Modern Delivery Issues: What are They & How to Overcome Them

keyKey Takeaways:
  • Modern delivery businesses encounter logistical, last-mile, and customer-related challenges.
  • Addressing security, environmental, and operational issues is crucial for success.
  • Efficient route planning, real-time tracking, and effective communication are essential solutions.

According to research, almost 73% of consumers experience failure or delay in deliveries. 

“Delivery failures = Unhappy customers.”

The most common issues that a customer would face with online deliveries are late deliveries, lost orders, and damaged products. Nobody likes delays in deliveries and shipping transit. So, for retailers to stay in the business, it is imperative to manage customer expectations and prevent them from snowballing into huge issues. 

In this blog, let’s dive deeper into modern delivery issues and their impact on retailers. We will also provide solutions to overcome these issues.

What are the Modern Delivery Issues in 2023? 

Here are some of the modern delivery issues faced by delivery businesses.

1. Logistical issues

Logistics means transferring or delivering packages from one place to another. But, efficiently moving packages from the origin to the destination is crucial. Determining the most efficient routes to avoid package delivery delays involves leveraging advanced route optimization software. A routing software helps in planning routes, optimizing and scheduling delivery processes considering the traffic conditions, road conditions, and distance to minimize travel and fuel costs. 

Logistical issues

Another significant logistical challenge is navigation through traffic and congested roads. Delivery drivers often encounter delays in deliveries due to unexpected traffic, road closures, and construction. Moreover, vehicle breakdowns can cause interruptions in the delivery process. Any delivery or shipping companies need to ensure regular vehicle maintenance, and well-maintained vehicles, to mitigate these challenges and avoid failed delivery attempts. 

2. Last-mile delivery issues

The most costly and complex aspect of any delivery company is to bring the goods directly to the customers. While aiming to provide timely deliveries, tackling various delivery locations at the same time is tricky. Overcoming last-mile delivery challenges requires thoughtful planning and communication with customers to potentially deliver packaging materials through alternative shipping carriers for congested routes. 

Another crucial aspect is managing last-mile delivery attempts. Situations may arise when recipients are not at their destination to receive the package. Such cases may lead to delayed deliveries or missed deliveries and re-delivery attempts. 

To address this, delivery businesses can implement communication channels and inform customers about the delivery schedules. A feature like ETAs allows them to provide customers with the estimated delivery date and time or they can also provide alternative drop-off locations and collect proof of delivery.  

3. Damaged packages or lost package-related issues

Package-related issues directly impact the physical condition and materials of the package. One of the main concerns is to make sure fragile products are delivered safely. Delicate and breakable products require special material handling and transit in order to avoid any damage. By employing specialized materials for packaging, it becomes easy to handle with utmost care. 

Damaged packages or lost package-related issues

Another issue related to parcels is handling large or heavy items. In order to ensure safe delivery, certain products could need efficient handlers. To minimize injuries or delivery businesses should invest in the right lifting equipment, such as forklifts, and train their dispatchers with proper lifting techniques. 

4. Lack of visibility and transparency

Handling multiple deliveries in a day may need efficient supply chain management. Peak periods might witness a demand surge allocating more resources, whereas, the slower periods can help in anticipating the demand shifts. It helps to avoid delays caused by resources employed during peak periods. 

 Another issue that rises up is the visibility status of locations and packages delivered. Provide accurate, real-time tracking information to enhance customer satisfaction. This helps to check the movement of packages and the driver’s vehicle in real-time. Offer customers access to a portal or tracking page to view the real status of their packages. 

In the case of the process of handling returned or exchanged items, efficiently managing reverse logistics is essential for customer satisfaction and cost optimization. Clearly communicate return and exchange policies to customers, ensuring they know the procedure and timelines for returning items. Streamline the return process and thoroughly inspect the items for damages and restock them to minimize inventory handling. 

5. Health and safety issues

For any delivery business, the safety of the drivers is crucial. Drivers face various risks and while spending hours on the road, it is important to ensure safe working conditions. Consider the below working conditions to ensure driver safety. 

  • Driver training: Provide comprehensive training on safe driving practices, defensive driving, and handling challenging road conditions.
  • Vehicle maintenance: Regularly maintain delivery vehicles to ensure they are in optimal condition and safe to operate.
  • Work hour regulations: Comply with local labor laws and set reasonable work-hour limits to prevent driver fatigue and ensure alertness on the road.
  • Rest breaks: Encourage and enforce mandatory rest breaks to prevent driver fatigue and promote mental and physical well-being.

Transporting items that may be potentially hazardous or require special handling. Some items delivered may be hazardous, such as chemicals, flammable goods, or pharmaceuticals. Ensuring safe transport of hazardous materials requires strict adherence to regulations and safety protocols:

  • Regulatory compliance: Stay up-to-date with local and international regulations for transporting hazardous materials.
  • Proper packaging: Ensure that hazardous materials are properly labeled, packaged, and stored to prevent leaks or spills during transit.
  • Emergency response: Develop and communicate emergency response protocols in case of accidents or spills involving hazardous materials.
  • Documentation: Maintain accurate and complete records of hazardous materials being transported, including safety data sheets and manifests.

