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Posts Tagged ‘Parcel Delivery’

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.

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.

Pros and Cons of Different Methods of Parcel Shipping

Thursday, April 18th, 2019

No matter what kind of item you wish to ship abroad, you surely want it to arrive to its destination as quickly as possible. But, are you ready to pay more money in order to save some time?

The thing is that some parcel shipping methods are more affordable than others. And in some cases, this can mean a lot, especially when long-distance shipping is concerned. Unfortunately, cheaper shipping methods are usually not as quick as those more-expensive ones.

Each shipping method has its own advantages and disadvantages. Deciding which one to use depends on your budget, your time, as well as the type of cargo you need to transport. With so many factors coming into play, it’s impossible to say which one of them is the very best. It’s up to you to decide…

And the only way to do it is by learning more about each of these shipping methods. So, let’s discuss each one of them more thoroughly!

Air Freight

When it comes to international shipping, air freight is, by far, the fastest method. This isn’t a surprise, considering that a plane can fly much faster than a ship can sail, not to mention that it can reach almost any destination on the planet, which isn’t the case with trucks.

So, now that we’ve established that air freight is much less time consuming than ship freight or truck freight, it’s time to talk about the downsides of this shipping method. The biggest downside is obviously the cost.

In almost all cases, air freight is more expensive than any other shipping method. It might not be a big deal if you’re gonna send a small item across the planet, but if international trade is your business, the cost of air freight can take a toll on your company’s profits.

Another problem with air freight is that the space inside a plane is limited – there’s less space inside a plane that inside a cargo ship. Therefore, weight is a major factor and you might not be allowed to transport your entire cargo in one go.

Pros of Air Freight:

  • The fastest international shipping method
  • Usually no delays
  • Safe & secure shipping method
  • Can be used anywhere in the world

Cons of Air Freight:

  • Expensive

Sea Freight

Sea freight seems perfect for bulk shipping. Why? Because it’s really cheap. It’s actually calculated that sea freight is about five times cheaper than air freight. Unfortunately, it’s also much slower.

So, if you’re low on supplies from China or some other remote part of the world, you will have to wait for weeks or even months for your shipment to arrive. With air freight, such concern wouldn’t bother you. Shipping goods from China to Europe via airplane usually takes only a couple of days.

Another issue with sea freight is that it’s not possible in every part of the world. For instance, shipping items from one of the big industrial centers in mainland China is impossible to do via sea – some of those cities are thousands of miles away from the nearest harbor.

On the bright side, sea freight is much more eco-friendly than air shipping. The thing is that that, on average, only 15g of CO2 is emitted par one tonne of cargo in sea freight. We say ‘only’ because the CO2 emission air freight causes is more than 40 times bigger.

Pros of Sea Freight:

  • The cheapest method of long-distance shipping
  • Much more eco-friendly than air freight

Cons of Sea Freight:

  • Time-consuming
  • Not available everywhere on the planet

International Courier Companies

When it comes to shipping items in Europe, the most cost-effective method is road freight, done by international courier companies. It’s much cheaper than air freight and much faster than sea freight.

Furthermore, hiring couriers to take care of the job, means that you don’t need to do anything apart from giving them the package (if you’re the sender) or receiving the package at your own address (if you’re the recipient).

Another great advantage of courier services is that they’re generally considered to be much safer than any other shipping method. So, if you need to transport your valuables or some fragile items, international couriers are the ones you should hire for the job.

Apart from using courier services to send/receive small packages, you can use them for bulk shipping purposes as well. The thing is that most international courier companies (at least those serious ones) have vehicle fleets with vans and trucks of different sizes. What this means is that they’ll be able to deliver your whole cargo in one go.

Speaking of their vehicle fleets, there are some courier companies that use airplanes and ships as well, not just land-based vehicles. And some have deals with other freight companies that allow them to use several means of transport in order to get your package delivered at the fastest and most-affordable rate possible.

Pros of Courier Service:

  • Ideal for international shipping across Europe
  • Fastest shipping methodat shorter distances (up to a thousand miles)
  • Way cheaper than air freight
  • Very reliable, safe, and secure

Cons of Courier Service:

  • Not ideal for cross-continent shipping

Which Shipping Method Should You Use?

There are so many factors that come into play when international shipping is concerned. Sometimes, the best-possible solution would be to use several different shipping methods to get your items delivered.

For instance, in order to get a shipment from mainland China to your place in the UK, it would be best if you could use a combination of air freight (to get the shipment from central China to a harbor), sea freight (to ship it from China to one of UK’s harbors), and courier service (to get the cargo delivered to your door). 

