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Home delivery
Solutions to handle home delivery issues
It is pretty much a common sight to know somebody who was not at home when a parcel was delivered at their homes and after returning, have had to run all the way to the depot to retrieve it. So are there other options to help solve the issue? The fact is, there are a number of choices that are ready to help and can even put an end to the problem. So as to come up with a simple explanation, the various options have been broken into categories.
Locker Banks
This system is of great advantage for carriers, since it eliminates completely the issue of missing deliveries because of the recipient not being there and the necessity of redelivery. This will no doubt help both consumers and retailers save costs in the long run, making it a worthwhile alternative for both parties. The only supplier providing this facility for consumers at present is ByBox, but other carriers are also considering entering the consumer market.
But the point needs to be noted here that the consumer ultimately prefers to have the delivery made at their doorstep instead of collecting them from a depot. Whether this is better than going all the way to a depot and collecting failed deliveries is debatable.
Collection and Drop-off Shops
This works on the lines of Locker Bank, where customers who missed out their parcels can collect them from a collection point. There are a number of companies that provide this service; the largest of them being Collect+, being owned by Yodel and currently has around 3000 branches across the UK. Collection points are mostly found in places like local shops or pubs at PayPoint stores. This system has become popular, with more branches being opened.
Basic Drop Boxes
Parcel Delivery box
Basic drop boxes are secure lockable containers and come in a number of shapes and sizes. The delivery man could unlock the box and deliver the courier in the box and locks it again. There are a number of companies manufacturing drop boxes, some of them being Parcelpod, ParcelSafe and Hippo-Box. Parcelpod even has a one way flap, facilitating multiple deliveries before the box is emptied. This option can save consumers the trouble of going all the way to a collection point and picking up the package.
Technology Drop boxes
A number of companies have brought in several innovations to the basic drop box, which have been called Technology Drop Boxes. ParcelPal, for instance, have come out with a drop box that can be integrated with the owners mobile device. An intercom fitted close to the box makes a call to the owners mobile when pressed.
The box is opened using a key sequence and it also has a unique identifier, which records the proof of delivery once the package is inserted in the box. A major advantage when using this method is that it works well for deliveries and collections, making it convenient for small time traders.
Another very innovative method used is the 24-7 box which operates in a similar way, but with an alternative to a customers signature. When the door is locked after making the delivery, the system displays a delivery signature code, which will be recorded by the courier. Once the recipient arrives home, he/she has to carefully open the cover to take the parcel from inside. Once this is done, the signature is immediately, proving it has a highly reliable delivery confirmation mechanism.
Timed Delivery
Timed delivery is an option where the recipient can choose to have the package delivered to his home at the time of his choosing. This idea has been around for quite a while, but is not that popular owing to their slightly higher pricing. But even that seems to have changed, with DPD now introducing a free service where a customer can send a text message to the service provider and suggest a time slot. If the time slot is not convenient for the company, they give the customer a number of alternative timings from which the customer can make his choice simply by replying to the mail.
This idea is probably the most convenient from the customers and sellers point of view and the only condition involved is that the recipient has to be home at the said time, which may not be possible for all people.
Modern technology has made it possible for people from any part of the world to buy whatever they wish at the click of a button. But delivering the goods to the right place at the right seems to be a challenge for many courier services. Thankfully, technology is helping us deal with that handicap too, with a number of solutions already available. While some are widely accepted by the public, some are yet to catch up. So one can look forward to interesting changes in this respect.