All thanks to millennials and the advent of modern technology, consumer expectations in respect of items and parcels delivery, are soaring. Customers are increasingly giving preference to ordering and getting delivery of items, right in the comfort of their spaces. This has thus led to a heavy reliance on third-party courier companies by retailers, wholesalers, and in fact, some manufacturers too. From Europe to North America, to Africa, to the Middle East, as well as the rest of the world at large, third-party logistics companies are evolving at an astoundingly fast pace. Their goal is simple: aiding businesses to make flawless deliveries and availing shoppers conveniently-fast delivery of their items. Businesses that are indeed intent on carving a profitable niche for themselves are thus turning to dedicated online logistics tools, or end-to-end delivery logistics solutions to help out in cost-effective delivery of their products and services.
Read on to find out exactly what specific benefits businesses stand to gain from outsourcing delivery tasks to third-party courier companies. Most importantly, you’d also learn the persistent third-party delivery issues being faced in the industry, as well as tried & tested solutions to solving these third-party delivery problems. Let’s get on with it!
What does a third-party courier service mean
Third-party logistics (also referred to as 3PL or TPL) refers to when a business outsources collection, transportation, delivery or clearance to a third-party provider of such specialized service, at a fee. They are typically known for their specialization in the integrated operations of transportation and warehousing services that can be customized to meet customers’ needs.
An example is when a restaurant pays ViaMe to help deliver foods & drinks orders to its customers. This delivery method enables a business to use an outsourced company’s delivery capabilities & expertise on a contractual basis i.e., part-time, without having to employ full-term staff that’ll carry out the deliveries in-house. A third-party delivery company may provide all or some of the specialized services such as door-to-door delivery, inventory management, cross-docking, etc.
The global third-party delivery (or logistics) market was valued at $869 Billion in 2017, with a projection of up to $1,513 billion by the year 2025. The market is expected to continue to witness outstanding growth due to the reliance of the ever-growing eCommerce industry (or internet economy as some prefer to refer to it).
What are the benefits of third-party delivery
The widespread acceptance of the outsourcing of deliveries to third-party delivery companies is not magical; businesses do indeed benefit a whole lot from joining this bandwagon. Here, let’s take a look at a few of them.
– Quicker Parcel & Package Delivery
Small, medium and large businesses outsource the delivery process to third parties because it most often helps in getting parcels out to customers much quicker they would otherwise be able to do. With the deployment of the best technologies and staff with in-depth knowledge of local networks, third-party delivery companies help in improving customer experience and satisfaction.
– Customer Retention
By offering more delivery methods and options through a third-party courier company, your business is assuredly on a path to positive customer reviews. That, in part, helps in improving the reputation of your business and consequently puts you on your end-users’ radar through positive word-of-mouth and online referrals.
– Cut down in Overhead Cost
Importantly, businesses use third-party courier services because it helps them cut down on running costs they would otherwise expend in the process of delivering the products with their in-house delivery team.
Third Part Delivery Issues and Problems
As the proverbial saying goes, everything with an advantage must have a disadvantage –no matter how little or insignificant it might be. Just like any other industry, parcel delivery is increasingly facing various problems and challenges. Package delivery can be confronted with a whole lot of the issues, but it’s usually how the delivery company and the retailer work together to tackle these delivery issues that make the difference between a positive shopping experience that retains a customer, and a disastrous one that makes a customer vow not to return.
Below, we have identified some of those top third-party delivery issues as well as tried and tested solutions. Read on!
– Incorrect Shopper’s Address
One of the most common examples of courier issues is one of the wrong shopper’s address. Depending on the locale and jurisdiction, it is possible that a shopper or customer has left an incorrect address that leads the dispatcher nowhere and results in returned items. Delivery companies, therefore, do not always rely totally on the addresses provided by the user. It is imperative for such a company to conduct its own due diligence on the local address supplied by the client. One tried and tested solution to this third-party delivery issue is to have a system that can verify the address formatting by matching it with the relevant city’s postal address authority or registry.
– Remote Location
As e-commerce continues to get more popular and gain more grounds, shoppers who live in remote or rural areas are buying more and more online, making retailers, wholesalers smile to the bank often and often. But the snag lies with delivering these items to the off-grid customers by third-party courier outfits. If not cleverly done, the logistics challenge here often translates to a high cost of shipping with the transport costing perhaps more than the actual price of the item being delivered. The tried and tested solution developed by ViaMe is the recruitment of dispatchers and couriers that have extensive knowledge of the local area network. Their first-hand experience of faster routes helps in crafting a smart way of achieving fast delivery while still minimizing overhead cost.
– Weather Events
Major weather events can be catastrophic logistics. Depending on the extremeness, they can unexpectedly grind to a halt, the transit of goods – frustrating customers, retailers, and the courier company alike. The tried and tested solution remains including a force majeure clause in third-party company’s T & C. However, third-party delivery companies like ViaMe with a particular tried and tested plan for responding to this potential supply chain disruption, have a distinct advantage over their competitors in the industry.
– Lost/Damaged Goods
Have you been delivered a box of pizza with two missing pieces? Maybe you haven’t, but it sure as hell sometimes happens, leaving all parties surprised as to what happened to the lost, damaged parts. But the nature of the delivery business makes it one that this delivery issue rears itself up occasionally.
