A parcel’s journey halfway across the world is a modern marvel. First by container from factory to port or railhead, it then journeys on a pallet to a logistics hub outside the city.
For most consumers, it’s the next bit - delivery to the doorstep – that they know best and find so frustrating when it goes wrong or deliveries are missed.
If incorrectly handled, it can also be (literally) a logistical nightmare for those managing deliveries. This congested ‘last mile' is often the least efficient part of the supply chain, contributing to a large part of the total cost of moving goods.
As e-commerce continues to grow – it’s set to reach US$2.4 trillion globally by 2018 – finding better last mile delivery solutions becomes even more important, a particular challenge in parts of Asia where transportation and logistics capabilities are still developing. Geography can pose challenges too, such as in Indonesia, which is made up of thousands of islands.
Happily entrepreneurs, systems engineers and software experts are rising to these challenges by experimenting with a range of delivery innovations that should speed delivery times and extend the reach of parcel services.
The delivery man will never be the same again.