Loading... Please wait!

National Courier Service | Same Day Delivery Management Specialist

same day logistics Archives - Connecticut Courier Service, Expressway Courier

future-of-drones-1200x809.jpeg

We’ve been hearing about the future of drones, and particularly drone deliveries, for quite a while now. The skies, we’re told by starry-eyed futurists, will soon be full of swarms of drones stealthily leaving packages on our doorsteps. 

It hasn’t quite happened that way yet. There are many reasons for that: technical, logistical, regulatory, legal problems, etc. It’s also important to weigh the pros and cons of delivery by drones.  

In other words: is it even a good idea? 

Drone Delivery: The Good, the Bad, and the Iffy

Okay, let’s break it down and take a look at some of the arguments for and against using drones for that crucial final mile distribution.

The Good

Obviously, there are some good points for developing drone delivery technologies. Otherwise, the idea wouldn’t have been mooted in the first place. 

One of the biggest pluses for designing a drone delivery industry is the environmental benefit. If intelligently developed, a drone infrastructure would be far more energy-efficient and would greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Not only would a drone delivery system generate a lower carbon footprint, but this effect would be magnified by reducing ground-based freight delivery. This could have other important, unforeseen effects—such as easing congestion on overcrowded highways and transportation networks and leading to more efficient warehousing practices. 

The Bad

So what could be bad about developing a drone delivery infrastructure? 

Well, plenty. First of all, there isn’t really a secure system in place for drones to leave unattended packages. We’ve all heard about the notorious “porch pirate;” imagine thieves following drones to their destinations, or maybe even shooting them out of the air to recover the packages. 

Which brings us to the next issue in the drones controversy. The regulatory framework just isn’t in place and doesn’t seem likely to appear anytime soon. 

Where would drones fly, to avoid air traffic routes? Who is liable, if a drone plummets from the sky and harms someone? What about insurance for stolen or damaged packages? 

The Iffy

There are a few other factors that might delay the use of drones for package delivery: 

  • Quieter machines: Have you ever heard a drone? It sounds like a gigantic bee is about to carry you off. Developing quieter technology is a must if this service is ever to take off (pun intended). 
  • Longer flight times: This is important. Most drones have a flight time of perhaps 30 minutes. More powerful batteries need to be designed so they can fly further and longer. 
  • Safety systems: More sophisticated collision detection and avoidance systems will be needed before delivery drones become commonplace. 

These are just a few of the more prominent drone problems that will need to be tackled before a UAV delivery system can be set in place. These are really just a matter of innovation, however. If there’s a will and a lucrative market, these issues can be easily ironed out. 

Current Drone Delivery Systems

It may come as a surprise that, despite some of the above-mentioned hurdles to on-the-fly delivery by drones, there are actually quite a few networks already in place around the world. 

Let’s take a look at some of them.

Swiss Post

Despite a recent crash, which forced the temporary suspension of its program, the Swiss Post will resume its otherwise successful drone deliveries. Using the Matternet M2 Parcel Delivery Drone, the Swiss Post has been ferrying medical payloads to hospitals in Switzerland for several years. 

DHL

DHL’s Parcelcopter program, which uses a sleek little Wingcopter VTOL drone, has been operational since 2016. Like the Swiss Post drone service, DHL’s program is designed to transport medical supplies and matériel to remote regions with inadequate existing infrastructure. 

Project Wing

Probably the most ambitious UAV delivery system is Project Wing, a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet. Using the Wing delivery drone, which operates with an efficient electric engine and can achieve speeds of 74 mph, Project Wing has already inked deals with FedEx and Walgreens. 

Zipline

Surprisingly, the biggest drone parcel delivery service in the world is the little-touted Zipline company. This US-based robotics and drone technology company operates medical drone deliveries in Africa, for the transport of human blood plasma and vaccines to remote locations. 

Zipline has deals with the governments of Rwanda and Ghana and has already revolutionized healthcare in these rural African countries. Healthcare workers just text a request for a blood or vaccine drop, and it arrives 30 minutes later by drone. 

Which goes to show you that drone delivery systems are already changing the world. 

The Future of Drones

Drones delivering small packages is one thing. But what about drones capable of transporting larger cargo? 

After all, there’s much more to logistics than the final delivery of goods to the customer. The freight business is dominated by containerized shipping, and the need to transport large amounts of cargo for long distances is at the heart of the business. 

Some companies are exploring the production of full-blown cargo drones. Boeing, for instance, is developing a big drone capable of hauling up to 500 pounds of freight. Sabrewing’s Rhaegal RG-1 cargo UAV is an all-weather vehicle designed to handle up to 1,000 pounds. 

There’s even more on the horizon. From modular drone pods to self-sailing drone ships, it’s practically certain that we’ll see drones involved in just about every facet of future shipping. 

