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Archive for the ‘International Couriers’ Category

The Role of a Good Courier Service in Dropshipping Business

Saturday, April 27th, 2019

Dropshipping might be the next big thing in the world of entrepreneurship. What’s so great about it is that it allows you to turn your idea into reality without leaving your home. Everything is done over the internet, starting with the creation of the product. You also get to sell the product online, as well as organize its delivery to the buyer.

Becoming a dropshipping retailer means owning a virtual store rather than a real one. Instead of coming to your brick-and-mortar store to take a look of the products you offer, potential buyers will check them out on your website. And if they decide to buy an item you sell, you won’t be the one who sends it to them. That role is taken care of by the wholesaler/manufacturer, who will ship the item straight to the buyer without using you as the ‘middleman’.

Still, this doesn’t mean that you’re not in charge of anything. Apart from promoting the products to the potential buyers, your job is also to ensure all other processes are done the right way, parcel delivery included. The fact that you won’t physically deal with parcel delivery does not mean you don’t get any say in it. Actually, you do get your say as the dropshipping retailer is the one who gets to decide which courier service to do business with.

The Importance of Courier Service in Dropshipping

Sure, you can let the buyer, or even the wholesaler, to decide how the items will get shipped. Still, for the sake of your business, it is better to take the matters in your own hands. After all, shipping is an important part of the dropshipping business.

In this day and age, you can buy almost anything on the internet. There are literally thousands of online stores out there, meaning that the competition is fierce. In order to succeed in this type of business, you need to do all in your power to keep the customers satisfied. And you can bet they’re not gonna be satisfied if their package gets lost, damaged, or takes much longer to arrive than expected.

If a courier service makes a mistake, the buyers are probably not going to blame them, but you. In order not to lose your customers due to the mistakes of others, you need to find a good courier company. But, what are the things that make a courier company good?

Reliability

If an item is going to be shipped from another part of the world, let’s say China, the wholesaler probably won’t be willing to risk anything. Instead, they’ll insist on getting paid in advance. That means that either you or the customer is going to have to pay for it before the item gets on its way. And because of that, not receiving the package (or getting a damaged item) is going to mean loss of money.

To reduce the risk of such a scenario, the best thing you can do is find a reliable courier company, even if that meant paying more for the service or waiting a little bit longer for the delivery. 

Delivery time

When you buy something online, you want it to get to your address as soon as possible. The problem is that it takes time to ship items from another part of the world. Unfortunately, for some customers, a long delivery time can be a deal-breaker. However, what’s even worse is not getting a parcel at the expected time. And that’s exactly what’s likely to happen if you put your trust into an unreliable shipping company.

If the delivery time they offer seems too good to be true, it’s because it probably isn’t. The fact is that it takes about 3 weeks for a package to arrive from China to Europe if sent by sea freight. It’s much faster if air freight is used, but it’s also much more expensive.

Price

Speaking of shipping price, this is another big deal-breaker for your customers. You can try to solve it by letting them decide on the shipping method, but as we’ve already mentioned, this would increase the risk of the parcel not arriving at time, or not arriving at all.

The second option is to pick the best-possible shipping option, but that would increase the cost of the item and that could make the customer decide to give up on it. Sure, you can cover the shipping fees on your own, but that would greatly reduce your profits. So, what are you supposed to do?

Finding some middle-ground is what you got to do, based on the distance between the wholesaler and the customers, the value of the items, and many other factors. 

Coverage

A big factor in deciding which shipping company to use is their coverage. You need to pick it according to the location of the wholesaler, as well as the location of most of your customers. There really is not point in offering a worldwide delivery (and paying more for it) if 99% of your customers are from the UK, for example.

Parcel tracking

For low-value shipping, some shipping companies don’t offer parcel tracing. And this increases the risk of the package getting lost. With no parcel tracking option, neither you, nor the buyer, nor even the wholesaler will know where the item is.

Returns

If the buyer isn’t pleased with the product for whatever reason and wishes to return it, who pays the shipping fees? You, the buyer, or the shipping company? Problems do happen in the dropshipping business and you need to have a solution ready.

Finding the Perfect Shipping Company

These are the things you need to take into account, as they can affect your dropshipping business significantly. A poor shipping company can tear your customers away from you. A good one, will keep them by your side.

But, the question is are you prepared to give up a little bit of profit in order to ensure your customers get their items in flawless condition, within the expected time frame? Finding the perfect balance between user satisfaction and your profits is of utmost importance here.

