Delivery service, Doddle, unleashes squad of runners to collect parcels from consumers’ desks

Doddle, the purple network of parcel stores, launches a new service today, which it believes is the simplest way to send items anywhere in the UK. Unlike many of the innovations in the parcel sector, it doesn’t use drones or robots; the service is simply based on people power.

Doddle Runner is a new service featuring specially trained Runners who will come and collect parcels from you so there’s no need to leave your desk, home or even the café you’re sat in to send a parcel. In a few taps of the app, one of Doddle’s Runners will come to you wherever you are within EC1-EC4, in under an hour to collect your parcel. Once handed over, Doddle will wrap, post and track the parcel, sending it to your chosen destination via a best price next day delivery service.  The launch of Doddle Runner negates the need to ever queue to send a parcel again.

Snap and send: the Doddle Runner app

The Doddle Runner app enables consumers to take a picture of what they want to send or return, then pop in the delivery address or select which retailer they want to return it to. The service is available via the new Doddle Runner app which is now available for iOS devices via the App Store, with an Android version due to launch later this year.

The service is currently available in the City of London (EC1-4) and will be rolled out across the capital over the coming months. To launch Runner, Doddle has recruited a team of five Runners with plans to recruit a further seven over the coming weeks. The company was founded in 2014 and is a joint venture between Lloyd Dorfman and Network Rail. It now employs more than 300 people and has 35 purple stores across the UK.

Runners race the rush hour

As part of the training for the Runners, James Heptonstall and Noel Carroll, the team behind the Epic Challenges series of races including Race The Tube and Race The Subway, have been coaching the new recruits. To put their running-with-parcels and crowd weaving skills to the test, Doddle challenged Epic Challenges to Race The Rush Hour for the first time.

Tim Robinson, Doddle CEO, said: “We’ve all had those moments when we realise we need to get a parcel to someone for the next day, but we’re short on time to send it, or we’re running out of time to return something bought online that we don’t want.

“Doddle Runner solves this problem by coming to you and getting your parcels to where they need to be. We’ll do the running around so you don’t have to. In designing Doddle Runner we wanted to create a service that we would like to use as customers, no hassle and no worries.”

Doddle Runners can collect up to five parcels weighing up to 16kg each, with maximum combined dimensions of 150cm (longest side can be 60cm). The service costs just £5 plus postage and the Doddle Runner app will provide a price estimate on the postage cost before the parcel is collected.