Face the Future With the Pros

While it’s interesting to speculate about the future of drones, and what role they may play in shipping, it remains the case that logistics is still a matter of trusted shipping companies. 

Drones or no drones, getting goods and products to your customers is always going to require a friendly face and a bunch of pros who know what to do. For your business shipping and courier needs, contact Expressway Courier today. 

Whether with drones, planes, trucks or even on foot if we have to…we’ll get your stuff to its destination. 


deliver-asap-1200x800.jpeg

Seeking to hire a courier service for your business? You may be wondering how to go about choosing one that’s just right for your business needs.

There are a few factors to consider such as cost, services offered, delivery options and reliability.

If you are trying to decide whether or not you should outsource your business deliveries to a courier service you are going to need a guide. Take a look at the eleven questions you need to ask when hiring express courier services for your business.

1. How Long Have You Been Doing This?

If you’re shipping a personal package then the cheapest courier will do. However, the courier service that you use for your business must be reliable and established.

To hire a third-party courier service means to put an area of utmost importance for your business in another person’s hands. It is important to verify how long they’ve been doing deliveries. Be sure to check reviews on sites such as Google and Better Business Bureau.

2. What Kind of Services Does Your Business Offer?

Different couriers offer different services, so always ensure that the courier you choose to use can manage all your needs. Availability is important, so make sure you find out if they have a 24/7 service and if they do deliveries on weekends and public holidays.

Pricing is also important. Check if they have different rates and services for commercial shipping compared to personal shipping. Finding out if they offer online services as well as same-day services is a must.

In the same breath, find out about any tracking or insurance that they have. Ask how tracking is done and if it is accurate.

3. What’s the Size of Your Fleet?

Whether you’re going to ship a small or even moderate amount monthly you should still be concerned with the size of your courier’s fleet.

Fewer trucks or cars, as well as drivers, means a higher likelihood of having your packages being delivered late. Do your checks to ensure that the courier’s fleet is able to meet customers’ needs including yours.

4. Do You Have Good Drivers?

Let’s face it unreliable drivers will lead to unreliable service. 

First, verify if they wear uniforms. Wearing them is a sign of their professionalism and indicates that the drivers like the courier are serious about business.

Next, verify their training and how fast they drive or are allowed to drive. Check if they have good customer service skills.

They may act as the only source of contact with your customers and partners for your business. You need to be sure that they’ll represent you well.

The last thing to verify is the company’s insurance and whether or not they do background checks on their drivers before employing them.

5. How Do You Secure Shipments?

Bad drivers are one thing but knowing how shipments are protected is essential. Find out how packages are handled at all stages of shipment. Ensure that you ask if packages are secured during driving.

Ask if they use insulated trucks and if they have insurance against damage caused during handling. Ensure that you verify what measures are in place to protect your shipment.

6. How Will You Stay in Touch With Me?

The truth is that your delivery will not always go as planned. Be sure to find out in these instances how the courier service will communicate with you.

Find out how you’ll be notified of weather delays and details on cancellations.

If your courier lacks standard responses or can’t properly address your concerns, choose another one.

7. What is the Timeframe for Deliveries and are They Guaranteed?

Find out how they calculate their deliveries as well as how accurately they deliver to meet their timeframe. Does a three-day delivery mean exactly three days, less than three days or four to five days?

These questions are crucial to ask.

8. How Else Will I Be Notified?

Besides communicating with you about cancellation or delays, how else will you be notified? Check if it’s possible to get confirmation of your delivery as well as any other shipping status updates.

Find out if there’s an app, website or text service. Ensure that they have a way of keeping you informed and updated.

9. Is Your Price Better Than Other Competitors?

Most services will already have competitive pricing, the catch is that the pricing is not usually for all customers but for a specific type. Ask this question to find out why their price is the best in order to identify if you match the customer type it caters to.

10. Do You Offer Package Pick-up?

Whether they can pick up a package in a timely manner is crucial to your business. Find out if they offer same-day, immediate pickup or if it depends on the size or time of the request.

Look for a service with a regular pick up schedule that is fast and reliable.

11. Are There Any Package Restrictions?

Verify package contents. Find out the rules they have for packages. Are there some packages that they absolutely do not deliver?

Are there any special rules for certain packages? 

A Final Look at Hiring Express Couriers

When hiring express courier services for your business you need to consider many factors so that you choose the right one.

Ask questions about their years in the industry, insurance, drivers and restrictions in order to be certain that they meet your business needs. This eleven smart questions checklist will ensure that you’re on the right track.

The last thing you want as a busy business owner is to be worried about whether or not your deliveries will reach your customers late or worse yet, damaged. All these are factors that you must think about if you want to succeed in business and retain customers.

If you would like to find a good courier service for your business please don’t hesitate to find one of our locations near you. We can help you with all your delivery needs.