Delivery Bots: Is This the Future of Parcel Delivery?

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

It’s fair to say that most of us have had some problems with parcel delivery. Whether the problem was the parcel arriving late or not arriving at all, these kinds of scenarios can be pretty stressful. The good news is that such things are expected to become a part of the past. Future does seem bright in the parcel delivery universe.

Sure, it’s impossible to predict the future, especially when technology is in question. Still, the fact is that a number of big-name logistics companies are planning for the future. And their vision of future is implementing autonomous vehicles into parcel delivery business. Actually, as of 2019, there are already many companies going into the final stages of testing of their parcel delivery bots.

Delivery Bots Today

You might not see them on the streets every day, but delivery robots are already pretty much up and running. In Europe, several prominent companies have started pilot programs for delivering goods using unmanned vehicles.

Domino’s Pizza, a global fast-food chain teamed up with a company called Starship Technologies to create a fleet of delivery bots that would deliver pizzas in cities around the Netherlands and Germany. Although the robots didn’t revolutionize the pizza-delivery industry right away, they did provide some useful insights into the implementation of this kind of technology.

It’s a similar case with other test-projects going on across the world. The delivery robots of today might not yet have what it takes to change the shipping industry as we know it, but they definitely have the potential to do so in the near future.

Delivery Bots in Near Future

Biggest optimists believe self-driving vehicles will become a common thing by the year 2020. Those who are a little bit more skeptical think we will have to wait a few more years before they become a common sight on our roads (and skies). Still, it seems that everyone agrees that autonomous vehicles are going to start their revolution sometimes during the 2020s.

The issue here is not only that it takes time for the modern tech to become so sophisticated it can replace certain old-fashioned technologies; it’s also because modern tech has a potential to make certain jobs obsolete. In this particular case, delivery bots could make the old-fashioned couriers not needed anymore.

It does seem like a legitimate worry, but according to the experts, we’re still far away from something like that happening. Delivery robots will require some real workforce in order to keep them going. At least in the beginning. 

The delivery model that involves unmanned vehicles and parcel machines is eagerly expected to become a real thing not only by big delivery companies but also by buyers/sellers from different parts of the planet. This technology definitely has the potential to revolutionize the industry. In a good way, of course.

First of all, with delivery robots, there’s no room for human error. This means that such scenarios like lost or damaged parcels will be removed from the narrative. Another benefit this technology is expected to bring is a reduced price of shipping.

How Do These Robots Work?

There are dozens of different companies out there that are currently working on developing delivery robots, meaning that in a few years’ time, we’re gonna see them in all shapes and sizes. Still, one thing all of the delivery robots will have regardless of who made them is their delivery model.

As this technology is developed with user-friendliness in mind, the delivery model is expected to function in the following manner:

  • Step 1 – The parcel sender requests a delivery bot on their address
  • Step 2 – Once the robot arrives, the sender places the package inside the robot (alternatively, the item is picked up by a human employee who then takes care of packing and placing it inside the bot)
  • Step 3 – The delivery robot then takes the parcel to the address of the recipient
  • Step 4 – In order to be able to receive the parcel, the recipient has to use a QR code (or digital signature, or some other method to confirm their identity) on their smartphone

Obviously, such a delivery model is not going to be possible for long-distance deliveries. In fact, judging by the experience of Dominos’ Pizza delivery bots, their delivery range cannot be bigger than only a few miles. In order to increase the range, the parcel will have to make a few extra stops along the way which brings the question of their efficiency. An old-fashioned parcel delivery service is bound to do a faster job than a fleet of delivery bots, each of which has a range of only a couple of miles.

Another problem with this is that the delivery bots, regardless of how tiny they might be, could cause severe problems to the traffic. They’re meant to use GPS to find their way to the destination, avoiding traffic jams along the way. The problem is that it takes a lot of computing power, even for large and expensive unmanned vehicles to get around in busy traffic, especially when found on the same road with manned vehicles. In turn, this could increase the number of traffic jams, as well as make driving less safe.

For all these reasons, it’s reasonable to assume that these types of vehicles will be used primarily for low-traffic places, such as college campuses, shopping malls, public parks, and so on. Another possible use for delivery bots is dealing with parcel sorting at large ports, where large volumes of cargo are shipped from abroad on a regular basis.

