A recent survey has confirmed that parcel delivery has a major impact on consumer decisions.
The survey, conducted by IT firm Localz, questioned consumers across Australia, the UK and the US on last-mile delivery.
The survey found that 94 per cent of customers would choose a different shop or brand based on different delivery options.
Survey respondents shared that their biggest delivery bugbears were long delivery windows and ‘we missed you’ cards.
Almost four in five respondents noted that they considered an acceptable delivery ‘window’ to be two hours or under. Receiving an accurate ‘estimated time of delivery’ was shown to be a big deal, rated ‘very important’ by 47 per cent of customers, and ‘important’ by another 36 per cent – only one per cent of respondents said an accurate delivery time estimation was ‘not important’.
“If Aussie business intends to compete with the impending introduction of Amazon, and more competition generally, they need to think hard about their delivery transport,” commented Walter Scremin, General Manager, Ontime Delivery Solutions.
“You might have a great product line but if you can’t get it to customers in a timely, professional fashion they will try your competitors.”
He added that too many Australian businesses rely on courier companies for delivery. “Couriers can play a useful role for small, ad-hoc delivery orders,” he said. “But if your business is managing large numbers of regular orders, or needs to ship large, unusual or fragile parcels, you would be crazy to trust that to a courier company.
“Couriers are not set up to focus on a unique business, making it incredibly difficult to achieve consistent, high-performing deliveries.”
Small business operators have raised concerns with the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, noting that Australia Post appears to be providing volume discounts to big customers sending large amounts of parcel mail.
Carnell is currently considering options to level the playing field for small businesses.
“Concerns have been raised with me by small business operators regarding their capacity to compete with big business when it comes to online sales,” she said.
“One of the biggest barriers that small businesses face online is the cost of sending parcels.”
In one example given, a music shop in regional South Australia was quoted $75 to send a small guitar to a post office in North Queensland, while a larger competitor was able to offer free postage.
“I am examining options to level the playing field for small business to compete fairly with big business when it comes to sending goods within Australia,” Carnell added. “One option may be to establish a buying collective.
“In many cases, the online presence of a small business enables a physical store to remain open in suburbs and regional towns where it might otherwise not be viable.
“A physical store contributes to council rates, vibrancy and economic activity, which are all vital to the sustainability of local communities.”
Australia and New Zealand cloud software company PrimeQ has won a major contract with New Zealand Post designed to improve parcel and mail monitoring and deliveries.
PrimeQ will help the parcel service to deliver over 560 million items each year by automating its transportation and warehousing requirements through the Cloud.
PrimeQ will install, deliver and support cloud-based transport management system (TMS) and warehouse management system (WMS) software from Oracle.
“New Zealand Post will be able to monitor deliveries in real time, creating a better customer experience via the Cloud,” said Andrew McAdams, CEO, PrimeQ.
“PrimeQ’s installation of a state-of-the-art TMS will use the power of data to track the transportation of letters and parcels at every step of their journey and improve planning of bulk pick-ups and deliveries.
“PrimeQ is also consolidating and upgrading New Zealand Post’s WMS to better service e-commerce businesses seeking to outsource their warehousing and deliveries.”
Design work on New Zealand Post’s new TMS and WMS is now complete, with final configuration and pilot testing due to commence in the coming weeks.
“Our work with PrimeQ will contribute to improved parcel and mail deliveries across the country,” said Alan Court, General Manager – Transport and Logistics, New Zealand Post.
“It will also support the growth of New Zealand Post’s third-party logistics business, using the benefits of the Cloud.”
McAdams said PrimeQ would support New Zealand Post to become the first organisation in New Zealand to transfer a WMS into the Cloud.
“This is a major win for PrimeQ off the back of our rapid expansion in New Zealand and will create significant benefits for New Zealand Post,” he said.
“By replacing New Zealand Post’s legacy system with cloud-based Oracle solutions, PrimeQ can offer lower capital costs and rapid implementation times while creating greater delivery efficiencies.
“We will go live within six months, compared with 12 to 18 months for an on-premise system.
“Oracle has established a three-year SaaS subscription with New Zealand Post that includes technical support.”
PrimeQ is the only business in Australia and New Zealand to focus solely on Oracle cloud business solutions and services.
Tonga has adopted a new postal addressing system to improve national infrastructure. The system, what3words, will enable Tonga Post to better serve its 36 inhabited island
what3words is a global grid of 3m x 3m squares where each square has been pre-allocated a fixed and unique 3 word address.
The Kingdom of Tonga is the first nation in the region, and the fourth in the world, to adopt the three-word address system. Thirty-six of Tonga’s 170 islands are inhabited, with a population of approximately 103,000 citizens. With only a few named streets on a handful of islands, delivering mail is a constant struggle for Tonga Post, the nation’s official postal service.
Until recently, home delivery was restricted to express mail in the city of Nuku’alofa, the capital of the Kingdom. Any other mail would be delivered to centralised PO Boxes, with the recipient responsible for collection, resulting in high volumes of undelivered mail, taking up space and incurring extra costs for Tonga Post.
By using what3words, every location in the Kingdom of Tonga now has an instant address, which Tonga Post hopes will help to unlock the region’s economic growth and social development.
According to the company, three-word addresses will ensure packages or deliveries from the extensive Tongan diaspora make it home, and the system also enables companies to generate revenue from handling more inbound international parcels, as well as from e-commerce from Hong Kong, China and Singapore.
“The volume of international mail we have to deal with has increased dramatically in recent years and consumption of e-commerce is rapidly rising across the islands,” said Tonga Post CEO, Siosifa Pomana. “It’s essential we have the delivery infrastructure that can meet this demand, from customers in cities to those on the smallest islands. what3words’ system has already addressed everywhere in Tonga so we can roll out our service immediately.”
According to what3words, the system is used by individuals, delivery companies, navigation tools, governments, logistics firms, travel guides and NGOs. It is more precise than traditional addresses, simpler than descriptions, and easier to communicate and remember than long strings of GPS coordinates. In addition, it works offline without a data connection, ensuring it can be used everywhere.
The partnership was finalised during a ‘Addressing the Future’ forum held in Nuku’alofa 24–26 January 2017. The business forum looked at ways to further develop e-commerce across the South Pacific and was attended by postal services from The Cook Islands, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu as well as Australia and New Zealand.