What do delivery companies need to be ready for?
While most industries were affected in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic, few experienced a surge quite like that of couriers and delivery companies.
The volume of domestic parcels in the UK increased by over 50% from pre-pandemic levels.
Whether it was restaurants suddenly offering food deliveries to keep their businesses alive, or the entire world ordering arts and crafts sets online to keep themselves entertained, the industry saw an explosion of growth.
The huge upturn in demand brought competition and innovation alike, so now that the dust has settled, what are the big challenges facing the delivery industry in 2023 and beyond?
Managing multiple customers
Most courier companies will have a whole host of different e-commerce companies that they deliver for.
Each of these customers could have its own way of sending and tracking orders, so it’s important that delivery firms have a clear system in place to ensure goods are handled in an organised way.
The rise of real-time tracking systems has made it easier for companies to know exactly what goods are where at any time, and allows them to keep customers updated on their orders.
Reliance on key resources
Courier companies rely on their drivers and their vehicles to get deliveries to where they need to be. And until the robots and self-driving cars take over, drivers are people prone to human errors, and vehicles can break down.
Proper training can help minimise mistakes among employees, but is unlikely to eliminate them completely. Keeping track of what mistakes are made is a way to highlight processes in your business that could be improved.
If there are repetitive processes in your business that are prone to human error, automation could be a worthwhile solution. Robots can carry out the same tasks over and over without slipping up or getting tired or bored.
Labels are a simple example. Automating the printing and applying of labels removes the chance that someone will pick up a label, get momentarily distracted, and then apply it to the wrong box.
Meanwhile, preventative maintenance of your vehicle fleet will reduce the likelihood that breakdowns affect your business.
Preventative maintenance involves regularly checking vehicles for issues or potential issues so that they can be addressed before they become too serious. Checking your tyre tread depth and replacing worn ones before they blow out is a simple example.
You could even consider scheduling fuel stops into a driver’s route as a form of basic preventative maintenance!
Avoiding damage to items
Damaged items are a headache for delivery businesses. They cause complaints, impact your reputation, and cost you money. There have been high-profile incidents of well-known delivery firms whose drivers have been caught delivering items carelessly.
Be sure not to follow in their footsteps. Such irresponsible methods don’t make for a sustainable business. Having specific procedures to handle delicate items and ensuring they are transported in the right way can avoid issues.
For any delivery business relying on road transport, traffic is a nightmare. Even though rough peak periods can be predicted, incidents and accidents can unforeseen delays on a daily basis.
Using a navigation app that reflects real-time road conditions, particularly one that allows users to report accidents so that others can avoid them, are worth their weight in gold.
It’s no wonder that Amazon has turned to drone deliveries to offer speedy services that aren’t curtailed by gridlock on the roads!
Changing costs and restrictions
Extended lockdowns contributed to significant increases in shipping costs, and global events like Brexit and the war in Ukraine have added further uncertainty and ever-changing conditions.
The tightening of restrictions between the UK and the EU has caused some businesses to rethink how they deliver goods, and others are finding the web of legislation difficult to traverse.
A crowded marketplace
Thanks to the boon brought on by the pandemic, there is more competition than ever among courier companies. The industry has continued to grow despite recent difficult years. That means standing out is hard, but essential if businesses are to thrive.
Ensuring your business is well prepared to meet these challenges is one way to get ahead. We hope these tips prove handy if getting your courier business ready for any obstacles that might come its way.