When it comes to other cases of parcel delivery, it appears that delivery drones are going to take things in their hands, rather than wheeled-delivery robots. After all, flying parcels from one place to another is safer, quicker, and possibly even cheaper than doing it on the ground. And that’s why it’s not surprising that delivery drones are already a fairly common sight unlike their counterparts on the ground.

What to do if You Receive Someone Else’s Package?

Sunday, April 21st, 2019

These things happen all the time. We’re all humans after all and humans make mistakes. Unfortunately, a seemingly tiny mistake can sometimes turn into a big problem, not only for the sender but you as well. In preventing such a scenario, time is of the essence. As soon as you notice there’s something wrong, you need to act!

Fortunately, most senders put more information inside the parcel – to ensure that it will eventually get to its rightful owner. So if it gets misplaced, the person receiving the parcel will know who to contact to return it.

Even though returning the package should not be of inconvenience to the receiver, for whatever reason, sometimes, people refuse to cooperate with the courier company and fail to return the misplaced parcel. Most of the time, this is why the process of finding misplaced packages takes so long.

Our advice is not to be one of those persons. Instead, be a Good Samaritan and notify the courier service about the mistake. Otherwise, you can cause all kinds of issues to the sender and rightful package receiver, but also to yourself. Who knows, you might even get sued for that!

Why It’s Not Okay to Keep Someone Else’s Package?

It’s not advisable to withhold any misdeliveries ahead of attempting to return it. As the carriers are notified, either by the person who sent the package or the rightful recipient, that the delivery never arrived where it should have, they will track the delivering process and locate the parcel. Eventually, they can come to your house and enquire about the package – this should not surprise you. So our advice is that you do not attempt to retain any misdeliveries.

Should you receive something that was not ordered by you, the right thing to do is get in touch with the sender and then ask the courier to take the parcel back. Usually, deliveries that you receive but didn’t order are labeled by the courier as “unsolicited goods”. However, this might not be the case with misdeliveries.

It’s because the description on the parcel generally states clearly about who sent the package. This means that you have information about the sender, as well as about the person who is waiting for the package.

If you are unable to find the rightful recipient on your own, what you should do is get in touch with the ones that delivered the package – you will find information about the courier company on the tag of the parcel. Just calling their assistant service and informing them about the mistake should be enough. It’s up to the courier service to take care of the rest.

Making Sure Your Parcels Don’t Get Misdelivered

Double-checking that you’ve entered the right details about the recipient (e.g. their name, their phone number, the delivery address, etc.) goes without saying, but there are a few other ways to ensure your parcel is delivered to the right person and vice versa.

It is a good idea to watch the tracking system permanently, as even though incorrect data can help – it might signal if something wrong happened. Therefore, you’ll be informed if you should contact the carrier for enquiries. As per usual, at delivery, the tracking system displays the name of whom signed for the package. This way, in the case of it being delivered somewhere else, you will know.

Sometimes, for whatever motive, parcels can be checked by the carrier as “delivered” before they actually get delivered. The courier might bring it later, regardless of the tracking system showing otherwise. However, should the parcel be impossible to find even after a few days and it is declared lost by the company that was supposed to deliver it, you hold the right to file a claim o get your money back for your lost package.

Can you get a refund if your package was wrongly delivered? In the case of your parcel being unable to be tracked in a couple of days and the carrier declaring it lost – you have the right of filing a claim to get your money back. For this, proof of the cost of the parcel’s contents will be required. Then the company needs to assess the situation, and then you will be given a response.

Why Do Packages Get Misdelivered?

Usually, this happens due to receiving inaccurate or erroneous addresses or information. It can be a real challenge sometimes to find an individual home, so it’s vital to be careful with the information you give and check how accessible it is. Should the data be imprecise or the location obsolete, the parcel is generally brought back to whoever sent it by the carrier or the wrong beneficiary. So it is possible that you receive an unwanted parcel.

Often, issues come up when the location is hard to pinpoint. Generally, you don’t have to label your parcel and put information on the box (carriers mark the packages on their own – if not, they will need you to print a label and glue it to the parcel).

Nevertheless, it is useful if you point out who sent the package and who should receive it and their locations in the eventuality that the tag deteriorates or cannot be read anymore due to the delivery mechanism. It is then when the parcel gets from a depot to another, as the carriers try to read the undecipherable. If they do not succeed, the order will be returned to whoever sent it, if that information is still available.

