5 Costly Courier Shipping Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them 


5 Costly Courier Shipping Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them 

As the eCommerce industry gains momentum and is rapidly marching towards the USD 1+ trillion mark by 2025, courier shipping and delivery follow closely, expected to be USD 749 billion by 2031. This means more parcels traveling around the globe, moving across multiple borders, on different vehicles, and rushing towards a myriad of delivery locations. This also means more load on carriers and courier providers that are already grappling with rising fuel and delivery costs, staff shortages, inefficient and expensive same-day deliveries, and unstable bottom lines. 

While adding more resources, such as vehicles, distribution partners, riders, and cross-border fleets, seems an easy solution in the wake of increased courier delivery volumes, these can easily turn into costly mishaps dealing a fatal blow to the service providers. Cost leakages across multiple change-over points, loose collaboration, poor resource management, and lack of data-driven business intelligence – there are many a slip when it comes to successful courier and parcel delivery orchestration across multiple locations.

Here is a quick walkthrough of the top 5 costly mishaps that every courier service provider can avoid with smart automation and proper planning.

Top 5 Costly Courier Shipping Mishaps and How Can Automation Help

#1 – Staffing/Fleet Costs

With courier operations panning across multiple locations and owing to the absence of a reliable centralized management system, it is impossible to get the right answers to the most critical questions, such as:

  • How many drivers do you need?
  • Which driver and vehicle form the most profitable and most efficient asset function?
  • Which driver has delivered the best performance, and how many drivers missed how many deliveries?

It is just a small glimpse of how challenging and chaotic staff/fleet management can get.

Having a highly capable, flexible, and smart courier management system equips the courier providers with excellent capabilities to monitor their entire staff, fleet, and every asset movement in real-time. They can leverage automation, such as on-field gamification, to keep the staff motivated and ensure a firm grip over daily operations. 

#2 – Fuel Wastage

Failed deliveries, misrouting, incorrect addresses, customer unavailability, fraudulent entries by delivery staff, and poor asset planning can balloon fuel and leasing costs. Another major source of fuel wastage is empty miles that are impossible to be curbed via manual planning. 

On the other hand, intelligent courier automation solutions come with smart in-built routines to optimize the miles traveled via smart routing, highly efficient workflows, asset optimization, vehicle capacity optimization, and much more.

#3 – Lack of Dynamic Route Optimization

Stats suggest that 56% of online shoppers prefer same-day delivery, and 61% are willing to pay more for it. Further, 61% of shoppers expect their same-day delivery to be done within 1-3 hours of placing an order. Courier providers need incidental planning and optimization for delivering across such customer expectations. However, static routing only delivers partial optimization as it doesn’t consider real-time road conditions and working constraints. 

AI-powered advanced route optimization not only considers multiple constraints like order volume, weight, costs, etc., but it also considers complex variables, such as delivery type, distance, traffic considerations, and more. Intelligent route optimization engines also empower managers to define highly precise constraints for optimized and resource-efficient delivery orchestrations.

#4 – No Real-Time Shipment Visibility

The poor visibility over shipment movement, inability to have a clear view of key milestone events, and absence of real-time shipment status incur costly losses. Courier providers are unable to confirm whether the shipment is moving at the required pace and will be able to reach on time or not. They are also unable to convey the exact ETAs and delivery alerts to the customers, leading to failed deliveries or multiple delivery attempts. 

Smart courier automation helps businesses keep track of shipment movements (individual and bulk) as well as carrier movements in real time. They can get automated alerts and updates about key milestone events, which can be configured/personalized for every customer ensuring first-attempt delivery and minimizing delays. 

#5 – Inefficient Carrier Management

To increase their reach or to cater to cross-border deliveries, courier providers partner with multiple carriers for various functions, such as distribution, warehousing, last mile deliveries, returns, bagging, labeling, etc. While this outsourcing allows them to amplify their reach, it also introduces confusion, inefficiencies, and blind spots leading to increased costs and data silos. 

Automation-powered courier management solutions allow service providers, as well as their clients, to manage, monitor, track, control, and plan all the courier tasks and processes from a centralized dashboard. They can check which courier partner is the most profitable option for specific delivery types and delivery areas. They can also create daily, monthly, and quarterly reports, etc., for data-driven decision-making as all the data from multiple entities is getting collected in one place. 

The benefits of smart automation don’t end here and comprise highly efficient workflows for every stakeholder, digital document management, automated invoicing and billings, secure COD management, RTOs and NDR routines, and much more. So, get started with smart automation for your courier business and unlock higher profits.


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