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01 Aug 2021

The Essentials of Same-Day Delivery in the GCC

It’s a sign of the pandemic times: Consumers in 2021 expect—not hope—to receive deliveries on the very same day that they place their orders. This is the conclusion of a host of market research studies into how Coronavirus has impacted ecommerce internationally.

Even more significant for last-mile delivery services, a growing number of Millenials expect their goods to arrive on their doorsteps within one-to-three hours of their clicking the ‘add to cart’ button and proceeding to payment—and they are ready to fork out extra cash to have their ‘need-it-now’ demands met.

The studies conclude that the reason same day delivery is becoming so popular is because it meshes the convenience of online purchasing with the immediacy of in-store shopping.

The Origins of Same Day Delivery

US retailer Kosmo.com is credited with launching the first same day delivery service in 1998, even making their local customers a bold ‘dispatch-within-the-hour’ pledge. The company went into liquidation because it did not specify a minimum order and deliveries were often costing more than the value of the purchased products (customers were ordering small items like ice creams, for example).

Amazon then took up the challenge of how to deliver orders quickly without going broke, launching a same day delivery service of select items in seven US cities in 2009. Today it offers its Prime members in most major urban centers same day delivery on thousands of items.

Up until 2019, next day delivery marked the cutting edge of last-mile logistics. Since then, though, changing consumer expectations and the Covid-19 pandemic have pushed same day delivery to the forefront.

In urban centers, if it can’t be “same-day” it will be “no-day”. Consumers will simply defect to retail competitors with the ability to offer delivery on the day of purchase.

The Statistics Say it All

Market researchers and economists have unearthed the following statistics, applicable for 2021:

● Same-day delivery is offered by 51% of retailers internationally

● Almost half of the shoppers surveyed said they would do more online shopping if offered same-day delivery

● 61% of shoppers are willing to pay extra for same-day delivery

● Same-day delivery is favored by 80% of shoppers

● Delivery within 1-3 hours of placing an order is favored by 61% of shoppers

● The GCC ecommerce market, boosted by increased demand for same-day delivery, is growing at an annual rate of 7.2%. It is predicted to reach USD 23.7 bn by 2022 and a whopping USD 50 bn by 2025.

● The US same-day delivery market is expected to have grown by USD 9.73 bn in 2024 at an annual rate of 22%.

Same-Day Delivery in the Gulf States

In general, last-mile services in the GCC states do not operate on a Friday, which precludes same-day delivery orders on a Friday and next day delivery orders on a Thursday. On other days, orders must typically be placed before 12 noon for same-day delivery and 8 pm for next-day delivery.

The majority of merchants offer delivery options at the online checkout. Some merchants’ offerings are limited to next-day or 2-3-day delivery only.

A few companies based in Dubai do offer 24/7 delivery facilities in the UAE all year round. However, they charge a premium rate for after-hours delivery.

Shipa Delivery’s Services

As last-mile delivery specialists, Shipa Delivery offers the following services in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait on every day of the week except Fridays:

● Same-day delivery

● Next-day delivery

● Grocery and pharma delivery within the hour

● Standard delivery between 8 am and 11 pm

● Customized last-mile delivery service

The Greater the Speed, the Greater the Cost

It stands to reason that the quicker a customer wants an item delivered, the greater will be the cost. Fees vary, depending on the city.

While Shipa Delivery is constantly expanding its services, it does not yet offer hyper-fast deliveries in all cities, or in all emirates. Same-day delivery is offered in Dubai as well as other cities indicated in the table below. The table also shows the relevant surcharges for same-day and next-day delivery:

Next-Day/Same-Day Delivery UAE

LocationDelivery TimescaleCut-off TimeCost (less than 25 deliveries a day)Extra charge
DubaiSame Day12 noonAED 35 5% VAT
Next Day8pmAED 255% VAT
Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, AjmanSame Day12 noonAED 455% VAT
Next Day8 pmAED 305% VAT
Other EmiratesNext Day8 pmAED 355% VAT
Remote AreasWeekly Scheduled8 pmAED 505% VAT

Next-day/Same-Day Delivery KSA

LocationDelivery TimescaleCut-off TimeCost (less than 25 deliveries a day)Extra charge
Riyadh, Jeddah, DammamSame Day10 am24 SAR

COD -- 4 SAR

Next Day4 pm20 SAR

COD -- 4 SAR

Other main citiesNext Day4 pm23 SAR

COD -- 4 SAR

Remote areasNext Day4 pm25 SAR

COD -- 4 SAR

Next-Day/Same-Day Delivery Kuwait

LocationDelivery TimescaleCut-off TimeCost (less than 25 deliveries a day)
All areasSame Day1 pmKWD 2500 (incl COD charges)
All areasNext Day6 pmKWD 2.000 (incl COD charges)

The Future: Rapid Delivery

Need some eggs right away but don’t want to leave the house because you are busy with the kids? Download an app and you will have a dozen eggs delivered to your door in less than 15 minutes.

Known as “rapid/instant delivery”, such grocery-delivery ventures are springing up all over the world to cater to convenience shoppers—those who are driven by a sense of immediacy and are willing to pay the price.

The ‘Dark Store’ Model

Bearing names like Getir, Dija, Weezy, Zapp, Beelivery, and Gorillas, these on-demand delivery services are attracting billions of dollars in venture capital.

Typically, they establish small fulfillment centers, known as ‘dark stores’, in neighborhoods across major cities to cut down on delivery times.

These grocery apps typically only offer a selection of popular items that customers are likely to want immediately. Niche items remain the preserve of more traditional forms of last-mile delivery.

Why are these start-ups stirring interest from Silicon Valley? Quite simply, because investors are betting big that customers who acquired a taste for online shopping during the pandemic won’t return to brick-and-mortar stores in the same numbers as in pre-pandemic times.

The reasoning is that once customers start using the Internet to do something more efficiently than they were doing in the past, they seldom go back to the old ways.

Rapid delivery enterprises have yet to make an impact in the GCC but with the region’s ecommerce sector expected to balloon to $50 billion (USD) by 2025, there’s no doubt that forward-thinking logistics providers are already eyeing this new niche—and a share of the spoils.

Need your Parcels Delivered Safely, Securely, and Speedily?

Shipa Delivery’s services are many, varied, and ultra-fast. We are creative and can usually cater to all the logistics needs of your enterprise and its customers.

Contact us today for information about how we can deliver your packages efficiently and rapidly—whether it’s within the hour, within three hours, same day, next day, within 2-3 days, or within a week.