A critical piece of information is the postal code – it aids in the sorting process, speeding it up for the delivery company. Generally, this is an automatic process, which means that is there is a mismatch between the actual location and the postal code, it will take a while until this gets observed. The delivery might get to the right place or be sent back.

There are times, though, when misdeliveries are just mistakes. Should the courier company say that the delivery has been made, yet you didn’t get anything – it usually means that your package was received by the wrong person.

Future of International Courier Service Post-Brexit

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

Nearly three years have passed since the UK voted to leave the European Union and Brexit is still pretty much an everyday topic on the island. Will it be a hard Brexit or a soft one, or a no-deal Brexit still remains the question. But, one thing is certain, once it’s done, Brexit is going to cause some big changes in the business world of both the UK and the EU.

It seems that the British exit from the European Union is going to affect literally every business, including courier services. Until now, sending a parcel from a country within the EU to the United Kingdom (or vice versa) was pretty simple. All you had to do is drop it off at a post office or call a courier to pick it up. In both cases, you had to pay only a small fee.

However, in the post-Brexit era, the chance is that you will have to pay more. In fact, it’s expected that the shipping costs are going to go up by 30% on average. Of course, the question is whether the increase in the shipping costs is going to affect the customers as well, or only the courier services dealing with parcel transport between UK and EU.

A factor that can greatly impact the shipping costs is whether the UK will remain a member of the European Economic Area. Norway, for instance, is a country from the EEA, even though it‘s not a part of the EU.

Unless the UK government manages to get such a deal, the country won’t share a single market with the other European countries, meaning that all kinds of expense will come into power, including those involvingcustoms processes and paperwork. Apart from increasing the cost of parcel shipping, Brexit could also have an impact on the delivery times.

Brexit’s Impact on Parcel Delivery Times& Costs

One of the main reasons why the United Kingdom became a part of the European Union nearly five decades ago was that it allowed free trades with other member counties. Being a part of a single market mean that the Brits could buy and sell things from and to other EU counties in the same manner they did within the UK.

As a result, the European Union became the biggest single importer of UK-made products. In fact, before Brexit, the members of the EU were the ones buying over 40% of the total UK exports. According to leading experts in the world of global economy, that percentage is bound to go down as soon as Brexit is put into action.

The main reason why that’s expected is that export/import regulations are going to get more complicated, requiring more paperwork, which, in turn, is going to cost the customers their time. Every package sent from any EU country to the recipient within the United Kingdom borders will need to go through the customs’ inspection.

Apart from increasing the parcel delivery times, Brexit can also affect the cost of items bought abroad. If the UK falls out of the shared market, the country will probably have to add VAT on packages coming from the continent. You can expect that, in post-Brexit Britain, you will have to pay about 20% more on goods imported from the European Union.

And that’s why many UK business people are expected to give up on international trade and focus on doing their business domestically. As a result, the British courier industry is expected to grow, at least in the first few months after the Brexit. However, as soon as the people from the UK are used to the new delivery times and the new tariffs, the UK-EU trade is expected to bounce back to its feet.

How to Prepare Yourself for the Future?

If your business relies on goods shipped from/to the UK, Brexit has the potential to cause you some problems. The good news is that everything is still pretty much in play; no one can yet say for sure what kind of changes Brexit will cause in the courier industry.

Still, the experts do agree that there isn’t a need to panic. Even though Brexit does have the potential to make international shipping more complicated, it surely won’t destroy this industry. After all, it’s in no ones’ interest for the trade between the UK and the EU to die out. And couriers play a crucial role in this trade.

In the worst case scenario, the trade with the EU will become similar to the trade between the UK and other countries, e.g. China, India, etc. Of course, due to the geographical location of the UK, shipping delivery times for EU parcels just cannot be as long as those coming or going to other parts of the globe.

When it comes to the costs of international shipments, the experts agree that it’s going to have more to do with the couriers than the government. In order to keep the customers interested in making trades between the UK and the EU, the courier companies will have to deal with some of costs on their own, rather than adding themto the customers’ bills.

Finding a reliable international courier service is crucial for ensuring a bright future in the post-Brexit era. Apart from providing you with good deals money-wise, the couriers also need to ensure decent delivery times for the goods you order or ship off. They will also have to make sure that the items reach their destination undamaged and unaffected by potential delays.

Every decent international delivery company will have to make sure their vehicle fleet is good enough to handle waiting at the customs. They will also have to provide alternative transportation methods in case delay would be too long. For instance, if the delivery by truck would take much longer than expected, it’s up to the courier company to find a way to deliver the cargo on time, either by planes, ships, or some other means of transport.

