When you retrieve a package from a parcel locker system you may not think about how it got there. The courier delivery process truly is a modern marvel, and every package is part of a minor miracle that happens millions of times per day across the globe. Every business has to work with a courier service, whether it’s USPS, FedEx, or others – it’s an essential tool that will never go away as long as commerce exists.
You may not give it a lot of thought, but there’s a lot that has to happen for your packages to reach your consumers. By finding out more about the complex process of courier delivery, you as a business owner can better set expectations for yourself and your customers.
Understanding Courier Delivery Service
A standard courier service is one that delivers small packages as well as larger shipments. Whether you need to send a contract, small packages, or heavy-duty equipment, your wish will be fulfilled – for a price – depending on the weight and nature of the goods being shipped.
- Most courier services will not package goods for senders, they only deal in the transportation of goods. It is up to the sender to ensure that the goods will be packaged properly in order to safeguard the contents and ensure their security. Whether you package goods with cardboard boxes, paper, or stainless steel – they will be sent. The sender must decide on the best materials for packaging and to provide the greatest chance of delivery without damage. If you’re sending goods, consider the weight of the packages compared to the protection that materials offer your goods in transit. You will want a balance between the two.
- Sending goods off to a courier typically requires waiting around for someone to receive the package to begin the shipping process. As a small business owner, you may not have all the time in the world to wait for someone to receive your goods and get them on their way for delivery. You may have the option to leave your packages in a specified location to be shipped, but you must trust that your courier service received the goods and not someone else. This may be the least secure part of the process unless you have time to wait for someone to securely receive the goods, unless you have a smart locker or parcel locker in your facility.
- After receiving a package a courier will create a label for the package. The barcode (label) provides information on who sent the package, what is inside, and where the package needs to go. The bar code is scanned at every point of entry and exit, and this data is constantly being stored and updated on the tracking system software. This can then be utilized to provide status updates to customers and even to find out where lost packages may have ended up.
- If a package must be shipped using an airplane, it requires further sorting. Small packages such as letters are put together, different size boxes are grouped, and irregularly-shaped objects are set aside for further grouping. Packages are then scanned and loaded onto aircraft to be received at regional facilities where further sorting continues and items are then placed on trucks for local delivery.
- Once at a local delivery station, a driver uses software to move the package to its final destination using the least amount of gas. If the package needs to be signed for, the delivery person must gather a signature. Otherwise, this is the point at which a courier would place a package within a parcel locker system where it will be securely held until the right party opens the parcel to retrieve their package.
- When the courier finally arrives at your parcel locker, they will scan the barcode on the package at the center console of the smart locker unit. This allows the parcel to be matched with the proper recipient. When matched, the courier selects the proper size compartment and places the package inside. A text or email notification will be sent to the recipient, along with a code to unlock the compartment with their package inside.
While the actual details of courier delivery can be far more complex than what has been explained above, it’s good to have an appreciation of the work involved behind the scenes that allow a parcel to magically appear from within a box.
Parcel locker systems do offer many benefits to both courier services and retailers alike. They function as one-stop places where – instead of driving to multiple addresses – a courier may make one stop to unload a large number of parcels. On the other hand, a sender can use a parcel locker system to easily drop off items at any time of day or night while avoiding lines and other hassles.
Parcel locker systems reduce the time to ship an item, improve security, and offer a single point of access to senders and recipients. Instead of waiting around to receive a signature for a package, a courier can securely place a box inside of a locked smart locker where it will await someone with proper access (whether that is a pin code, fingerprint or FOB key) to retrieve the designated delivery items.
To learn more about how parcel locker systems can help improve your efficiency and flexibility, contact us today. We have a range of smart lockers, asset tracking lockers, hallway lockers, athletic lockers, and more options for custom lockers.