We love a good predictive blog piece as much as the next person, so we’ve put together our top B2B courier delivery trends for 2020:
No matter the industry, climate change and eco-awareness are going to continue to impact how deliveries take place through the next 12 months and beyond.
- Clean Air Zones (currently being planned for a number of cities including Birmingham, Cambridge, Liverpool and Oxford) will present a number of challenges for courier companies who may pass the cost down to consumer level.
- Packaging – many companies are pledging to use either renewable or recycled packaging in the next 10 years (McDonalds is one such company on the ball; they have promised to use only 100% renewable or recycled packaging by 2025)
- Emissions – plans to reduce emissions produced by courier vehicles include upgrading fleet vehicles to electric or hybrid vehicles; a big cost for any company but may hit smaller firms harder (although they may then see less charges in the way of Clean Air Zones etc).
All of these have the potential to eventually hit the customer’s pocket, but we’ll see.
The big benefit of using an automated courier system is that it can run around the clock, with deliveries being picked and packed at all times of the day ready for dispatch. Drivers can then cover miles quicker and more effectively in off-peak hours, avoiding on-peak delays which can cause deliveries to be late.
We predict there will also be increased use of smart devices such as the Ring doorbell for businesses, where people may not be present but can tell courier where to leave a delivery, instead of having to then re-deliver (thus saving time and also creating less of a carbon footprint).
Traceability of products
We can already see a demand for increased traceability of products being couriered and this is set to continue into 2020 as customers want to know where their item is every step of the way (this applies to all sectors, not just B2B).
A limited selection of couriers are already offering ‘real time tracking’ so customers can see where their item is on a map in relation to their premises, and how far away the courier is by number of drops/time. We predict there will be a continued surge of this type of tracking as well as more information for the customer such as direct numbers for delivery drivers (especially if items are predicted to arrive later than planned).
Customers with this wealth of information will have to remember to factor in elements such as traffic jams where delivery drivers simply cannot help being late, but it would be nice to see further communication between delivery drivers and customers directly if problems do occur.
High speed delivery
As technology grows, we become more impatient and waiting longer than what seems necessary for a delivery is just one aspect of that. There has already been an upturn in high speed delivery services; for example, Amazon Now which offers a one-hour delivery window in select areas via small warehouse units with drivers on standby to deliver within a one-hour radius.
Of course, high speed delivery does come with its downfalls; there has been an increase in reported late and damaged deliveries as couriers cannot make the deadline or items are damaged during transit.
In 2020, we fully expect to see an increase in more offerings of these high-speed deliveries, but will people be happy to take the rough with the smooth? Only time will tell…