The same-day delivery industry is experiencing positive growth in both revenue and profitability, according to a survey released by the industry’s largest trade group, the Customized Logistics and Delivery Association (formerly the Messenger Courier Association of America - MCAA). The CLDA’s latest survey of its members contained some very optimistic numbers for those in the supply chain industry. “Fifty-eight percent of our members told us that their revenue was either much better or better today than it was in 2011,” said Rob Johnstone, CLDA’s president. The group also released an infographic that summarizes the results. 

Those in the same-day delivery industry are playing an escalating role in the dramatic changes in distribution for the retail industry. “Today’s retailers want to respond quickly to changing consumer demands while at the same time keeping their inventory costs low,” points out Johnstone. “Many have the expectation that they can order inventory at the close of business and have it on-hand when they open the next day. Our industry makes that happen. Over 60 percent of our survey respondents (63.2 percent) say they cater to this market. Interestingly, none of our members cited this as an industry they supported in 2010. That’s a dramatic change,” he says. Other industry segments served by these customized delivery companies include: banking, pharmaceutical, medical (a six percent increase since 2010); third party logistics providers (a five percent increase); government and high-tech.

According to the survey, members rely heavily on independent contractors for their continued profitability. Over half (56 percent) use independent contractors to maintain the level of flexibility they need to respond to customer needs. Only ten percent rely solely on employee drivers, while over one-third (39 percent) rely on a combination of independent contractors. “Success for those of us in this industry is heavily reliant on the ability to say yes to our customers, no matter what or when they ask. Over 90 percent (93.2 percent) of our members told us that on-demand deliveries are a critical part of their business. The use of independent contractors makes that possible,” Johnstone says.

While on-demand services were a key part of this industry sector, the survey also revealed a wider array of services delivered by CLDA members. These included: scheduled and routed work; warehousing; distribution; next-day and overnight deliveries and last mile distribution (which increased six percent since the association’s last survey in 2010). 

The survey paints a picture an industry’s dominated by smaller companies (over 45 percent of the respondents had yearly sales of $1 million to $5 million) with deep histories - 57 percent have- been in business over 20 or more years. Despite their small size, most (60 percent) have developed the capacity to deliver nationally and regionally by making use of a network of agents. Forty-eight percent consider themselves politically active and they leverage their voices through membership in both CLDA on a national level and state courier associations on a local level.

“This survey paints a picture of an industry that is made up of companies that have strength, flexible and longevity on their side. It showcases the critical role these small businesses continue to play in the evolution of the supply chain, both locally and globally,” concludes Johnstone.

For more information and the complete results of the Industry Survey, go to

About the Customized Logistics and Delivery Association
The CLDA is the voice of the customized logistics and delivery industry, representing those who keep the wheels of commerce rolling in North America. CLDA (formerly MCAA) is the largest trade association in the industry providing time-critical and last-mile deliveries. Since 1987, the association has promoted and advanced the professionalism of the customized logistics and delivery industry through networking, education and advocacy. For more information see 

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