PUDO: The Future of Pickup and Delivery Options


Host Daniel J. Litwin welcomed Dan O’Connor, Vice President of Pickup and Delivery Options at Position Imaging, to discuss pick up and drop off options in this ever-changing world where delivery means and methods are evolving to match the needs of society.

O’Connor is well versed in the delivery industry, having spent 30 years working for UPS doing, as he says, every job “but fly the plane.” After working in everything from engineering and marketing, O’Connor eventually moved into new product development. “I came across the pickup and delivery options program,” said O’Connor. There he helped develop pickup-delivery stop options in the United States, which had been popular in Europe for many years. In the industry, pickup and delivery options is dubbed PUDO.

“The carriers need to make it easy for people to access their network, and the best way to do that is to provide lots of pickup and drop off alternatives,” said O’Connor. The PUDO craze has extended to places like Kroger, too, which wants PUDO at their stores because it increases foot traffic and drives up revenue.

For other brick-and-mortar businesses that have closed some physical locations, PUDO also provides an opportunity for stores operating largely online. “Once you get the order, if you don’t have the network– the fleet of stores that you once had, then I think the PUDO network is a great alternative to bring you closer to your customer.”

This escalation toward third party deliveries initially saw a pause when the pandemic began and most people were home to receive their packages in person. “All indications are now are that things are back to normal,” said O’Connor. “The growth and use of pickup and delivery options is growing again steadily.”

O’Connor predicted that PUDO will increase further in the years to come, because major carriers like UPS and FedEx have increased their rates for residential deliveries. “By shifting… packages into the PUDO network, and creating commercial deliveries instead of residential delivers, the shippers can avoid a constraint on residential delivery times,” said O’Connor

Discussing what needs still exist within the industry, O’Connor said that he hoped it would move toward local consolidation of all carrier volumes for final mile delivery. Then after the packages reach a consolidation point, a smaller group of couriers could perform the final mile deliveries to the PUDO networks. “That would be my vision for the future.”

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