Another prominent issue that occasionally comes up on the radar of courier services is the issue of lost parcels and packages. Third-party courier companies definitely handle several deliveries, making it a likelihood that a parcel may get lost whether in the process of warehousing or in transit, from time to time. That of course, can be attributed to a lack of organization or negligence to adhere to rules, at whichever point such delivery issue arises. The tried and tested solution is to thus look at specific stages where the systemic breakdown occurred and attempt to fix it, preventing future occurrences. Besides at ViaMe, our dispatchers are trained to be with the parcel throughout the time of delivery and treat the next package just as important as the current one, guaranteeing adequate parcel monitoring.
– Inability to be flexible
Many times, businesses and individuals are frustrated by the inflexibility of their courier service company to deliver when they need it the most. Such times may, for instance, include holidays or other seasonal periods when orders peak and they require more hands from the third-party courier company to help in fulfilling the last leg of the customer satisfaction – i.e., taking the product to the doorstep of the final consumer. The tried and tested solution to this, is to have an actionable backup plan in place, for such a period. Such a plan includes the recruitment of part-time dispatchers or partnerships with other reliable third-party delivery companies, to carry out the delivery.
– Accidents and Broken Transports
Due to the nature of the technological and mechanical devices used in making deliveries, courier drivers sometimes get stuck by say, broken down vans, bicycles, or motorcycles. At some other time, it could be that the dispatcher is involved in a road accident that makes it unfeasible that such transport would complete the delivery process. The tried and tested solution by ViaMe remains having standby dispatchers that can carry on with the delivery at a moment’s notice.
– Identification of Parcels
In package deliveries, labels are used to identify and transport parcels to the right destinations. However, they at times get switched or damaged, making deliver arduous or impossible at that point. The tested and trusted solution developed by ViaMe is the continual use of strong, sturdy tags and labels that do not fall easily.
– Service is not personal
Every customer desires to be treated in a special way, and indeed, they should be – since they are the entire reason a service provider is still in business. However, a delivery issue that comes up most often with large courier companies – like DHL, DoorDash, UPS – is that their services aren’t personal enough. No doubt, these companies do indeed process a high volume of packages from numerous customers, spread across a wide expanse geographical location – making it impossible to strike good personal relationships with their customers. ViaMe’s tried and tested solution to this delivery issue, remains to maintain a customer-friendly team that does everything within its professional ambit to personalize delivery services to our different customers.
– No-one-at-home Syndrome
Sometimes, delivery slip-ups happen such that a dispatcher arrives at the delivery point – say a customer’s home, for example – and meets no one around. This is often due to a courier arriving-in later than the scheduled delivery was supposed to go, and the consumer had perhaps given up on the delivery. The proven and tested solution to this lies in the deployment of real-time monitoring and tracking systems by ViaMe. Through this technology, a customer can see as his parcel moves closer and closer to his location as well as see the cause of delays-if there are any at all. With this, customers can reasonably predict the arrival and plan their schedule to match the exact time of delivery.
– Delivery refusal by the customer
There are instances when customers refuse to pay the outstanding order amount on delivery of the item, requesting a return of the package back to the retailer. Justifications for this could be either of the following prominent three reasons – buyer received a wrong/damaged parcel, or made a wrong purchase, or perhaps simply don’t want the item anymore. Whichever may be the case, it’s sure a loss for whoever sent it to them, say a retailer for example. The tried and tested solution that we offer is to advise retailers to create a minimum COD eligible order limit as well as charging customers for every return made. This, in general, reduces the loss you’d otherwise bear for such return. In addition, this solution can also ensure a decrease in the number of returned or refused orders since the receiver knows he’s losing money too by returning goods.
– Unruly Delivery Drivers
Often, we hear tales of woes end-users face at the hands of unruly dispatchers and delivery drivers. The repeatedly advanced reason for these unruly behaviours included stress from an overworked day, or some significant personal problems being faced by the employee. Delivery companies are therefore given bad reviews by its users on the basis of unruly or rude behaviours of their dispatchers – including unprofessional comments and other behaviours unbecoming of a professional. Our tried and tested solution includes continual training and education of new intakes – full-term or contractual – on the essence and level of professionalism expected of them in parcel delivery.
Third-party Delivery in Dubai
In Dubai, the third-party delivery industry growth has few parallels. The reason is simple: citizens depend so much on third-party dispatchers for the sourcing of their daily needs. From groceries, to fast foods to something as little as packs of cigarettes, third-party party courier companies always have a field-day, all-year long.
One recurring issue in the Dubai Peninsular, however, remains the lack of a clear postal address system for most of its areas and locales. This is an issue that has remained an everyday headache for most dispatchers who have to spend considerable time searching for the delivery locations of customers. A tried and tested solution for this delivery issue remains the use of geo-tags. Emerging startups like ViaMe are attempting to fix the problem by allowing their users to geo-locate the pickup and drop-off points for their package delivery through GPS. This way, courier companies – through their dispatchers – deliver packages to the location of the receiver’s mobile phone, using the most optimized route possible.
The Bottom Line
At ViaMe, we are aware of these courier delivery problems and have put in place adequate safeguards and solutions to these aforementioned delivery problems. You can rest assured that our vast and extensive chest of delivery solutions would take away all the impediments you’d otherwise faced when you used other delivery services, ensuring that you – whether an individual or a business magnate – has a pleasant and smooth delivery experience.