Luckily for you, there are some international freight companies that can do this for you. Rather than deciding which shipping method is the best, you can leave everything to them. No need for guesswork about which kind of shipping option is the best for the item you’re sending/receiving, let Same Day Dispatch Services decide it for you!

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.    

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.

Optimizing Last Mile Delivery Efficiency

Friday, March 15th, 2019

The ‘last mile’ is a term used in supply chain management that accounts for the movement of goods from a warehouse, depot or transportation hub to the final destination – the customer.

This last leg of the delivery process is the most inefficient and expensive part of the process. In large cities, persistent obstacles such as diversions, construction work, traffic, and parking restrictions make the last mile incredibly time-consuming. With London expanding its ultra-low emission zone, last-mile delivery has become even more complicated for logistics companies and these environmental challenges will continue to grow.

It’s no better in rural areas either. Drivers are often delivering single consignments to low-density areas, only to find the recipient isn’t home. This makes the delivery journey a wasted effort and unnecessarily expensive on fuel.

Combine all this with the fact that people are currently expecting their orders the same-day or next-day, the problem is amplified.

But there is a solution to this issue – implementing processes and using tools to optimise last mile delivery. Streamlining this process as much as possible can reduce cost, save time, and ultimately improve customer satisfaction. This post covers five ways to improve last mile delivery efficiency to help you stay ahead of the competition.

Integrate Planning Tools

The number of parcels being sent each day has never been higher. With companies having to consider route planning and scheduling for hundreds of consignments at a time, this planning process is simply too complex to manage your operations using a spreadsheet or on paper.

Investing in route planning and fleet management tools will help you map out optimal routes while also generating real-time data on delivery status and vehicle location.

This updated software will allow you to more effectively monitor running costs, driver overtime, number of stops completed, the efficiency of your routes, consignment priorities, and smaller delivery windows.

This technology should also integrate effective mapping tools to improve address accuracy. One of the main factors causing delayed deliveries is an inability of drivers to locate addresses efficiently.

These tools can provide the information you need to enhance the last mile delivery process, while simultaneously optimizing operations and improving route mapping and scheduling.

If you don’t have your own delivery fleet or the idea of investing in a whole new system seems overwhelming, an alternative is to team up with a courier service who already utilises this technology. Your courier team will be able to use their systems to improve your last mile delivery process for you, allowing you to focus on other important facets of your business.

Shrink Delivery Windows

When you have optimised route planning and scheduling, you can give customers much more accurate ETAs. Customers now expect extremely accurate delivery times, no longer are they willing to wait in all day for a delivery when many businesses offer a strict 1-hour delivery window.

In addition to improving customer satisfaction, this optimised delivery time allows you to increase the number of deliveries you make per day, reducing the cost of delivery and ultimately improving your bottom line.  

Factors which challenge shrinking your delivery windows include delivery restrictions, difficult loading and drop-off zones, customer-specific delays and perishability of products. However, all of these factors can be alleviated with proper route planning tools. These tools will allow you to take all of these factors into consideration and give each customer an accurate ETA, regardless of unexpected delays. 

Again, a professional courier service can take care of this for you. They will have the tools available to optimise their routes and give your customers accurate delivery slots.

Mobile POS Devices

The last step of last mile delivery is an area that can be optimised for improved performance, and mobile computing technology can have a huge impact. Finding paper delivery forms and working out hard copy invoices in the van can take up a lot of the driver’s time, having a knock-on effect on each additional drop. This makes the whole delivery process for companies longer and customer wait-time increases.

By using mobile hand-held devices, drivers can quickly and professionally access the documents they need, get the customer’s signature electronically, and quickly, in real-time update the back-end supply chain managers of drops.

By freeing up the time drivers spend on hard copy documents, they have more valuable time to perform their drop, give a better level of customer service, and complete more deliveries on a route. For companies that need to maintain hours of service or fuel tax logs, these can also be tracked automatically, which eliminates another time-consuming aspect of deliveries. This all pulls together to increase drops, improve your bottom line, and heighten customer satisfaction.

Maximise First-Time Delivery

Finding a way to maximise first-time delivery each time a package is sent can significantly reduce the risk of lost or damaged parcels. Research suggests that items are more likely to be damaged or stolen if they are left with a neighbour or in a ‘safe’ place. Communicating well with the customer and confirming a suitable time for delivery can eliminate a lot of this risk. Ensuring someone is home when a drop is made can be crucial as well. This circles back to giving customers a small, specific delivery window. First-time delivery is significantly increased if customers are given a smaller ETA.

