E-Commerce and the Changing Face of Logistics
Business Articles | January 29, 2017
E-commerce and consumer demands have radically changed the logistics industry. Operators have had to evolve, creating exciting possibilities for courier jobs.
E-commerce has completely revolutionised consumer demand. This has resulted in the logistics industry having to become more sophisticated and advanced than ever before. Long gone are the days of visiting your local high street for products – instead, it is the online retailers who are thriving.
This switch to online shopping instead of high street shopping has also resulted in a change in customer expectation; nowadays, the consumer expects to be able to track their purchase right through to delivery. Additionally, the delivery must always be on time and they want the product in their hands as quickly as possible.
Whilst this may sound daunting, it has actually resulted in exciting advances in the logistics industry and particularly how courier jobs are carried being out. By embracing these changes and staying aware of developments, operators can stay ahead of the game and establish themselves as key players in the industry.
One key change in customer expectations is that they want to know exactly when they will receive their package. It seems like only a few years ago that orders were placed and consumers were happy whenever it turned up, but this is no longer the case. Nowadays, the general public expects to be able to track their package at each stage and they expect to be enjoying the product just a few days after they ordered it.
Parcels can be tracked by scanning them at each stage of the delivery. The customer is able to log on to the retailer and/or courier company’s website and follow this process with a tracking number. Additionally, they can be informed which one-hour window they can expect their delivery in by the courier scanning their parcel once they have been arranged in the order that they will be delivered.
The consumer has also forced change through expecting much faster delivery times. This has resulted in e-commerce giants Amazon experimenting with using drones to deliver packages by air, which they claim could take just a few minutes after placing an order. As a very public experimentation/marketing stunt, it seems that the industry will soon need to offer a same-day delivery service. Those in the industry know that this is not simply a case of speeding up the current process, but instead a heavy investment in technology (such as drones or self-driving buggies) and considering different operational models. It may seem farfetched at the moment, but many of the big players are determined to make this a possibility.
Another way in which the customer has created change is the dilemma of missed deliveries. This has seen the rise of ‘click and collect’ services where packages are sent to nearby stores, as well as casual self-employed couriers who can take orders via smartphone.
Remaining Profitable and Competitive
It is understandable that couriers feel anxiety with talks of robots flying through the air with Amazon packages, self-driving buggies navigating the streets and self-employed delivery people. However, a business’s success relies on its ability to adapt to the times and embrace current trends. Parcel carriers can stay ahead of the curve by keeping up to date with the latest developments, training couriers to pilot drones and by experimenting with new technologies. This will allow them to provide a better and faster service for their customers.
Not only this, but there will always be a demand for human courier jobs due to the need for much larger parcels and products that will need to be carried and/or assembled. It is these cases in which personal touch is so important and for which the customer will always be happy to pay, provided that the service is of the highest quality.
It is a fascinating time to be a part of the logistics industry, as consumer demand has required operators to evolveBusiness Management Articles, prompting courier jobs to be completed faster than ever.
Article Tags: Logistics Industry, Courier Jobs
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world’s largest neutral trading hub for same day courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe ‘wholesale’ environment.