Walmart Inc.’s delivery business has contracted with a company called SmartKargo that will coordinate the pickup of goods sent by air for next-day and two-day deliveries.
The Bentonville-based retailer’s Walmart GoLocal business handles the last-mile delivery of packages from an e-commerce company or retailer.
SmartKargo, a software company, acts as a sort of go-between for the airline the goods are shipped on and Walmart GoLocal.
When a plane arrives with the items to be delivered, SmartKargo alerts GoLocal and designates a particular area where the delivery driver can pick them up. The driver then makes that final leg of delivery to the customer.
SmartKargo said that using air transportation for the middle mile lets retailers increase margins and meet customer expectations for rapid delivery.
The companies’ partnership creates “an opportunity to accelerate how retailers and e-commerce companies get inventory from their fulfillment centers to customers’ doorsteps,” said Eliza Wendel, senior director and head of sales and business development at Walmart GoLocal.