The evolution of the postal system is a study of the logistics sector itself. From a bag on mules over months to light packs on multiple horses, to working via courier companies which deliver in a couple of days – every transportation evolution has led to an evolution in the logistics sector as well. But with changing times, technology is now working the other way around. Instead of depending on transport mechanisms, it is the delivery times which decide the transport mechanisms and modes. Technology is making the fragmented technology sector come together by connecting gaps which were considered normal in the pre-tech era.
Businesses run on documents and they need to be transported fast. Conventional post and couriers work on set times and their operational models don’t allow for same day services. Technology steps in by allowing for people needing a drop to connect with people willing to drop. This makes the whole chain complete. Dispatch riders have been in systems for a long time, but their setup is in an overall expense.
Courier services are an outsourced function, working well for inter-city deliveries where distances are huge, but not for intra-city where material needs to reach in a matter of hours and not days. Technology has allowed for several startups to fill this need-gap. The entire dispatch mechanism chain has been changed with the introduction of technology. An in-house dispatch mechanism works with packing, labelling, handing over, call tracking, acknowledgement slip, and verbal/mail confirmation of receiving the package, whereas technology has made life simpler for users to just hand over a package with the address details. All other steps are taken care of by the outsourced partner.
Technology has enabled the entire process to work in a much more accountable manner. The step-wise tracking mechanism, live order tracking, and record keeping is making technology an inseparable part of the logistics sector. Same-day deliveries are a working reality and the new challenges would be to bring delivery timelines down even further.
The benefits of technology in the logistics sector have broadly been the following:
Fast deliveries mean faster decisions for businesses. This results in more usage of such delivery services, making them an indispensable part of the whole business process.
The entire mechanism is trackable from the moment an order is picked, in transit, and finally being delivered. Technology is making the entire mechanism accountable and responsible for timelines.
No need to sit on a desktop or visit any courier office. A couple of clicks on a mobile screen, and in less than a minute the delivery has been scheduled, planned, and sorted.
Not just documents, but with such specialized services, cards, gifts across sizes, food, etc. can be sent over. Anything which can be couriered can be sent out on the same-day delivery mechanisms as well.
Technology and apps have made the entire process very accountable. Online payment gateways, multiple payment options, and the availability of order and delivery summaries have given the consumer the ability to track spends and know their savings from conventional sources.
With all the benefits of the ongoing digitization of the logistics sector, it is only a matter of time when all participants in the ecosystem become part of the chain – right from those who provide the service to those who require the service, and the intermediaries who help make the whole logistics function into a flawless experience.
Piyush Tandon is the founder of Meratask, India’s leading micro logistics delivery platform in Delhi-NCR.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)