It seems that the British exit from the European Union is going to affect literally every business, including courier services. Until now, sending a parcel from a country within the EU to the United Kingdom (or vice versa) was pretty simple. All you had to do is drop it off at a post office or call a courier to pick it up. In both cases, you had to pay only a small fee.

However, in the post-Brexit era, the chance is that you will have to pay more. In fact, it’s expected that the shipping costs are going to go up by 30% on average. Of course, the question is whether the increase in the shipping costs is going to affect the customers as well, or only the courier services dealing with parcel transport between UK and EU.

A factor that can greatly impact the shipping costs is whether the UK will remain a member of the European Economic Area. Norway, for instance, is a country from the EEA, even though it‘s not a part of the EU.

Unless the UK government manages to get such a deal, the country won’t share a single market with the other European countries, meaning that all kinds of expense will come into power, including those involvingcustoms processes and paperwork. Apart from increasing the cost of parcel shipping, Brexit could also have an impact on the delivery times.

Brexit’s Impact on Parcel Delivery Times& Costs

One of the main reasons why the United Kingdom became a part of the European Union nearly five decades ago was that it allowed free trades with other member counties. Being a part of a single market mean that the Brits could buy and sell things from and to other EU counties in the same manner they did within the UK.

As a result, the European Union became the biggest single importer of UK-made products. In fact, before Brexit, the members of the EU were the ones buying over 40% of the total UK exports. According to leading experts in the world of global economy, that percentage is bound to go down as soon as Brexit is put into action.

The main reason why that’s expected is that export/import regulations are going to get more complicated, requiring more paperwork, which, in turn, is going to cost the customers their time. Every package sent from any EU country to the recipient within the United Kingdom borders will need to go through the customs’ inspection.

Apart from increasing the parcel delivery times, Brexit can also affect the cost of items bought abroad. If the UK falls out of the shared market, the country will probably have to add VAT on packages coming from the continent. You can expect that, in post-Brexit Britain, you will have to pay about 20% more on goods imported from the European Union.

And that’s why many UK business people are expected to give up on international trade and focus on doing their business domestically. As a result, the British courier industry is expected to grow, at least in the first few months after the Brexit. However, as soon as the people from the UK are used to the new delivery times and the new tariffs, the UK-EU trade is expected to bounce back to its feet.

How to Prepare Yourself for the Future?

If your business relies on goods shipped from/to the UK, Brexit has the potential to cause you some problems. The good news is that everything is still pretty much in play; no one can yet say for sure what kind of changes Brexit will cause in the courier industry.

Still, the experts do agree that there isn’t a need to panic. Even though Brexit does have the potential to make international shipping more complicated, it surely won’t destroy this industry. After all, it’s in no ones’ interest for the trade between the UK and the EU to die out. And couriers play a crucial role in this trade.

In the worst case scenario, the trade with the EU will become similar to the trade between the UK and other countries, e.g. China, India, etc. Of course, due to the geographical location of the UK, shipping delivery times for EU parcels just cannot be as long as those coming or going to other parts of the globe.

When it comes to the costs of international shipments, the experts agree that it’s going to have more to do with the couriers than the government. In order to keep the customers interested in making trades between the UK and the EU, the courier companies will have to deal with some of costs on their own, rather than adding themto the customers’ bills.

Finding a reliable international courier service is crucial for ensuring a bright future in the post-Brexit era. Apart from providing you with good deals money-wise, the couriers also need to ensure decent delivery times for the goods you order or ship off. They will also have to make sure that the items reach their destination undamaged and unaffected by potential delays.

Every decent international delivery company will have to make sure their vehicle fleet is good enough to handle waiting at the customs. They will also have to provide alternative transportation methods in case delay would be too long. For instance, if the delivery by truck would take much longer than expected, it’s up to the courier company to find a way to deliver the cargo on time, either by planes, ships, or some other means of transport.

Brexit Uncertainty: How Will Logistics Be Affected?

Sunday, February 10th, 2019

‘Brexit’ is the buzz word of every news station right now. It’s a massive source of uncertainty to our economy and there is no industry that is sure of the future.

One industry that is more uncertain than most is the logistics sector. Will Brexit change the way we ship parcels? Will it affect the cost or movement of freight? What impact will it have on companies and end users?

