The courier industry is currently experiencing a boom. In challenging global times, especially due to the recent pandemic, many industries have struggled to remain afloat — but the courier industry is arguably bigger than ever.
Experts have agreed that the courier industry is likely to experience increased demand over the coming years. This is great news for business owners, as well as those who make use of courier services to keep them connected and well supplied. But every industry is subject to change, and the courier industry is no different.
Below, we explore six of the key changes you might see in the courier industry over the next few years.
1. More Demand
The courier industry experienced a surge in demand during times of lockdown. Home deliveries of groceries, online shopping, medical supplies, and more all had to be transported at speed and across a wide area.
The courier industry was a key aspect of keeping many people connected and able to receive their essentials. But far from the demand subsiding during the ‘new normal’, it has continued to grow.
The convenience of online shopping, the increased connection between businesses, and the speed with which items can be delivered, were revelations to many businesses and individuals.
Large numbers of businesses and were able to move completely online and continue to serve their customers using couriers.
2. Greater Speed
The speed at which professional couriers can deliver is already outpacing the conventional postal services. But in the future, expect these times to shrink even further!
Next-Day delivery is now a common expectation, with Same-Day delivery services becoming more popular too.
With more drivers, wider national and international coverage, and improving technology, delivery times are set to become shorter and shorter. Many experts predict some deliveries eventually being able to be ordered, dispatched, and delivered within the hour!
3. Increased Coverage
The courier industry already has access to a large proportion of the country — as well as internationally. But shortly, this service area is expected to increase. Coverage of more remote areas, and to more specific or less accessible addresses, are all expected to become commonplace. It has also been suggested that global courier services will become faster and more affordable too.
Plus, with the advent of technology such as drones, places that were previously unreachable or impractical to deliver to, are now firmly on the courier radar.
The courier industry may well get faster and more accessible — but it is not yet clear whether these services will become more or less affordable.
4. Specialised Services
The courier industry is also likely to offer increasingly specialised and comprehensive services. Specific services and vehicles are already offered for extremely fragile deliveries – or those that need refrigeration or sub-zero conditions – for example. But in the future, the list is likely to grow.
More comprehensive services might also include complementary packaging of items as standard, as well as increased safety, specialised vehicles, highly trained drivers, and more.
The impact of business and industry on the environment is an increasing global concern. In the courier industry, this is also a primary concern, and continually reducing the sector’s carbon footprint is likely to be a priority in the future.
Many companies are already pledging to switch to electric and hybrid vehicles, use the most fuel-efficient routes, and offset their carbon footprint with environmentally-friendly activities, for example.
Postage and packing materials are also becoming more environmentally friendly — such as by being biodegradable or recyclable — and this has had a positive impact within the industry too.
6. The Use Of Technology
Technology is likely to impact the future of all industries, and the courier industry is no different. The courier industry is already at the forefront of some of the best driving and navigation technologies — including the most advanced tracking software, satellite navigation, vehicle safety features, and more.
There have been many innovations in transport technology alone in recent years and these have often had an emphasis on safety (such as cyclist indicators when opening a door), or navigation (such as new apps or satellite tracking features).
But in the future, the use of technology in the courier industry might expand to delivering greater speed and efficiency due to automation, drones, and even self-driving trucks!
Drivers are expected to remain an imperative part of the courier industry, however, so expect to see increased training and expertise when it comes to safety, sustainability, and technology.