Doddle launches Runner parcel service

Doddle Runners AppDoddle has launched which it reckons 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.

The Doddle Runner service features 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 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.

Currently the service is available within the EC1-EC4 area of London, but it’s expected to roll 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.

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. The video shows their attempt to take on the tube, a Boris bike and a London bus by foot in the City’s congested streets to send a parcel at peak hour.

Where I see this service coming into it’s own is times such as when you realise you’ve forgotten a birthday or anniversary. You might have time to pop out at lunch time and buy a gift, but queuing at the Post Office will take too long. Book a Doddle runner and they’ll make sure your purchase is packed and off with a courier to be delivered on time.

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.