With a no-deal Brexit looming, this article looks at what is being said on these matters thus far and what the likely outcomes may mean for the logistics industry.

Deal or No Deal

Should we come out with a no-deal Brexit, there are plans in place to avoid charging a customs duty on 87% of tradeable goods. This plan will be set in place for the next year to make sure we secure the best deals possible moving forward.

Tariffs will still apply to 13% of goods to ensure fair and safe practices, but it seems that the strategy will be to ensure the cost of importing, exporting and shipping in general does not rise in the near future and may even be reduced in the short-term.

Future Tariffs

The following are areas where tariffs will still apply:

  • A mixture of tariffs and quotas on beef, lamb, pork, poultry and some dairy to support farmers and producers.
  • Tariffs on finished vehicles. However, car manufacturers relying on EU supply chains shouldn’t face additional tariffs on car parts imported from the EU to prevent disruption to supply chains.
  • Tariffs to provide support for UK producers against unfair global trading practices, such as dumping and state subsidies. Tariffs should be retained for products including certain ceramics, fertiliser and fuels.
  • Tariffs on sets of goods including bananas, raw cane sugar, and certain kinds of fish. These are designed to ensure preferential access to the UK market for developing countries.

It’s important to note that these temporary import tariffs will not apply to goods crossing from Ireland into Northern Ireland.

The Worst-Case Scenario

Shipping suppliers must prepare for the best and worse-case scenarios and there are several implications to consider:

  • The department of transport has already warned those shipping to the continent and other freight haulers that they may now need EMCT permits post-Brexit.
  • 80% of haulers have stated that Brexit has had a negative impact on their plans for future investment. This likely means they are bracing for added costs rather than putting money into infrastructure.
  • Port delays are a major worry as there is not a sufficient infrastructure to deal with more tariffs and the cost of importing to rise. This may be offset for many items in the twelve months post-Brexit as outlined above.
  • Most companies will no doubt be well into their contingency plans by now as this has been a concern for the past few years. Many are stockpiling non-perishables in order to avoid an added tax bill, but it does still leave the logistics industry in a world of doubt.

The Uncertainty of Continental Shipping

Currently, the EU has its own laws and regulations regarding the transport and distribution of goods. Once we leave the EU, Britain will be able to regulate its domestic shipping but there are many questions left about the future of continental shipping.

If our new transportation regulations are laxer than those established on the continent, it is going to become increasingly time consuming at borders ensuring regulations are met, meaning a likely increase in cost.

This is perhaps the crux of the issue – currently couriers can travel into the EU unhindered and deliver their consignments quickly and safely while keeping cost to a minimum. What’s more, parts can enter the UK from the continent quickly to keep the whole industry running smoothly and, more importantly, cost effectively. This might be a way of the past once the Brexit negotiations are finalised.

Contingency Planning

But it’s not all doom and gloom. As noted, many courier companies have been preparing themselves for any eventuality and should already have contingencies in place to counter the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

Many companies are investing in their fleet and increasing specialised transports to ensure delays will not hinder fresh or perishable goods.

It will be a learning curve as rules and regulations change but with the logistics industry being an integral part of the UK’s economy, solutions will always be found.

Brexit has been on the horizon for several years now and as it grows closer, logistics providers have been doing their research and know that the guesswork thus far will be somewhat close to the mark. As a result, the ethos of many courier companies will not need to change, and they will find effective solutions to overcome the challenges post-Brexit.

Consult with Your Courier Partners

If you’re concerned about the effects of Brexit on your own logistics, now is the time to discuss it with your courier partners. Your courier partner will be able to answer your questions to the best of their current knowledge and do their best to find solutions to your problems. Creating logistical contingency plans is the best way to prepare your business for the uncertainty ahead.

Moving Forward

Whatever happens, the logistics industry should be positioned to deal with the long and short-term effects. If you are looking for a courier service post-Brexit, look for one that is not willing to compromise on standard and service in the face of change.

This is the basis upon which our services are built and there is no need to compromise this ethos despite the uncertainty of the near future.

If you have any thoughts or concerns about the future of logistics post-Brexit, please do get in touch. Tel: 0800 999 1010. Same Day Dispatch Services would love to hear your views and give our expert advice if we can.

Container Shipping Operators Facing New Challenges in Face of Unstable Economy

Friday, October 12th, 2018

Shipping freight by container has been a staple of overseas delivery since commercial shipping began. The ever-increasing size of shipping containers meant you could measure the confidence in that industry on this metric alone. Still to this day, hulking megaships serve the global industry by shipping goods around the world.

