Idea: The Emergency Detroit Area Shopping and Delivery Service

Alright folks. So there’s big problems afoot with COVID-19 which means it’s idea time. Avoiding big events and washing your hands will slow things down but not prevent them.

There are going to be a LOT of people (seniors, remote workers, immunocompromised people) who won’t be able to get the supplies they need. Food, medicine, cleaning supplies, household stuff – basically everything.

I actually don’t think that Amazon + food delivery startups are going to be able to deal with the increased volume. There is just not enough delivery drivers and vehicles in the country to deal with everyone being at home all at the same time.

Plus, if you’re on a fixed income you can’t afford the huge markup of home delivery services. They add big fees to the order plus markup the items they’re selling because delivery is expensive to provide.

So what I’m considering is somehow running regular routes with our existing fleet buses and drivers to deliver stuff that people would order at the same price as it would be in stores.

I don’t know exactly how this would work or who would fund it. Obviously I would like to provide the service at-cost for people who are basically trapped in their homes.

We could pick stuff up at local stores and supermarkets. Bulk stores. Do different neighborhoods in the Detroit metro area twice per week – especially large apartment buildings and senior centers.

I believe we would need to solicit donations from people to subsidize the service. We’ll try for government emergency support funds but I don’t think that will come soon enough – if at all. We’ve done this kind of work a lot of times in the past and always deliver on our promises.

We would need to disinfect all of the packages coming in just to be sure we’re not delivering problems. I don’t think that is that hard and something we can manage with a proven process.

The buses would be like big delivery trucks making regular rounds. Probably with a driver and a handler in gloves and a mask.

It sounds like a totally crazy thing to organize last minute but we’re good at this kind of thing. This operational work is what we do.

What do you think?