The internet has changed the world in countless ways. With email and social media, no one sends cards or uses the phone book anymore. With smartphones, everyone can keep themselves entertained while waiting in line. It’s easier to find cute cat pictures now, too.
Another thing the internet has changed, of course, is how people shop. Instead of making the effort to drive to a local business and physically look through a store to find what they want to buy, consumers can browse inventories and make purchases from the comfort of their own couch. They can even shop in their underwear if they want. You certainly can’t do that in a store (not without getting the cops called on you, at least).
The only disadvantage to online shopping is that consumers need to wait for items to arrive at their doorstep, while if they went to a brick and mortar store, they could get their items immediately. That’s why online retailers are increasingly offering next-day and even same-day delivery options to their customers.
This is all good for business, but it can be hard for the courier companies responsible for last-mile deliveries to keep up.
Trouble In China
In January, The New York Times ran a profile on couriers in China, showing how the growth of the eCommerece industry has affected working conditions. The pressure to deliver more parcels at a faster rate has led to overworked, underpaid couriers who put themselves in harm’s way in order to stay on schedule. Many couriers say they’d rather work at a factory, some have even gone on strike.
These problems are more pressing in China than they are in the West. In the US, wages are higher and labor laws are more protective, so you don’t see any couriers striking here.
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But courier companies everywhere are struggling to make all the next-day and same-day deliveries that consumers demand in the internet age.
To show up on time to all their stops, many couriers feel forced to break the speed limit and drive recklessly.
If they get caught by a traffic cop, you’ll have to pay for a pricey ticket. Even worse, one of your drivers might get into an accident. That’ll cost you a fortune in repair bills and legal fees, and one of your employees could get seriously injured.
How Couriers Can Cope
Route optimization software makes a courier’s job easier. It guarantees that every route a courier uses is the most efficient route possible. They can make it to all their stops on time without rushing to do so.
Also, some route planners have a GPS tracking feature. You know that GPS tracking will show you where your drivers are, but did you know it will also show you how fast they’re going? That way, when one of your drivers starts speeding, you’ll know about it immediately. You can call them right away and tell them to cut it out.
Have any questions about route optimization software? Let us know in the comments section below.