Nearly every business depends on couriers in one way or another. From shipping goods to receiving stock, couriers are used for safely getting key items and goods to end recipients in a safe overall manner. This is big business and very much vital to the UK SME landscape too. It is also a massive part too for the UK economy. In the rising age of E-commerce and on-demand distribution anywhere, anytime, same-day deliveries have become the connecting force. Couriers have very much got busier as a result of this. More and more firms are, for example, now buying their goods on the likes of Ebay and Amazon. From there this is where and how couriers have come into their own.
Sameday couriers and delivery – here to change the way we shop
Same-day delivery has the potential to fundamentally change the way we shop. It integrates the convenience of online retail with the immediacy of bricks-and-mortar stores. In recent years an increasing number of companies have started piloting and operating new models of sameday delivery, including incumbent logistics providers such as DHL, DPD, FedEx, and UPS. Demand is expected to increase significantly given the compelling value proposition of same-day delivery for consumers.
The influence of online retail
Online retailers are expected to benefit from reduced delivery time. This is as almost immediate product access improves their position versus stationary retailers. It also makes the greater choice, higher convenience and often lower prices of online shopping even more appealing. Bricks-and-mortar retailers in turn have a unique opportunity to combine their existing local infrastructure with an e-commerce channel to offer same-day delivery on a broad scale. A multichannel approach could enable them to win back customers who are becoming increasingly focused on online shopping. This is a must for sameday couriers.
Three operating models have emerged to fulfill the logistics need. The first consists of incumbent parcel logistics providers with an additional delivery wave. Second, retailers can use broker platforms that provide access to existing courier capacity to offer instant or scheduled delivery. And third, large retailers maintain their own fleet to handle same-day deliveries. In the long run, parcel logistics providers will be able to operate at the lowest cost. This is all while offering integrated logistics solutions. They range from orders through fulfillment to delivery and return.
This is also a developing market too
As early as the dot.com era, start-ups such as Kozmo and Webvan identified same-day delivery as an opportunity, but failed to build a sustainable business model around it. The companies tried to integrate all steps along the value chain in-house. But they were unable to bring down their costs sufficiently due to lack of demand (and therefore scale). Today, the market for same-day delivery is moving toward the next stage of development. Following its pledge to be a truly customer-centric organization, Amazon, the largest online retailer in the world (USD 61 billion in revenues in 2012), is actively promoting same-day delivery, and has already introduced the service in several cities.
There are many other initiatives in the pilot phase. Only few of the players generate significant revenues from same-day delivery. But many same-day delivery promoters have successfully launched new pilots and companies over the last few years. Moreover, other important multichannel and online retailers such as Walmart and Alibaba have same-day delivery on their agenda. The main centers of development are e-commerce-savvy cities in both developed countries (such as San Francisco, New York, London, or Berlin) and less developed markets (e.g., Beijing or São Paulo).
The new role of new technologies
Similar to other evolutionary industrial developments (mobile phones, for example, or online banking), it seems reasonable to anticipate that same-day delivery will leapfrog day-definite last mile delivery and become the immediate standard for e-commerce in some emerging countries. Development on the supply side is driven by three groups of players. They are parcel logistics providers, brokers of courier capacity, and retailers themselves.
Parcel logistics have also had to evolve in a number of ways too
In catering to the needs of the growing B2C segment, parcel logistics companies are increasingly focusing on convenience features such as alternative pickup and delivery options (e.g., parcel locker-boxes), flexible delivery timing (i.e., scheduled delivery), and delivery speed (i.e., same-day delivery). These companies are the natural suppliers of B2C parcel delivery services. They derive their strength from last-mile delivery via a hub-and-spoke system with overnight sorting and fixed delivery routes. Their infrastructure and processes are optimised for next-day delivery, so one of the key challenges will be to enhance existing assets and capabilities. Parcel logistics providers struggle to offer same-day delivery. This is as it requires flexible intraday pickup and delivery with a maximum of one transition point.
As a service, this is a no brainer in no end of ways
Retailers get customer satisfaction and loyalty for using reliable same day delivery services. In a highly competitive era, same day delivery has taken the lead is moving towards the next stage of development. Same day delivery has proven to be a business gain for businesses as there is a significant need for same day delivery in most customer-centric organisations. Most same day courier services will collect and deliver your shipment within that very same day. Logistics company adopt a customised approach to provide their best services to their business partners and make same day delivery success in the business practice.
It is vital to hire in the best possible service provider
With the growing e-commerce industry, consumers consider having the choice for delivery options. Same day delivery benefits both the customer and retailer. It is a safe bet for companies, therefore in high demand for boosting operational productivity. Having the right logistic partner who can deliver those services in a timely manner is key for satisfactory customer service. It is essential to have a reputable same day delivery partner in a time of urgent delivery requirement. Various attributes like, cost, reliability, operational strength, and customer experience from the service provider are particularly important. This is all key in selecting the right partner.
A reliable service is a must
One of the main reasons a courier supplier may not be able to offer a consistently reliable service is because their fleet consists of a large number of inexperienced couriers who they will be paying just above or below minimum wage. Inexperienced couriers can’t find address, take longer to deliver their consignments, forget to collect PODs, don’t double check their pickup notes, don’t let reception know when they have arrived and so on. In short you really don’t want these couriers carrying your consignments, but they will be if your supplier is paying low rates to their staff.
Overall, what you need to know in detail
Almost all major courier companies require their drivers to enter the amount of time they spend waiting into their handheld computers, with the client signature being the verification that the amount of waiting time entered is accurate. It would be wrong of me to say some unscrupulous drivers may add on a couple of minutes’ waiting time. This is said to boost their earnings. But I can say with confidence that if this was happening it would be very unlikely you would be able to tell. This is significant because it is very likely that of all the surcharges you may be paying, waiting time is the largest.
With the best will in the world, you have no way of knowing that the person signing for the consignment has really scrutinised the additional charge or, in the case of consignments picked and delivered to your office from another location, is even aware that their signature was authorising a waiting time surcharge. To keep waiting time to a minimum, a customer should ask for video replays of randomly-selected jobs. Do this to see everything the driver did, including what time he arrived. Also to see how long he waited and what time he left and check the right waiting time has been recorded. Doing this on a regular basis can help waiting-time charges start to come down.