While we may live in an increasingly virtual world, there's no doubt that the demand for parcel delivery services continues to rise impressively.
In fact, a staggering 2.8 billion packages and parcels were delivered in 2016, with this number having increased by 65% in barely four years. Fortunately, delivery firms and couriers have been able to meet this demand by leveraging cutting-edge technology to enhance the speed, transparency and the reliability of their services.
In this post, we'll look at how technology has evolved within this sector and the impact that this has had on the service available to customers.
The Impact of Tracking Software
Perhaps the most important technology at the disposal of logistics firms is tracking software, which enables both companies and customers to track their deliveries with increasing accuracy. In truth, this software has been around for more than a decade now, but it has continued to evolve and benefit from numerous upgrades during this time.
During the last three years, tracking technology has evolved to the point where customers can receive a greater frequency of updates and access real-time delivery data. This is thanks to the integration of a multitude of sensors into advanced logistics systems, which can be scanned to provide live information as consumers look to monitor its route and estimated time of arrival.
The Internet-of-Things (IoT) is at the heart of this evolution, while it will continue to drive innovation in the near-term. IoT innovator Hanhaa has already announced the next generation of tracking software in the form of its ParceLive device, which has been designed to optimise the accuracy of the data produced and provide an insight into the condition of individual packages.
This device, which is inserted into a parcel at the time of its shipment, will also address sustainability concerns and challenge conventional packaging in the future.
How Has This Provided a Boost to Delivery Firms?
The evolution of tracking software has enabled firms to offer a more diverse range of delivery options to their customers, which is crucial in an age where e-commerce encouraged consumers to fully exercise their level of influence and purchasing power. After all, this has created a more discerning generation of customers, 87% of whom are inclined to seek out alternative service providers if their shipment is delayed or experiences similar issues on two or more occasions.
To meet this demand, the market-leading brands have leveraged tracking software to offer a mid-range delivery option that informs customers precisely when their parcel is set to land. So, whereas consumers were once restricted to choosing between standard delivery services with no tracking and more costly, express shipments with order visibility, they can now access a more affordable option that allows them to track their delivery using the very latest technology.
This represents a win-win scenario for everyone, while there remains a sense that the market's adoption of advanced IoT technology could break even new ground in the years to come.
Now, a mid-range of delivery option has appeared; services that are not as expensive or as quick as express options, but importantly offer comprehensive tracking. These services are aimed at those customers that don’t necessarily need their order quickly and therefore don’t want to pay a premium for fast delivery but want to see where it is and know precisely when it will be arriving.