How technology drives courier service industry


Just imagine, your mother turns 60 tomorrow and you want to make her feel special. However, you are thousands of miles away and looking for an effective way to send her treat. With your last minute purchase, you’re now going to trust a courier company. Its race against time, so you don’t expect any delay.

But thanks to the technological disruptions that brought the world a little closer to each other. Especially the boom of e-commerce sector is having a profound effect on the courier services. But the major challenges such as customer acquisition and partnerships led the implementation of robust technologies. This eventually made it possible to parcel across continents in less than 24 hours.

Not only stationary items, courier services can help you enjoy Italian dinner in Australia. Imported food items are nowadays getting more traction. Let’s dive a little deeper to understand how technology-driven courier service can make a dish tastier.

It all starts when a chef in Paris receives an order for his trademark dish, Atlantic lobsters but there are none in his refrigerator. Having a day in hand, the chef places an order somewhere in Canada where lobsters are in abundance. The seafood warehouse that farms thousands of freshly fished seafood receives the order for a couple of lobsters. After vet-checking, the handpicked lobsters are placed in a seafood package and ready to be shipped. However, the concern is, lobsters can survive only a couple of days without water and so high speed delivery is crucial. So the package is loaded in courier van and immediately transported to automated delivery/sorting center spread in the large area.

After unloading at cargo drop-off point, the package accompanies millions of others on the conveyor belts. The automated belts are capable of sorting thousands of packages every hour. To keep track of the packages, they are tagged with a barcode that encodes their respective addresses and are left to glide on the main belt. In case barcode gets damaged or unable to be scanned by RFID system, photographs are relayed to the team where they manually register and redirect the parcel.

Now the packages are shifted to singulators that assembles and direct the packages to their departure belts. Moreover, for irregular shaped or small sized parcels, there is a separate segment for sorting. Each package thus completes the roller-coaster ride in mere 5-10 minutes and are loaded in the cargo containers. Each weighing approximately 225 kg, containers are boarded on the respective flights.

Coordinating the flights carrying parcels worldwide is a huge challenge. Therefore, each flight is being monitored by air traffic control to make sure they are heading in the right direction and in time. Now in the designation country, the packages are unloaded and sent to the customs department. After clearing customs, the packages are being delivered to the respective addresses. Meanwhile in Paris, the chef receives lobsters in time and is ready to prepare his trademark cuisine.   

Currently, investments are pouring in heavily in courier sector. A number of startups are emerging and partnering with technology companies to provide value for customers. In a competent environment, this has become essential for the budding companies to adopt newer trends and bring new customer experience. One can notice the marginal differences in how companies today allow flexibility to customers to track, place or claim their orders. Also the mobility applications that allows drivers and dispatchers track shipments and deliverables. Looking into the prospect, courier service sector is all set to become the next trillion-dollar industry.