Parcel rapid delivery is used to describe same-day and next-day delivery, but it actually implies any delivery requiring two or fewer days to complete. According to Chain Store Age, the value of rapid delivery is stark with most consumers willing to pay a premium for faster delivery of their packages. With the explosion of e-commerce in 2018 and reports suggesting 2019 parcel demand will skyrocket, shippers need to explore parcel rapid delivery options to stay competitive in the coming year.
Amazon Will Continue to Push the Delivery Expectations for Parcels
The first thing shippers need to understand is that the demand for rapid parcel delivery has a primary catalyst—Amazon. Amazon Prime members enjoy free to-day shipping on millions of products, and even if free two-day shipping is unavailable, Amazon Prime members can still get their purchases at a discounted shipping rate. Unfortunately, this is not the true scope of Amazon’s shipping expertise and prowess. Amazon is in the process of expanding its internal logistics network, which will make it more competitive than UPS and FedEx. Therefore, it is likely Amazon will develop the capability to guarantee same-day delivery on rapid parcel shipments within the next few years, and this push will lead to higher demand for rapid parcel delivery among consumers in 2019.
Carriers and Shippers Will Face Renewed Pressure to Prepare for Peak Season
The holiday shopping season for 2018 broke records, and preliminary analysis of the increase, considering the state of the economy, suggests the 2019 peak shipping season will push the limits of the industry even further. According to Forbes, optimizing fulfillment processes to deliver more packages faster will lead to greater use of parcel carriers. This can sound counter-intuitive, but it goes back to a simple principle. As shippers fill more orders and shipping products to consumers, demand will increase. Consumers will share their experiences on social media and tell their friends about how fast packages arrived. In turn, consumer demand for speedier shipping will inherently increase. As shippers wind up for the 2019 peak holiday shopping season, carriers and shippers will face additional pressure to offer faster, cheaper parcel delivery options.
Getting The Most Out of Shipping In 2019
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Uber-Style Parcel Fulfillment Will Start to Emerge
As explained by Bob Malley of Pierbridge in Parcel magazine, one of the most significant changes to emerge in rapid parcel shipping will involve the Uberization of parcels. This is the Uberization of trucking applied to the parcel logistics industry. As e-commerce continues to climb at a rate of at least 10 percent per year, the volume of packages shipped could more than double today’s rate within the next decade. Such growth is unsustainable with the current conditions of the trucking and driver market. Regional and local carriers are looking at ways to expand last mile delivery of parcels to make up the difference, and one of these measures includes using store employees and local people as last-mile delivery drivers. This effectively eliminates the risk and costs associated with finding and retaining drivers, and it immediately increases the capacity available to the shipper.
Now, there will be some people who argue against the Uberization of parcel, but consider this: 90 percent of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart, so this effectively means outsourced, Uber-like parcel shipping could bring parcel deliveries through this model to 90 percent of Americans. It would add an extra level of convenience and offer an incentive for those wishing to take advantage of the freelance lifestyle.
Carriers and Shippers Will Leverage Smart Delivery Capabilities to Reduce Risk to Packages
Of course, there will always be parcel packages that are too delicate and sensitive to qualify for outsourced last mile delivery, and some of these packages may simply be too bulky or hazardous for everyday people to handle. In these cases, the traditional last mile carriers will step in. Yet, expectations for last mile delivery is among traditional carriers is changing too.
For example, temperature extremes for parcels containing heat-sensitive medications represent a significant risk. To meet this risk, more carriers will introduce automated notification systems to help consumers track when packages are delivered, says NPR, and USPS is on the verge of this capability with Informed Delivery. Ultimately, parcel carriers will need to evolve the technology to offer more service and accountability.
Cloud-Based Systems Will Enable Faster Parcel Shipping Too
According to Jack Loechner via MediaPost, a final consideration in the trends for rapid parcel delivery in 2019 will revolve around the use of cloud-based systems. Cloud-based systems are scalable and can suit the needs of virtually any operation. Meanwhile, most retailers, 91 percent of midsize retailers, have used the parcel shipping strategy and system for at least four years. This means the shippers are likely using a system that is not cloud-based and limited in its validity. As demand for more parcels increases, shippers will need to upgrade their existing systems to move to a cloud-based platform, like our very own Cerasis Rater a web-based, cloud transportation management system, which provides real time comparison between parcel and LTL rates. Furthermore, upgrading systems eliminate the costs of maintenance and offers access to the latest technology and capabilities within a platform.
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Enhance the Speed and Efficiency Your Parcel Shipments
The time for improving parcel shipping has arrived, and shippers need to refocus their efforts on creating a workable, efficient and cost-effective parcel shipping strategy. As more consumers demand faster rapid parcel delivery, failure to improve operations will result in an increased risk of bankruptcy and failure of your business.