Smart Courier Deliveries Reshaping the Supply Chain Management

Courier Delivery Models set to Replace Traditional Supply Chain

The global parcel delivery costs about $82 billion reportedly, with more than 40 percent of the market accounting in China, Germany, and the United States. With the rise of e-commerce, consumer preferences have become progressively essential in the parcel-delivery market that was purely business-oriented in the past.

Today, about 20 to 25 percent of consumers choose same-day or instant delivery. More than 50% choose based on price affordability, whereas 20% of consumers choose the cheapest delivery option.

With the growing demand, how goods flow from manufacturers to consumers is about to change for good. Currently, a dedicated delivery person employed by the parcel delivery service provider picks up the parcels at a consolidation point, e.g., delivery base, and delivers them directly to the recipients. Large vans are typically used as delivery vehicles. Over the next decade, prompted by new technologies and business processes, parcel delivery models’ transformation will reduce supply chain costs and reorder its components. According to research, some of these operational models, AGVs mainly, will replace the current forms of regular parcel delivery in not so distant future.


Autonomous aircraft, choppers, or planes, for example, carry up to 15 kgs of parcels to their destination along the most direct course and generally at high speed. Drones need supervision, and a single person can supervise roughly about eight drones.

Amazon PrimeAir - Drone Delivery
Amazon PrimeAir – Drone Delivery


Anyone who joins the crowdsourcing network, as a driver, can opt to complete a specific delivery order. This system’s benefit is its adaptability in product supply, particularly in covering pinnacles and troughs, the multi-reason use of specific resources, such as automobiles, and the low investment requirement for delivery organizations.

Autonomous Ground Vehicles

These vehicles contain lockers, and they deliver products with zero human intervention. The delivery companies inform the customers about the vehicle’s exact arrival time and are requested to collect their parcel from a specific locker in the vehicle. These autonomous ground vehicles would require supervision.

Bike Couriers

Novas Insurance - Motorcycle Courier
Novas Insurance – Motorcycle Courier Service

Courier companies employ people to deliver relatively small amounts of packages by bike. Bike courier delivery is commonly seen today in point-to-point parcel delivery system, specifically in delivering business documents and prepared food.

Semiautonomous Ground Vehicles

These are the self-driving vehicles where a delivery person takes care of the administrative tasks like parcel scanning, communicating regarding the vehicle’s arrival time. However, it has to be taken into account that these semiautonomous ground vehicles are reported to be significantly more expensive than a regular van, at least in the beginning.


Marble - Robot Food Delivery by Yelp Eat24
Marble – Robot Food Delivery by Yelp Eat24

Small autonomous vehicles are relatively slow, driving at a speed of 5 to 10 mph. These are only slightly larger than a regular parcel and drive on the sidewalk rather than on the main street. They deliver parcels to the doorstep. These droids also need human supervision. Developers currently believe that one person can supervise up to 100 droids due to their small size and low speed.

While some of these futuristic delivery systems are still being developed and tested, they’re not yet trending. But keep your eyes on them for the future. Robot Delivery is likewise being tried in San Francisco for Yelp Eat24, using a Marble robot on city walkways.

If parcels can be delivered by autonomous vehicles or drones, that will change the game considerably, according to Accenture’s global management consulting lead for the postal and parcel industry, Andre Pharand.

In conclusion, innovation is key to improving and progressing delivery, particularly in rural areas that are not easily reachable. While delivery firms are still unable to fully meet their own deadlines for delivery, it looks like there is a need for alternative solutions.

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