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Posts Tagged ‘Parcel Delivery Services’

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.

What to Do if You’ve Sent a Parcel to a Wrong Address?

Sunday, April 14th, 2019

Although parcels don’t get misdelivered too often, mistakes do happen from time to time. After all, there are literally millions of parcels traveling the world every single moment. So, it can’t be surprising that some of them end up on a wrong address.

If you’ve sent a parcel to a wrong address by accident, worry not, because these problems do have their solutions. In some cases, they’re really easy to solve. In others, you will need a little bit of time and afford in order to re-send the parcel, this time to the right destination. Whether the problem is going to be big or small depends mostly on time. If you spot the mistake soon after sending the parcel, you can redirect it to the right address easily; if not, the problem can get ugly.

What to do if the Parcel is Still on the Move?

If the parcel that you’ve sent accidentally to a wrong address is still on its way, you can just get in touch with the courier service and tell them about the mistake. You don’t need to look for the specific courier who’s received the package; you need to notify the courier customer service. Their job is to get in touch with the driver who has the package with them and tell them about the change of plan.

In most cases, the courier service won’t charge you for this, although there are some examples. It all depends on the mileage your parcel has traveled. For example, if you’ve sent it to Australia instead of Austria, you can bet they’re going to charge you for your mistake.

Another worry you got to have is whether the courier has forgotten to make the package as delivered. Sometimes, they simply forget to do it and the result is that when you take a look at the parcel tracking app, you will see that it’s still on its way. But, in fact, the parcel has already been delivered. And it’s been delivered to a wrong address.

What to Do if the Parcel is Delivered to the Wrong Address?

Let’s say you’ve sent a package to a wrong address, but you’ve noticed it when it was already too late. Or, maybe you didn’t even notice it. Maybe the person who received the package was the one to notice the mistake. Or, maybe the person who was awaiting your package became tired or waiting and decided to ask around.

Whoever was the one to notice it really doesn’t matter much. If the mistake was made by you, you probably feel an obligation to set everything straight. So, how are you supposed to do it? Well, there are several things you can do at this point. One of those is to get in touch with the courier service and explain the whole situation to them. Unfortunately, they don’t have to help you with this, because they did their job by the book. They got the parcel delivered to the address that you had given them.

Still, the experience has shown that courier services are very user-friendly and usually very open to helping their customers who are in trouble. If you ask them to help you, they probably will. But, you can’t ask too much from them; they could go and pick up the parcel again and this time deliver it to the right address. However, you can’t ask them to go and ask the person who’s received the package to give it back. That’s something you will have to do on your own.

The people from the courier service might think that it would be sort of harassing to go to the person who’s accepted the package and ask it back. This goes double for cases when the parcel recipient isn’t willing to part with it. You will have to talk to them and ask them to return the package. So, how are you supposed to get in touch with that person?

Well, look for the receipt you got from the courier when you sent the package. That’s where you will find their address. Now, it’s time to take your phonebook (if it’s a local address) or go online in order to find the phone number of the person living there. The good news is that there are all sorts of online directories that can help you with your quest. 

Why Do These Problems Happen and How to Prevent Them?

These issues happen often to the people who send packages on a daily basis. If your business relies on shipping products to all sides of the world every day, it’s fair to assume that some mistakes will slip in from time to time. But, there are some methods you can use to lower the chance that such mistakes will happen.

For instance, a very good idea is to check every detail after writing it down. But, your eyes might be too tired if you send dozens of parcels every day, so it’s better to give someone else to do it. And that someone could be the person who is supposed to receive the package. Just make a screenshot of the shipping form (if you’re doing it online) or take a photo of it (if you’re doing it manually) and send it over to them to take a look and see if everything is okay. Only when they confirm that everything is in perfect order should you send the parcel.

Another very good idea is to do your research when deciding which courier service to use. There are some companies that have methods for solving problems such as misplaced parcels. And they might be willing to solve the problem for you without charging anything extra. Furthermore, if you are doing business with only one courier company, they will probably want to reward your trust by taking care of such problems on their own. Actually, in most cases, picking the right company is all you got to do.    

The Rise of Delivery Robots

Friday, January 19th, 2018

We’ve all seen films and TV shows that depict the future of society. In those fictional settings, directors and scriptwriters imagine a world dominated by helpful robots making life easier for citizens. In a world where technology is advancing faster than ever before, is it any wonder that the thought of robotic deliveries is paramount?

Many experts in the seventies and eighties predicted technology was likely to come to fruition in the next fifty years. As we reach the end of that half-century, it is becoming a reality. Firms are now increasingly looking into the viability of automated delivery.

Does this mean we are going to see parcel robots roaming around the streets anytime soon? That’s unlikely, but with the rise of driverless technology and sophisticated drone programming, the use of automation in the delivery service seems inevitable.

The question remains, is there a demand for it and how safe will it be?

The Advantages of Delivery Robots

One of the major advantages of delivery robots is that they will allow firms to provide same-day, last-mile drop-offs to businesses in the surrounding area quickly, efficiently and, most importantly, cost-effectively.

Another advantage of the development of this technology is the real-world problems it can solve, such as supplying our troops in foreign countries or delivering aid to hard-to-access regions during times of catastrophe.