But has their time dominating sea come to an end?

With rising fuel prices, a drop in demand for container shipping, and capacity increasingly out of sync with demand, container shipping operatives are facing new challenges all the time. While it may still seem to be the backbone of global trade, is it finally nearing its end as the number one mover?

Pre-2008, with an increase of almost 8% annually, many business owners spent billions investing in maritime shipping. However, China’s economy is slowing and Europe is in geopolitical instability surrounding Britain’s proposed withdrawal from the E.U., both negatively affecting the global container shipping industry. One of the world’s leading container shippers by capacity recently told investors they are expecting to see a decrease of 1-3% interest this year alone.

Fuel Prices

Shipping executives predict that uncertainty over cleaner fuels will make price estimates rise. Some have claimed that it has turned the shipping market into a form of casino where owners are gambling with their businesses. It is the persistent imbalance between shipping suppliers and demand that is adding to the uncertainty that surrounds the industry at present.

2019 will bring uncertainties because of the risks of further restrictions on global trade. New regulations brought in by the International Maritime Organization to cut emissions will significantly increase fuel prices further.

In order to offset the rising costs of fuel, it’s projected that shipping operators will pass on about $10billion a year to cargo owners but even then, they will still be absorbing some of the cost themselves.

Ultra-Large Shipments a Solution?

One possible solution that has been forwarded by some of the larger container shipping companies is that ultra-large container ships are put into use. These ships would be capable of moving up to 22,000 boxes at a time, reducing the cost of shipping smaller quantities on several smaller ships and cutting fuel consumption overall.

This does not come without its own problems, however. Not all waterways and destinations would be able to accommodate and receive such a large ship. Plus, with the industry facing uncertainty, there may not be demand for large shipping containers.

When it comes to global logistics, there are many problems currently being faced. Below are some of the major issues and what the future might hold for the container shipping industry.

Communication

Communication between the business, customers and the freight forwarders often cause more problems than it solves. Constant tracking of shipments and update requests are common as the customer wants to know where their package is and what is happening at all times. Communication of businesses from port to port is also vital in order to ensure smooth running of the system. Communication breakdowns need to be addressed if freight container shipping is to take off again or at least make some sort of resurgence.

Security

Security is fast becoming a growing concern for the global shipping industry. This is in part due to the volume in which goods are being passed between suppliers to reduce cost. A single delivery might be exchanged between a delivery driver, a warehouse, another delivery driver, then a port, and so on.

This continued movement between companies means that the security of the cargo is put in jeopardy several times during its journey. Each time it passes hands, that agent may have different security protocols in place, meaning there is no unified security system.

To rectify this, the shipping industry needs to eliminate as much unnecessary handling as possible and implement a more unified security protocol to reignite the trust in global freight shipping.

Demand

The container shipping industries inability to respond to the demand for fast delivery is a major challenge currently being faced. Clients want their deliveries as quickly as possible and so the demand on logistics is under pressure. Even though container shipping involves long distance deliveries, people still demand quick turnaround; even a week can seem like a long time for international shippers. This is exasperated at busy times of the year and difficulties at ports can lead to long delays.

Capacity

Capacity can be an unseen issue for global container shippers. As the volume of shipments increases due to the desire to reduce shipping costs, the available space onboard container ships decreases as it is filled. This ultimately causes problems for shippers – if there is no room on the ship, delays are inevitable. Finding a cheaper, greener fuel source may be key to this issue since it would allow for smaller, more frequent shipments.

Infrastructure

The infrastructure of the industry is also an inherent problem. Global sales and deliveries are increasing and the container shipping industry needs to evolve in order to accommodate this. Some ports, however, still can’t cope with the growing demand or deal with the volume of goods that are being brought through their doors. Increasing the infrastructure’s capacity at major ports will be key to sustaining growth in this sector.

Final Thoughts

The nature of international shipping is changing and while global container shipping was able to upscale accordingly, it now seems unable to downscale or economise sufficiently to keep in line with global trends as well as new rules and regulations.

Although interest is declining, it is not in freefall and there is still demand and desire to ship via container overseas. The major issue facing the industry at present is the cost associated with the volume trying to be shipped due to regulations and fuel hikes.   

Overall, it is not the end for container shipping, but it does stand on a precipice of a changing world in which it must adapt.

