Technology is changing the way that every industry does business. The average shipping company is at the forefront of that change, and most of the industry is adopting new innovations quickly to make their deliveries faster and more convenient for their customers.
1. 3D Printing
3D printers are already changing the way that manufacturers do business, and courier services are changing their business model to take that into account. Some of them are installing printers at their offices and accepting patterns from manufacturers. That gives them the opportunity to print small items on site and ship them out quickly to shorten delivery times and reduce shipping rates.
It also provides a way for some courier services to diversify their offerings. Once the printers are installed, they can rent them to consumers who want to produce their own designs. That doesn’t make a huge difference for their bottom line at the moment, but it can help to offset the cost of installing the printers in the first place.
Delivery drones have a niche role in the industry, and they often serve more as novelties than practical items, but their popularity is growing. Drones excel at shipping small, light items over short distances. They can do so quickly because they aren’t restricted to following existing roads, which gives them an advantage in areas that are prone to traffic jams. While they won’t replace traditional shipping until the drones get much larger and more powerful, they can reduce costs and make rapid deliveries in densely-populated areas for certain items.
3. Precise Timing
People used to complain about having to waste time at home while they waited for a delivery to arrive so they could sign for it, but technology is making that into a thing of the past. Tracking devices make it easy to tell where a truck or other cargo vehicle is at any time, and modern data analysis techniques make it possible to predict how long a given trip will take with great accuracy. Taken together, those innovations are making it possible to predict delivery times within narrow windows to make things more convenient for the recipients.
4. Improved Tracking
People have been able to use tracking codes to see where their packages are for years, but they were generally restricted to seeing when the package got checked in or out of a processing center. Companies have begun to equip their trucks with tracking devices, which means that people can now check on their parcel’s precise location as long as they know which vehicle is carrying it. This technology isn’t quite universal at the moment, but more companies are starting to implement it, so it should be common in the near future. For those of you interested, Flagship Courier Solutions has more information available on their website.