Competition has always been fierce in retail. But as retailers continue to contend for greater customer loyalty and a larger share of the market, those in shipping and material handling are finding themselves racing to keep up with demands for ever-faster delivery.
“In the last years, humans are getting used to a much higher level of service,” said Marc van Neerrijnen, senior system engineer, parcel and postal, Vanderlande Industries. As a result, “Everybody has to change, and the burden of trying to reach the expectation of the customer has become more and more difficult.”
Vanderlande, based in Veghel, the Netherlands, is a leading global supplier of turnkey material handling systems for airport baggage handling and the distribution, parcel and postal markets. As one of the largest worldwide material handling suppliers, there’s plenty of opportunity for recognizing and responding to trends in parcel package delivery across the globe—and to offering perspective for the North American market. Worldwide, data capture, downtime reduction, package tracking and the like are all very real challenges. But so are the more seemingly “simple” questions: How should a package be delivered? And by when?
European nations, for example, are increasingly seeing smaller, localized delivery companies stepping up to the plate. This side of the pond, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) considers UPS and FedEx valued partners, especially when it comes to the last mile of delivery. But the companies can also compete with themselves. They are also facing competition coming from new sources.
Amazon is reportedly in the process of testing a new delivery service that would reduce their reliance on UPS and FedEx. According to the Wall Street Journal, they have been testing the service, reportedly called “Last Mile,” in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
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By Fiona Soltes