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Why e-commerce holds a lot of opportunity for postal organisations

The rising influence of e-commerce is forcing carriers to reconsider how they manage their shipping networks.

Global online retail is growing at a rapid clip, and as emerging technology makes it easier for consumers to shop online or via mobile devices, the industry’s growth is unlikely to slow down any time soon.

This is creating a number of promising new business opportunities for private postal organisations, while also necessitating the adoption of new postal technologies and shipping strategies to help carriers compete.

Above all, delivery efficiency will be the key differentiator in determining which of these carriers succeeds and which fall behind in an increasingly global marketplace.

A Network for Smarter Shipping

With online retail driving an increase in the number of small packages to ship, private postal organisations are able to replace revenues lost to declining volumes of traditional mail. Many carriers are looking to make the most of the opportunity by building a more efficient network of retail and shipping partners to move packages globally.

New partnerships between local carriers and small eCommerce providers are appealing for both parties - allowing retailers to entice consumers with attractive same-day delivery offers, and enabling shippers to add new revenue generating services.

At the same time, organisations are establishing themselves as waypoints for packages being shipped around the globe. Known as “Ecommerce consolidators,” these carriers gather parcels from international retailers, consolidate them, and forward them to regional couriers for last mile delivery to their final destination.

A Greener Way to Get There

Beyond a re-organisation of global shipping networks, postal organisations are also taking a hard look at the efficiency of the vehicles being used to move packages. A recent global shipping trade show served as a showcase for a variety of new environmentally friendly delivery vehicles that could ease the burden of high fuel costs.

Carriers who desire a more efficient fleet may choose to purchase new electric-powered delivery vans, for example. Or, local shipping companies may opt to send couriers on their routes atop brand new bicycles equipped with specially designed trailers that can hold a number of small packages.

Sustainable delivery should continue to gain momentum as carriers look for more opportunities to reduce shipping overhead and offset the significant yet difficult-to-predict growth of transportation costs.

A Tech-Savvy Shipping Budget

Retailers and carriers alike are evaluating technology that can help reduce labour costs and make a dramatic difference in speed of delivery.

The priority for retailers scouting delivery partners is to find carriers that can keep shipping costs under control. Software can help retailers evaluate a wide range of delivery factors – package size, destination, unique handling requirements – to identify the local carriers that can economically move parcels to their ultimate destination.

On the carrier side, automated parcel sorting is one solution that can enable faster processing speed, better shipping scalability and lower upfront costs. Postal organisations in markets of all sizes are adopting flexible solutions that are affordable to implement and that can easily adapt to fast-growing shipping volumes. 

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