8 Signs You Need a New Time-Critical Courier Partner

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

Are you wondering if it’s time to look for a time-critical courier service? The courier you currently use might have been the most affordable or convenient when you started out, but that doesn’t mean they are still right for your business.

In fact, they could well be holding you back now. If you want to get the best deal and service that’s tailored to your business, you need to evaluate your provider and your options annually and make changes if necessary.

When evaluating your current service, there are certain red flags to look out for. If you spot any of these red flags, it may be time to find a new express courier service – and fast.

Your Shipments Arrive Late

It’s surprising how many businesses accept late shipments as part of the deal but it doesn’t have to be.  If your courier is often late on deliveries or fails to meet deadlines, or even worse, loses or damages your goods, it’s definitely time to consider a change.

Consistent sales depend on customer satisfaction and if your courier is failing you on that front it could be costing you money. Don’t let your business suffer – shop the market and find a courier that can guarantee on-time delivery as well as offering emergency delivery when needed.

They Can’t Scale Up with You

A courier’s ability to scale with you is crucial. It’s no good if you start trebling sales if the courier can’t cope with the added demand. Seasonal trends or unexpected demand can lead to a steep increase in orders. These new customers are not going to remain loyal for long if you can’t deliver what they’re asking for. Therefore, you shouldn’t stay loyal to a courier that can’t deliver what you are asking for.

Make sure to find a courier service that has the capacity to deal with large, unexpected orders without any issues. As your business begins to scale, they should be able to take on the extra workload seamlessly.

Response Time is Slow

Your courier team is a vital part of your business and you should be equally important to them. They should be doing their utmost to keep you happy as a client. If they are slow to respond to orders or queries, this could be a sign there is a problem. This might even be an early warning sign that they’re having difficulties maintaining a good service.

When looking for a new courier service, find one with a reputation for outstanding customer service. There should always be a person on the end of the phone to answer your queries when they arise.

You Have No Way of Tracking Shipments

Time-critical couriers should have no problem with updating you with the exact location of your goods. You need to be able to account for your goods from the moment they leave your warehouse to the moment they are received by your client. If your courier can’t provide you with this crucial information, it’s a clear sign you need a better courier for your business.

Their Price Doesn’t Align with Your Means

Is the courier service you use extremely expensive or shockingly cheap? Either is a sign they are not right for you. Ideally, the price you pay needs to meet your means and expectations. If they are too expensive, it could be unnecessarily hurting your bottom line.

Contrastingly, if your current courier is incredibly cheap, although it might look good on paper you get what you pay for and the service might be sub-par. Paying a little more will go a long way.

Also, be wary of a courier company that undercuts the competition consistently. This can have a huge impact on the long-term scalability of their operation and could mean they will let you down on the customer service side.

Overall, it’s important to find a service that meets your expectations without hitting the purse strings too hard. Find a courier company that offers the most benefits for a price your business can truly afford.  

You’re unable to offer Same-Day Deliveries

In the current climate, same-day delivery is what customers expect. If you have a client who needs an order last-minute, you need to be able to rely on your courier service to deliver. Unfortunately, there are many couriers who simply do not or can not offer this service.

Find a reliable courier company that can be relied on whatever the situation or timescale. They are out there.

You’re Limited to a Certain Geographic Area

Many couriers are limited to a specific location but that doesn’t mean they should dictate where you can and can’t send shipments. You need a service that can deliver to any customer no matter where they are. Any courier worth their salt will be able to provide this sort of door-to-door service and you should be looking for one that can if your current service cannot. Nothing will stall your business growth more than being limited on the scope of delivery.  

Lack of Established Industry Experience

You should always find a courier service that specialises in your industry. If you’re in the aviation business, you’re going to need a courier capable of delivering large consignments and you may need a fleet of vehicles. On the other hand, if you’re in the produce business, you’re going to need a courier with temperature-controlled vehicles to keep your products fresh.

Whatever it is you need to ship, make sure the courier service you use has trained and reliable drivers as well as the correct facilities for the job.

It may be beneficial to look for a company that can offer a range of different delivery methods to meet all your needs. Make sure they have industry experience and the facilities available to deliver your consignments safely and in perfect condition.

Find Out About Our Courier Services Today

If you think your business could benefit from a fresh courier service, get in touch with Same Day Dispatch Services today to get a free quote and find out how we can help. Tel: 0800 999 1010.

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