Invest in an Expert Courier Team

Having a professional courier handling your last mile deliveries will help improve your entire delivery process. Here at Same Day Dispatch Services, that’s exactly what we do. We are a professional logistics team who often perform last mile deliveries. Using advanced tracking and delivery tools, we do the legwork to make sure each package gets to the customer promptly and unharmed. Each of our vehicles is tracked and we always send collection and delivery notifications so you are constantly kept up to date of the progress of your delivery.

We pride ourselves on our customer service and someone is always available to answer your queries. If you’d like to find out how Same Day Dispatch Services can help optimise your last mile delivery service, please contact us today. Tel: 0800 999 1010.

Qualities you need from your delivery service

Thursday, March 7th, 2019

When you are choosing a UK courier, there are three essential qualities you should demand: resourcefulness, flexibility and ultimately compatibility.  These are the values of a trusted delivery service.

A courier company will travel to all nooks, crannies and corners of the UK.  Organising such logistics is challenging and therefore finding a company in who you can rely is essential. 

Same Day Dispatch Services reliability and accountability.  It is essential to all our professionals that our clients’ experience is faultless.

The need to be resourceful

First, you should seek a UK courier that is equipped to deal with your needs, no matter the time of day or the size of the job.  There need to be enough drivers and vehicles available when you need them. Do you need a night-time delivery? Should the package be delivered at the weekend?  Will the package require careful handling?

The best parcel delivery services will have a solution to your needs.  A courier should be able to adapt resources, work within standard operating procedures, but also deliver a versatile service.

It is easy to test the resourcefulness and versatility of your UK courier company.  Make your first request the most extreme, the most non-standard delivery your organisation could expect.  If the courier steps up and says: “no problem, we can work this out” then you know you have the resourcefulness you need.

Resourcefulness is not just about having the largest fleet or most employees. Ingenuity is a state of mind: can your UK courier solve your logistics problems? Can they offer a plan that demonstrates common sense and obvious value for money?

Reliability with flexibility

You want your parcel delivery service to get your consignment to its destination on time and in perfect condition.  You will need a company with a reputation for doing a great job each and every time.  But is this enough?

It is likely that you will need a reliable service that is capable of being flexible. Some UK couriers can offer reliability because they have a fixed way of working.  This strategy cannot be adapted, and managers have little room for deviation, but ultimately delivers good results.  However, the best UK couriers will be able to shape practice to your needs.

Part of being flexible is having a variety of vehicle types, from small vans that handle the city with ease, to three and a half tonne trucks that can go from one end of the UK to the other with a large load.  Flexibility means the company has the resources that they can call on to fulfil a customer’s demands reliably.  At any one time, the company can adapt its ways of working because the resources are there to make innovative and creative decisions.

Examples?

Your job might be small.  You have run out of printer ink on the morning of the big meeting.  Give your courier company just two hours and the cartridge should be available at reception.

Your job requires special care.  You may need critical deliveries of medical supplies.  You cannot afford for the delivery to be late or for the product to be damaged.  The best courier parcel delivery service will have the equipment and training to support your needs.

Flexibility, when defined by courier experts, is the ability to offer reliability at all times.

A compatible partner

When you hire a courier service, this company becomes an extension of your organisation.  They will be in direct contact with your clients or your business partners; therefore they need to represent your values.

Demanding a courier service be a compatible partner suggests you are entering a relationship, and you are.  For this relationship to last, your courier service needs to represent everything that makes you successful.

You should seek testimonials that prove that the couriers understand how to communicate with customers.  Do the drivers present themselves with pride? Does the company value security, tracking your valuable items as they journey to their destination?

A courier service that enjoys long-standing relationships with clients, which enjoys the loyalty of customers, is one that understands your values.  It should be the aim of all outstanding parcel delivery services to continue to reflect and learn how to improve their service for you.

It is a question of values

Same Day Dispatch Services commits each day to provide clients with a fast, dependable and prompt delivery service.  We value integrity, professionalism and courtesy – ultimately, we aim to exceed your expectations for excellence.

We are your partner in business.  We will deliver on time, designing logistic solutions that solve your bespoke needs.

If it is a question of values, and these values should always be excellent service, open communication, innovation, teamwork and accountability.  We are continually learning and reflection, respecting individuals within our company and within yours.

We strive to be resourceful, flexible and compatible.  We demand excellence, and so deliver quality.

Contact Same Day Dispatch Services on 0800 999 1010 and tell us your needs and we will design and deliver your logistics.

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