What’s next for parcel delivery?
The parcel delivery industry has existed for some time now, with its roots traceable to ancient Egypt when grains and other materials would be carted from location to location - sometimes even out of the country.
That said, the sector continues to evolve. The outcome may remain the same, but the way in which items find their way from one place to another are constantly changing. As businesses and individuals strive for cost efficiency and convenience, we're seeing the use of technology increasing.
So what can we expect to see in the future? Unfortunately, we don't have a crystal ball, but here are some ideas of what could be around the corner.
Much has been made of Amazon's drone delivery trials; it's a fascinating idea after all.
Delivery drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) capable of carrying and delivering one or more products to a pre-determined destination. They tend to be remote-controlled helicopter-like machines, built to withstand a bit of rough and tumble.
Drone technology has existed for a number of years but only now is its potential really being explored. Instead of being used on the battlefield, these machines can safely carry aid to disaster-stricken areas, or - more relevant to the shipping industry - deliver parcels to consumers.
We're in the early stages at present, but with the foundations in place, who knows how big this will become?
More safety drop boxes
Missing deliveries will always be frustrating, especially for those of us who are at work during normal mailing hours. This is an issue most retailers and delivery companies are trying to solve for customers; here at ipostparcels, for example, we offer one-hour delivery slots so you know when to be home. If this isn't feasible, though, you might benefit from installing a lockable drop box outside your house.
This option is already available, but only for those who seek it out. In the future, it could be that most houses have these secure deposit points built in as standard. As long as you're happy to provide the courier with a passcode, they can leave items safely at your home, ready to retrieve when you return.
Most courier companies offer tracking services these days. Your item will be scanned at a number of points, allowing you to see roughly where it is in the chain. This is all well and good, but the accuracy of such a service depends on how many times the product is scanned and the status is updated.
With the help of GPS technology, it's technically possible to follow a driver - or even a package - in real-time through the web or a mobile app. Once this kind of tracking is available, recipients know exactly when to be at home and businesses are better positioned to analyse and optimise delivery processes. Everybody wins!
It's difficult to know exactly what's in store for the parcel delivery industry, but it's clear that both retailers and courier companies are putting the focus firmly on customer convenience. What's more, with serious talks of unmanned flying machines and 30-minute deliveries, it's clear that everyone's thinking big.
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Sending parcels to the UK
Sending parcels internationally