Traditional Courier Services vs Technology-Enabled Last Mile Delivery Providers: What is the Difference?

May 7, 2019 7:49 PM

Learn About Logistics

Traditional Courier Services vs Technology-Enabled Last Mile Delivery Providers: What is the Difference and Why Does it Matter?

Last Mile Delivery Technology
Rapid technological advances has been and is transforming the logistics landscape. While traditional couriers and postal service that usually delivers in 3 - 5 days are still being used today, customers want and expect faster deliveries. The cost and speed of deliveries can influence their buying decision and be the determining factor as to whether they choose to purchase from one site or the other. With these expectations, more and more businesses see the value of investing in technology-enabled last mile delivery providers that can provide fast, efficient and trackable delivery services. Likewise, to keep up with the rising technology trends in the last mile delivery as well as meet customers’ expectations, traditional giants such as DHL are disrupting their business model to integrate innovative technology into their operations and supply chain strategy. Many retailers are also trying to catch up to e-commerce giants like Amazon who has the first-to-market advantage with their offer of two-hour delivery services. Perhaps you’ve been using a traditional courier for your business for years and would like to improve on your last mile delivery services. However, you are unsure of what engaging a technology-enabled delivery provider would mean for your business and are concerned about the cost involved. We're here to help!

What are the factors I should consider in deciding on the last-mile delivery provider for my business?

"All I need is an affordable delivery solution for my business." True or False? With online shopping and the growth of e-commerce today, we rely on deliveries so much more than ever. The last mile delivery company you choose for your business can affect customer satisfaction levels and sales. While traditional couriers may appear to be more affordable, the cost of each delivery should not be the only factor determining your choice of delivery partner. Aside from affordability, supply flexibility, delivery options, visibility and reliability are all important factors you should take into consideration when it comes to deciding on the last mile delivery partner that's most suitable for your business. Consider the differences between traditional courier services and technology-enabled last delivery companies based on these factors:
Technology Trends - Delivery

Read on for the full details and more insights into the differences between traditional courier services and technology-enabled last mile delivery companies:

Traditional Courier Services Technology-Enabled Last Mile Delivery
Affordability More affordable pricing is expected. However, a manual handling of processes limits the capacity of traditional courier services to manage high delivery volumes. Diseconomies of scale may occur as a result. Batching and chaining technology, route optimisation technology, real-time status updates are the many tools of last mile delivery software today. These features boosts productivity, eliminates any unnecessary idling and optimises deliveries for cost efficiency.
Supply Flexibility Fixed full-time drivers lends familiarity and provides consistency, especially if the drivers are reliable. However, manpower is not flexible and may not be able to cope with sudden surges in delivery volumes. Crowdsourced, flexible supply of delivery agents. There may be a need to liaise with several delivery agents at any one-time. However, a flexible supply of workers will ensure that you're able to meet high peak season delivery demands and prevent idle manpower during low season.
Delivery Options, Visibility and Reliability 1. Delivery Options: Delivery window unpredictable and dependent on the courier's schedule. Deliveries that take up to 5 days to reach recipients would be the norm.
2. Visibility and Reliability: Lack of tracking technology, parcels are dispatched manually without any real-time monitoring. This results in a limited view of whether parcels have reached your customers safely and on-time.
1. Delivery Options: Scalability and an ability to cope with huge delivery volumes would mean that short lead times supporting on-demand, same day or next day deliveries are possible.
2. Visibility and Reliability: Real-time GPS Tracking of parcel's location, when delivery agents are enroute and when delivery is complete. This meets the modern customer' expectations of knowing exactly where their parcel is.
Delivery Process & Accuracy Manual Handling of Delivery Orders: Invoices and payment is still via paper and pen. This is bound to human error and more operational work. Additional customer service support may be needed to rectify these errors. Automated Deliveries: The use of a digital dashboard and analytics-driven applications reduces risks of human errors such as incorrect addresses. Predictive analytics will also help to improve business operations and forecast future demand.
Our answer on whether you should switch from a traditional courier service to a technology-enabled delivery provider? A hundred times yes! Change takes time and could be daunting at the start, but we guarantee you that the long-term benefits will far outweigh the cost! Believe it or not, Pickupp is probably one of the best technology-enabled last mile delivery providers in Singapore that will support your business with fast, efficient, reliable yet affordable courier services. Our easy-to-use portal, parcel tracking and rating system will make your transition from using a traditional courier service to a technology-enabled delivery provider as smooth as possible. Also, no drone delivery for now, but as we’re constantly innovating our services, it could be a real possibility in the near future! To learn more about our technology-enabled services and the last mile delivery trends today, you may refer to the following articles: - A Digital Dashboard to Manage Your Deliveries For Life - Same Day or Next Day Delivery, Which is For Me? - Last Mile Delivery Trends and Challenges in Singapore. Learn more about Shop On Pickupp, our e-commerce platform, here.