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Editorial: Customers may be getting lazier but the delivery industry has to work harder than ever


In the drive for better delivery convenience, consumers are getting rather lazy. Now – thanks to the integration by a number of carriers – we only need to ask our devices when our packages are to be delivered or whereabouts they are in the delivery process rather than bother clicking on a desktop, tablet or mobile. It’s getting to the stage where we don’t even need to provide tracking numbers either, which is good since I certainly wouldn’t fancy trying to read off such codes to my Alexa device.
UPS has integrated its customer facing chatbot with its My Choice service, allowing customers to obtain the information they need about their deliveries and reroute them as and where appropriate, including via Amazon Alexa. The latest innovation shows the huge potential for artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data and the internet of things in everything to do with the retail supply and delivery chain.

That’s not to say that us mere mortals are redundant however. A new report from Joblift analyses the state of the logistics job market over the last year and sees a growth of 7% in jobs posted – with the biggest boom seen in part-time positions and the biggest demand being for freight drivers.

This week has also seen the announcement of a number of new – or renewed – partnerships. On the Isle of Man Argos and Yodel are working together to enable the island’s first delivery service for the retailer, whilst Walker Logistics has revealed it’s working with online cosmetics retailer Meanwhile DHL and French supermarket group Auchan have renewed a 10 year partnership and will look at further cost cutting and supply chain savings that can be made, both financially and in terms of going green.

Driving efficiencies and savings is a key target of a report now released across the industry by BT Fleet and the AA this week which also shows what fleet managers are thinking about future investment in hybrid and electric vehicles too.

And finally this week we have an opinion piece from Matthew Robertson, co-CEO of NetDespatch, with whom recently worked on a whitepaper with. He explains how it’s vital for the industry to collaborate if customer expectations are to be met. Innovation and customer success in this industry relies on working together. Whilst customers may be doing less it’s up to the delivery industry to do more than ever to serve them effectively and efficiently.

Image credit: Fotolia

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