The delivery bots currently in development feature built-in pedestrian awareness that operates using learning algorithms.  This allows the robot to survey the surroundings and obey traffic laws, use roads, curbs and even stairs, all while avoiding obstacles on its route.

It’s not only in small, last-mile delivery robots that this technology being developed. Companies in China are also looking into the logistics of using automated delivery vehicles that can follow a route safely and avoid obstacles and other road hazards. These trucks will be predominantly self-operating, though can be manned if needs be.

Roadblocks of Robot Deliveries

The major question raised by driverless, automated delivery is, will it be safe? One of the biggest concerns surrounding the technology is the practical implications. Of course, developers are pointing to the fact that yes, autonomous delivery will be safe as both the large delivery vehicles and smaller delivery robots both have hazard perception software and are developed with road users and pedestrian safety in mind. 

Current government statistics point out that 94% of all traffic accidents are down to human error in one way or another. That statistic alone suggests that a robot designed to eliminate this error will result in safer journeys. Indeed, the driverless vehicles will not be impaired by drugs or alcohol misuse, can have their speeds restricted, and are being developed to read other drivers’ intentions, all implying these autonomous delivery services will be as safe as possible.

Why Customers Love the Idea of Delivery Robots

There are several reasons why customers are already warming to the idea of delivery robots. Firstly, in a society where everyone wants their goods yesterday, people are open to the idea of finding a cost-effective way to get their goods delivered with the minimum of fuss. The bots can work around the clock within reason (i.e. battery life) and can therefore deliver at times that might otherwise be considered premium or outside working hours, for a reduced cost. This also opens up the market for people who work irregular shifts who ordinarily would not be able to receive deliveries during normal working hours.

Secondly, driverless technology in delivery vehicles could reduce the requirement  for double manned teams on long distance journeys. Without the need for human rest periods, this may speed up delivery times for major companies and large shipments.

Finally, as the world becomes more eco-aware, the desire to do something about pollution and global warming has risen, especially among millennials who, incidentally, tend to be the highest demographic wanting same-day delivery. As a result, the fact that delivery robots are far eco-friendlier than vehicles and driverless vehicles are eco-friendlier due to more efficient driving, the whole delivery system could be far more environmentally friendly than it is now. This is a bonus for those investing in automated technologies because it attracts a young demographic of customers who care about their carbon footprint.

Why Aren’t Our Streets Already Filled with Delivery Robots? 

There are companies developing autonomous delivery services around the globe and there are plans for testing in the very near future. Small, same-day delivery bots are being tested in the U.S in Memphis, Tennessee, among other areas.

Trials in London of driverless deliveries have also had positive responses thus far. As more and more people flock to cities to live and work, convenience is becoming a sought-after luxury and this new technology could help to deliver that in a sustainable way.

One of the minor drawbacks currently faced is the fact that there needs to be a human operative onboard the delivery vehicles or at least supervising to ensure smooth running and, in some cases, the safety of the goods on board. To train an operative to monitor the system and control delivery robots when needed means that more training is needed in the logistics service than previously, meaning that it’s slower to get the technology rolling out than perhaps would be liked.

In addition to this, while larger companies are testing vehicles and getting positive results, there’s not enough money being invested in delivering this technology at the moment, slowing the progress somewhat.

However, self-driving delivery vehicles are being tested in China and have successfully managed to deliver some 60,000 parcels over an astonishing 2,200 miles. The trials were carried out through several different landscapes and weather conditions, both day and night, and the results seem to have been quite positive.

As nations across the globe continue to face the continuing driver shortage, we stand on the cusp of this technology which could be a viable solution. While we are not currently greeting delivery bots at our doors and out in our neighbourhoods, it is surely now only a matter of when this will become a reality, not if.

Parcel delivery convenience

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Important and urgent documents that need to be sent across the city, across the country or even across the world may well be a vital part of your business. Getting them to the right place at the right time can seem stressful if you can’t find a reliable courier service. It isn’t just paperwork that needs to be delivered, but packages, parcels too. So, finding a parcel delivery service that you can trust can make the world of difference to the smooth way in which your business operates.

Regardless of whether you want a parcel delivery as a one-off service or if it is something you require regularly, we at Same Day Dispatch ensure that your consignment gets to where it needs to go in time, every time. We offer an array of parcel delivery services such as same day delivery, where dedicated drivers are assigned the job to ensure urgent deadlines are met 24 hours a day.

Our friendly couriers ensure that you get service with a smile, but more than having merely a professional manner, they get the job done with the minimum of fuss too and take great care of all parcels that you entrust to our care.

Demanding requirements are not an issue

It is a fairly common occurrence for many courier companies to turn down delivery of consignments which are an awkward shape or size, or need special care taken throughout the delivery process. We pride ourselves on our problem solving skills and can deliver virtually anything, anywhere in the world, regardless of whether other courier services have turned you down.

If you have a parcel that needs delivering then we will make sure that the job is done in the most cost efficient manner. So, regardless of whether your parcel looks like a space ship or is packed in a regular box, our parcel delivery service agents will determine your needs accurately to find a competitively priced solution.

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