Still de­liv­er­ing re­sults

The courier in­dus­try is en­joy­ing one of its busiest pe­ri­ods de­spite the growth of elec­tronic com­merce, writes Claire Mackay

The Herald Business - - Advertising Feature -

Par­cel courier firms carve out cru­cial path­ways the length and breadth of the UK ev­ery 24 hours and are the very lifeblood of com­merce and in­dus­try. In­deed, this fast-mov­ing artery of couri­ers is of­ten ex­tended well be­yond th­ese shores into Europe and be­yond.

It may sur­prise some peo­ple that in an era where elec­tronic com­mu­ni­ca­tion reigns supreme, it can still be down to an army of van and truck driv­ers to de­liver the goods.

Of course, it is not only ur­gent doc­u­ments such as print­ing in­dus­try ma­te­rial, le­gal or po­lit­i­cal pa­per­work that re­quire to be phys­i­cally handed over. Of­ten, it may be vi­tal parts for car man­u­fac­tur­ers or the com­puter com­po­nents in­dus­try that need to be fast­tracked to a client.

What­ever the pack­age, one in­ter­est­ing irony of the couri­ers’ role in a highly com­pet­i­tive busi­ness world, is that it is elec­tronic com­mu­ni­ca­tion which has prompted some of the big­gest and most sig­nif­i­cant ad­vances in the par­cel, freight and lo­gis­tics in­dus­tries.

Even smaller com­pa­nies are now us­ing cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy to help them de­liver a quicker and more ef­fi­cient ser­vice.

In­ter­net-based track­ing sys­tems, for in­stance, mean cus­tomers can fol­low the route of an item at ev­ery stage, right up to check­ing proof of de­liv­ery.

In­creased au­toma­tion has taken much of the strain out of what used to be a weighty pa­per trail-based op­er­a­tion, with ad­min­is­tra­tion staff not only han­dling the or­ders end of the busi­ness, but also chas­ing jobs and deal­ing with cus­tomer en­quiries.

With so much of this now on­line, staff have the time and op­por­tu­nity to work more eff iciently, not just in deal­ing with any en­quiries that do arise, but in en­sur­ing the over­all op­er­a­tion runs as smoothly as its po­ten­tial of­fers.

This kind of tech­nol­ogy, of course, doesn’t stand still, but con­tin­ues to de­velop and adapt to in­dus­try de­mands and can in­flu­ence and en­hance an or­gan­i­sa­tion’s op­er­a­tions in ev­ery area.

This can mean par­cel han­dling and sort­ing, in­clud­ing ID, weigh­ing and di­men­sion sys­tems, plus se­cu­rity screen­ing and de­tec­tion equip­ment.

Tech­nol­ogy also plays a huge role in col­lec­tion and de­liv­ery, cov­er­ing ev­ery­thing from pack­ag­ing to track­ing, and also of­fers fleet man­age­ment so­lu­tions such as satel­lite track­ing, nav­i­ga­tion and ve­hi­cle se­cu­rity.

In ad­di­tion, e-sys­tems sup­port busi­nesses through the ad­min­is­tra­tion process too, such as in cov­er­ing cus­tomer billing or cus­toms pro­cess­ing.

In Am­s­ter­dam later this year, ex­ec­u­tives from par­cel and ex­press de­liv­ery com­pa­nies through­out Europe and fur­ther afield will gather to hear about the latest tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances, prod­ucts and ser­vices now avail­able.

The Courier and Par­cel Despatch Expo 2006, which is or­gan­ised and pro­duced by UKIP Me­dia & Events, is a chance to share in­for­ma­tion and ideas on the con­tin­u­ing de­vel­op­ment of a flour­ish­ing in­dus­try.

In ad­di­tion to show­cas­ing the latest in­no­va­tions, there will be a par­tic­u­lar em­pha­sis on eco-friendly so­lu­tions for any com­pa­nies wor­ried about com­ply­ing with new en­vi­ron­men­tal trans­port leg­is­la­tion.

One sec­tion of the ex­hi­bi­tion will be ded­i­cated to al­ter­na­tive fu­els and green trans­port is­sues, cov­er­ing top­ics such as the new EU reg­u­la­tions, the ef­fec­tive­ness of elec­tric ve­hi­cles, fuel ad­di­tives and the costs in­volved in go­ing green.

“The fact blue chip sup­pli­ers to the in­dus­try have com­mit­ted to be ma­jor stake­hold­ers in the Expo and Con­fer­ence for this first event is great news,” says Ed­ward Orange, CPD Expo Di­rec­tor.

“This event is rapidly es­tab­lish­ing it­self as a must-at­tend an­nual show­case and fo­rum for all sec­tors of the in­dus­try.”

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