Express Shipping Services Breakdown
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Written by Kendall Conners
In this day and age, instant gratification is essential. With the latest and greatest technology, we have a wealth of information and resources at our fingertips and are used to getting what we want, when we want it.
This ideal of instant gratification applies to all aspects of life, including our mailing and shipping needs – sometimes we need a package to be delivered within hours and luckily there are companies, such as DHL, UPS and FedEx that can do just that for us.
So, we took a look at these three companies and broke down what types of express shipping services they each provide.
DHL, which has been around for more than 40 years, has a network that spans more than 220 countries and territories and more than 500 airports globally. This company provides courier and express services to businesses and private customers worldwide. DHL has a wide range of services, whether it’s documents, parcels, Same Day, Time Definite or Day Definite delivery, DHL Express is well equipped to handle any express shipping service need.
DHL’s fastest express shipping services consist of its Same Day services, DHL Jetline, DHL Sprintline and DHL Secureline. With Same Day services, someone from DHL will come pick up your package from you and deliver it within the shortest time frame possible, ideal for emergency shipments. DHL also provides time and day definite services, so if you want your package to be delivered by the next morning by 9 a.m., DHL can do that.
Another great feature this company offers is Web Shipping, which helps customers prepare and manage express domestic and international shipments all online. Web Shipping allows customers to print labels, schedule pickups, store contact details and track shipments – straight from your computer.
With more than 8.5 million customers daily, UPS is a world-leader in specialized logistics services. The company’s Express Critical services provide a wide range of urgent transportation options, ranging from lightweight to heavyweight shipments all across the globe.
With UPS Express Critical services, customers can ship their packages a number of ways, including via air (next flight out service), surface (exclusive use, non-stop, door-to-door ground transportation throughout the U.S.), charter, hand carry (a courier assigned to maintain in-transit, end-to-end physical possession of a shipment), and international (next-flight-out, charter and courier services providing global coverage).
UPS Express Critical representative are available 24/7 to assist customers with any express shipping need they may have, and UPS provides online services as well.
Known for its smart marketing and advertising, FedEx has become one of the most well-known and trusted logistics companies in the world. FedEx provides a wide range of express shipping services both domestically and internationally. Whether you need your shipment there today, tomorrow or next week, FedEx offers a wide range of choices for shipments within the US.
With FedEx SameDay services any package less than 150 pounds can be shipped within the same day, 365 days a year to any residence or business within any of the 50 states. FedEx even offers special handling and delivery options, including pick-up and delivery on Saturday, and door-to-door services. For not so urgent shipments, FedEx allows customers the option to schedule what day and time their package will be shipped.
FedEx is Reshaping Last Mile with Autonomous Vehicles
FedEx is embarking on an expanded test of autonomous, driver-less delivery vehicles to develop its last-mile logistics.
The US logistics firm piloted autonomous vehicles from Nuro in April this year, and the pair will now explore that further in a multi-year partnership. Cosimo Leipold, Nuro’s head of partnerships, said the collaboration "will enable innovative, industry-first product offerings that will better everyday life and help make communities safer and greener".
FedEx will explore a variety of on-road use cases for the autonomous fleet, including multi-stop and appointment-based deliveries, going beyond more traditional applications of the technology in single-route movement of goods from A-B. Exponential growth in ecommerce is spurring its broader experimentation in new autonomy solutions, Fed-Ex says, both in-warehouse and on-road.
“FedEx was built on innovation, and it continues to be an integral part of our culture and business strategy,” said Rebecca Yeung, Vice President, Advanced Technology and Innovation, FedEx Corporation. “We are excited to collaborate with an industry leader like Nuro as we continue to explore the use of autonomous technologies within our operations.”
The changing role of couriers
Unlike structured delivery networks, operating under long-term partnerships and contracts, agility is where couriers deliver true value - and their ability to deftly solve last-mile fulfilment has most acutely been felt during the pandemic. For the billions of people around the world forced to stay at home to protect themselves and their communities from the spreading COVID-19 virus, couriers have been a constant. They may have been the only knock at the door some people experienced for weeks or months at a time.
But the last-mile has been uprooted by a boom in ecommerce, a shift that has been most apparent in the UK, US, China and Japan, according to the Global Parcel Delivery Market Insight Report 2021 by Apex Insight. These are markets with dominant economies and populations used to running their lives with a tap of a screen or double-click of a mouse.
“Getting last mile delivery right has long been a challenge for retailers,” says Kees Jacobs, Vice President, Consumer Goods and Retail at Capgemini. “In 2019, 97% of retail organisations felt their last-mile delivery models were not sustainable for full-scale implementation across all locations. Despite increasing demand from customers, companies were struggling to make the last mile profitable and efficient.”
Jacobs says that the pandemic alleviated some of these stresses in the short term. With no other option, consumers were understanding and tolerant, if not entirely happy, with longer delivery times and less transparent tracking. “But, as extremely high delivery demand continues to be normal, customers will expect brands to contract their delivery times,” he adds.
Last mile's role in ESG
Demand and volume weren’t the only things that have changed during the pandemic - businesses looked closer to home and as a result became more sustainable. Bricks and mortar stores were transformed from mini-showrooms to quasi-fulfilment centres. Online retailers and other businesses sought local solutions to ship more faster. In densely populated London, UK alone, Accenture found that delivery van emissions dropped by 17%, while Chicago, USA and Sydney, Australia saw similar emissions savings.