How Technology is Changing the International Courier Business

The international courier business is dominated by 3 large groups, DHL, FedEx and UPS. They own the infrastructure across different regions including depots, delivery vehicles and staff. As a result, they offer the most efficient networks for sending parcels and baggage around the world.

The first major recent change is the ability for delivery driver to route plan their work. As the delivery addresses are know by the carrier once the goods arrive at the delivery depot. Route planning software is able to minimise the mileage for the deliveries and give a route map for each delivery driver to follow.  

This has resulted in two major benefits, firstly that the carrier now knows roughly when the delivery will be attempted. Which has enabled them to advise the receiver of a one-hour delivery window for their delivery. They do this by text and email.  This is great for both the consumer who can plan their day and for the carrier, who has a higher amount of deliveries achieved first time. A great benefit to both domestic and international courier services.

The systems that control the one-hour window alerts, have also evolved to offer an interactive information exchange. The receiver will have the ability to advise that they are not in and request a delivery on an alternative day, or to a neighbour, or can provide information for the driver on a safe place to leave the delivery without a signature. As a result, the amount of failed deliveries has dramatically reduced and carrier delivery costs have been driven down. A win – win for both sides. Helping the online retail world to overcome one of its biggest hurdles by increasing customer satisfaction for home deliveries.

The ability to x-ray parcels at airports has dramatically reduced inspection time for carrier of unknown freight, helping to get aeroplanes loaded in the shortest possible time, and reduce transit times. Some carriers such as FedEx even operate a next day before 10.20 am delivery service to most zip codes in the USA. This has been of particular benefit for international luggage shipping of personal effects worldwide.

Vehicle tracking is helping to enable carriers to have the data on where and when their deliveries and collections are attempted. Helping to ensure grater security within the networks. Real time tracking enables carrier and customers to see all the scans on their goods whilst they are in transit so that they can monitor their goods in transit with confidence.

Hand held scanners are able to capture signatures which can immediately be uploaded onto websites for senders to be able to see that their delivery has been made, when it has been made and who has signed for it. This is now instant as opposed to drivers having to manually type in the data when they return to depots.

As a result of these advances in technology international and domestic courier services are able to continue to drive down their operational costs whilst offering higher and higher levels of service to their clients. Helping to build client confidence and stronger businesses going forward.

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