TRAVERSE CITY – Almost anything could be in the back of a Star Delivery Services van.
There could be parts for a broken cash register, shipments to or from local manufacturers, furniture purchased online or donated organs going from hospital-to-hospital. A driver has even delivered breast milk from a Traverse City woman to her infant with its grandparents out of town.
“It’s drop everything, get a driver on the road and make it happen,” said Debi Piette, owner of Star Delivery Solutions. “We’ve gone to Texas, Idaho, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, all over in our expedited realm. It’s fun, you never know.”
Star Delivery Solutions has drivers running messenger routes around Traverse City, expedited service for local companies shipping products around the country and a network of freight trucks that circulate northern Michigan. It also has a warehouse of spare parts for broken machinery.
The company links manufacturers, online retailers and customers.
Say a Traverse City customer orders a lamp from Amazon.com. Amazon and other big companies send large shipments of orders to a distribution service. That distribution service consolidates orders by region and ships one to its Michigan warehouse, where it’s consolidated again by region. The northwest Michigan shipment arrives at Star Delivery Solutions, where drivers deliver inventory to customers and the Post Office.
“When you’re on the Internet and you order something and they say ‘free shipping’ and it shows up in your mailbox, we’re the folks that deliver it to the Post Office who then delivers it to your mailbox,” Piette said.
Customers expecting cheap, fast delivery and constant updates are changing the way Star Delivery Solutions does business.
“It’s that constant updating,” Piette said. “You see more and more customers looking for that. There’s a bit of a challenge in keeping that information flow timely and responding to the end customers’ needs, getting shipments there quickly enough.”
Piette opened Star Delivery Solutions in 2006 after more than 20 years in the logistics and transportation industry.
“My goal was to create a company that did well; you certainly always want it to be profitable because with that comes longevity,” she said. “I wanted to create a place where people enjoyed coming to work, that they were excited to be here. I’ve always said if I could build that I would be successful.”