6. Inventory management issues

Inaccurate or outdated stock information can lead to inefficient order fulfillment, delayed deliveries, and dissatisfied customers. Manual inventory management processes may be prone to errors, resulting in discrepancies between recorded stock levels and actual stock availability. 

Likewise, order picking errors can lead to incorrect shipments, delays in delivery, and increased operational costs due to the need for returns and reshipments.

So, what’s the solution to all these? 

Invest in advanced inventory management software that uses real-time data to track and update stock levels automatically. This software integrates with other systems like sales and purchasing, providing accurate inventory information throughout the supply chain. 

Implement barcode systems to enhance accuracy during inventory tracking. Designate separate storage areas for special items, ensuring they are kept away from regular inventory and handled with care. For perishable or temperature-sensitive items, invest in temperature-controlled storage facilities to maintain product quality.

7. Security and loss prevention

Package theft occurs when delivered packages are stolen from the recipient’s doorstep or front porch before they can retrieve them. This problem has become more prevalent with the rise of e-commerce and the increasing number of packages being delivered to residential areas. 

Lost packages are those that go missing during the delivery process, and their whereabouts become unknown, causing frustration for both the customer and the delivery company.

To avoid these issues, offer customers the option to provide delivery instructions for a safe and inconspicuous location, such as a back door or side entrance. Require delivery personnel to take a photo or provide proof of delivery to ensure that the package was left at the correct location. Provide customers with real-time delivery notifications, so they can arrange to be home or have a neighbor collect the package on their behalf.

8. Vehicle issues and maintenance

A vehicle breakdown is inevitable at some point. Accordingly, if a breakdown occurs during a shipment, there will inevitably be delays, and there won’t be much you can do about it.

It turns out that technology can still help in desperate situations. With the use of a web-based vehicle tracking system, courier services may identify troubled vehicles, assign the closest driver to the scene, and deliver all necessary products to the final destination on time and in priority order.

How Upper can Resolve Modern Challenges Faced by Delivery Companies?

Upper offers advanced route planning and optimization software that can significantly help delivery businesses in resolving their modern challenges. The software optimizes delivery routes, taking into account real-time traffic, weather conditions, and delivery time windows, ensuring efficient last-mile delivery. With real-time tracking features, Upper enables businesses to provide accurate and up-to-date delivery status information to customers, enhancing communication and trust.

Security and loss prevention challenges are mitigated through real-time tracking and proof of delivery features, reducing package theft incidents promptly. While Upper doesn’t directly address eco-friendly packaging, its efficient route optimization helps reduce mileage, minimizing the environmental impact of delivery vehicles.

By leveraging Upper’s capabilities, delivery businesses can streamline their operations, reduce shipping costs, enhance customer satisfaction, and avoid shipping delays.

Bid Adieu to Your Long-term Delivery Woes

Upper is the all-in-one solution for your unexpected delivery issues. Be it delivery or pickup, Upper makes sure you don’t fall prey to such recurring problems.

FAQs

Delivery businesses can optimize routes using advanced route planning software like Upper. It factors in variables like traffic, delivery time windows, and vehicle capacity to provide the most efficient delivery routes, reducing mileage and overall delivery time.

During peak seasons, delivery businesses can scale up resources, implement demand forecasting, collaborate with logistics partners, and offer incentives for customers to spread their purchases over non-peak periods.

Delivery businesses can minimize order-picking errors by providing regular training to warehouse staff, implementing quality control measures, and using voice-activated picking systems.

Integrating professional and systematic modern tools and technologies can deal with delivery issues. You can rely on a powerful delivery route planner to help you increase efficiency and streamline your delivery operations. You can bypass different modern delivery issues and scale your delivery business to new heights.

Firstly, you should ask your customers to contact your customer support immediately to report the lost package. Then, let your backend team initiate an investigation and work towards resolving the issue promptly.

Conclusion

Well, it’s obvious that efficient delivery without any further delay can help you stand out and improve your brand image with finesse. This means you should dig out major issues and take the desired action to bypass these problems to enhance your delivery results.

Using a professional route planner like Upper can minimize your effort in tackling different delivery issues and help you increase your business productivity. Therefore, many major delivery companies have started adopting a reliable route planner in order to level up their delivery efficiency.  Try out the now and handle the modern delivery issues with finesse.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel, author of two defining books on reverse geotagging, is a trusted authority in routing and logistics. His innovative solutions at Upper Route Planner have simplified logistics for businesses across the board. A thought leader in the field, Rakesh's insights are shaping the future of modern-day logistics, making him your go-to expert for all things route optimization. Read more.

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