity of its deliveries, increasing its base of partner couriers for deliveries over shorter distances, within cities.

This new investment in infrastructure and logistics technology comes at a time of tough competition among the big e-commerce players for the fastest delivery. In this race, those with more capillarity come out ahead. With the new app, Mercado Libre intends to add a contingent of a few thousand motorcyclists to its delivery network, which already counts on more than 100 partner carriers and a fleet of about 10,000 vans, besides trucks, airplanes, and electric cars.

READ ALSO: LatAm e-commerce giant Mercado Libre revenue soars on pandemic-led boom

For now, the app developed in-house is available for free for Android phones and operates in twelve cities: São Paulo, Barueri, Guarulhos, São José dos Campos, Campinas, Limeira, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba, Florianópolis, Porto Alegre, Recife, and Salvador. The company plans gradually to expand it to the whole country.

To make deliveries through Mercado Libre‘s new app, the motorcyclist needs to meet some requirements, such as having registration for deliveries, owning a motorcycle no older than 15 years, and a valid driver’s license.

READ ALSO: Mercado Libre debuts same-day deliveries in Brazilian cities

In the app, the courier will be able to define his deliveries, identify the pick-up locations, and notify the owner of the merchandise that he is on his way with the pack. The partner drivers will receive an average of BRL 80 per two-hour route. They will be paid weekly through Mercado Pago’s digital account.

According to Gustavo Pompeo, director of logistics at Mercado Libre in Brazil, the new logistics solution meets the company’s strategy of offering the fastest delivery in the country. Mercado Libre currently makes 90% of its deliveries within 48 hours, out of that, 75% are made within 24 hours.

READ ALSO: Mercado Libre offers outsourced delivery jobs in Mexico

The executive also points out that the replicability of the app is very simple, allowing the service to be available nationwide soon. Besides Brazil, where it already has 4,800 active users who have made more than 100,000 deliveries during the trial period in São Paulo city, Mercado Envios Extra has also been operating in Mexico for three months.

“We believe that in Brazil the app will also be very well accepted, especially given the current economic scenario, in which the population is looking for new ways to generate income,” said Pompeo.

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