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GoPuff’s Growth Challenge: Grappling With Resident Complaints About Traffic

Photo: Art by Mike Sullivan

Driving around the Philadelphia neighborhood of Callowhill used to be a breeze—until goPuff came to town. Delivery cars now clog the streets around goPuff’s Callowhill distribution center, waiting to pick up their loads of Bud Light, Ben & Jerry’s and Cheetos—all for delivery to their customers who are mostly in their 20s and 30s. 

The traffic, which has so frayed the tempers of residents that it has even led to creation of a Twitter account cataloging complaints, has sparked concern in other areas where goPuff has set up operations, such as Chicago. In at least one instance in that city, resident opposition led to goPuff withdrawing an application for a liquor license, limiting what it can deliver. The reaction shows the challenges faced by the hyperlocal delivery service—which leases many warehouses located close to densely populated neighborhoods—as it launches in new markets.

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