Courier industry growth is a hot topic at the moment with constant news of new technology innovations that are due to improve the various delivery methods in the near future. Courier and postal companies have remained surprisingly calm and have adapted to increasing customer requirements by providing flexible, on demand services. With heightened competition, it’s more important than ever for couriers to keep up to date with what customers are expecting if they want to successfully meet their demands.
We’ve chosen 4 key courier industry trends to keep a close eye on this year:
▹ Own-brand delivery service
Courier companies need to be prepared for the possibility of large retailers following Amazon in building their own delivery service. Companies growing at a rapid rate may feel their courier partners might struggle to keep up with increasing capacity demand and as a result they are constantly seeking new ways to improve their customer delivery service. However, couriers, fear not, while Amazon have been moving towards their own delivery, they ensured their partners mustn’t worry, the added service is only there to accompany the couriers existing work, especially during peak times.
▹ Same day delivery
If your courier company has avoided providing same day delivery until now, that may all be about to change. The majority of large retailers and couriers now offer same day delivery and it’s soon to become an expected service rather than a luxury. Retailers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of offering convenient online shopping with instant delivery of ordered goods to your front door. Couriers have to be able to adapt to provide this immediate service or face the risk of losing business.
▹ Drone deliveries
There has been talk of drone deliveries for some time, but the testing process has heightened recently and it’s definitely worth looking out for further developments in 2017. The fascination with drones lies in their ability to transport small items to various locations, avoiding traffic, workforce costs and potential strikes. So, what’s the most they can carry? At the moment, they can carry a small box containing items of up to a couple of kilos, however Amazon have pledged their hopes of building drones with the ability to transport goods of up to 25kg! Their ultimate goal is to achieve a 30-minute delivery time, i.e. for parcels to arrive with customers only 30 minutes after they place their online order!
However, while the move towards drones are progressing steadily, there are multiple regulations and technology hurdles still to overcome. Perhaps 2017 will be the year these challenges will be met?
▹ Automated parcel terminals
First launched in 2014 by Swiss Post, automated parcel terminals are tipped to be one of the delivery devices of the future.
Keeping breast of ever-changing customer needs, automated parcel terminals will enable customers to collect, hand in or return parcels around the clock, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As well as collecting parcels, customers will be able to hand in parcels and return mail order deliveries easily and conveniently at the parcel terminals.
In an industry faced with increasing customer demands and with those pressures only set to continue, it’s vital to stay one step ahead. Keeping a close eye on technology trends, customer delivery expectations and industry changes can help your courier company prepare and adapt your delivery process in order to compete successfully in an ever changing, thriving industry.