To facilitate customers and be more competitive, courier companies are constantly exploring ways to be leaner, lighter and more flexible. Businesses need to continuously evolve in order to stay relevant and the demand to offer more competitive prices and ‘more-for-less’ will keep growing. Companies are always trying to innovate how they can more effectively make use of the shared economy model.
Meanwhile companies like Google have also rolled out their delivery scheme in the US, called Google Express, making the most of their already existing technological presence. The service offers overnight delivery, stemming from a previous incarnation as a same day shopping service in California. It’s a monthly fee-based arrangement which utilizes Google payments.
Innovation in the courier industry can take place in the area of product and services, technology, processes and business models. Following is a list of few innovations that have been implemented by courier companies to increase operational efficiency:
Drones are now being used in logistics as courier services move to transport foods and perishable goods. These robotic fliers can prove helpful for merchants in situations where ground-based deliveries are difficult. Drone delivery services show enough potential that Amazon, Alphabet, and other tech giants are hailing it as the future of e-commerce fulfillment. Imagine what this can do for places where emergency supplies are needed around areas that lack transportation infrastructure.
Shared Economy Through Crowdsourcing:
The concept of shared economy is gearing up fast not just in the first world countries but simultaneously around the world. Shared fulfilment centers and other shipping resources that are available for companies to ‘plug in and out of’ their individual supply chains. This idea is making same-day-deliveries possible across the globe, along with extending the benefits of this rapid growing industry to consumers.
Many courier companies and logistic-based startups connect travelers with shippers. This collaborative consumption has offered a serious alternative to the existing traditional business models of the courier. Major companies such as Walmart and DHL have explored the possibilities of P2P delivery, and a large number of specific shipping startups have sprung up in recent years.
RFID Tags and QR Codes:
Courier and high-volume logistic companies are gradually moving towards adopting RFID (radio frequency identification) solutions to enhance operations of courier and messenger services. Having shipments tagged with QR codes enables companies and customers to track shipments in realtime and have access to a lot more loyalty benefits.
The RFID tagging is a step advanced than the procedure currently in place, which uses barcodes in the unified information system to keep track of packages. RFID can assist in automating the manual aspects of process.
RFID does not only help in the tagging and sorting process on arrival to quickly execute the delivery process, it can also help identify issues with equipment and inventory of tags.
Managing Delivery Routes:
Courier and logistic companies now benefit from the intuitive web-based routing optimization software to optimize their performance in an efficient manner. Through this technology dispatchers can provide coordinates directly to drivers’ cellular-connected GPS devices.
This technology enables courier companies to increase their product delivery speed and maintain customer satisfaction. They can also ensure greater accountability procedures and implement efficient operational checks. The route-planning software are generally cloud-based that detects the clever shortcuts pass on instructions to dispatchers to speed the drivers on their way. The more accurate the map is, the more efficient will be the delivery.
Point of Sales Devices:
Through Point of Sales (POS) devices, courier companies can now accept parcels from any place and on the go as well. They don’t need to have a brick and mortar setup where customers would drop their parcels. Instead, courier representatives can now collect a parcel from anywhere and make an entry into the system through POS devices.
This not only increases the speed of procedures but also provide customers with the comfort to send parcels without having to physically go to a sales center.