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Future of the Courier Industry: New Methods and Experimentation

Future of the Courier Industry: New Methods and Experimentation

Experimental approaches that innovators like Amazon and Uber are implementing are reducing delivery costs and times in ways that were recently inconceivable. Amazon’s Prime Air drone army, which is currently being put into service, intends to complete deliveries in 30 minutes or less.

Regional and local courier companies may not have the resources and reach to affect such a large change. But they can be innovative when it comes to serving customers in their territory. One cost effective way of doing this involves the use of software applications. Courier software applications are commonly implemented by small and large courier services alike to help meet the expectations of modern consumers. Working with courier software providers to create the most effective approaches will help companies remain competitive in this environment.

Innovating for customers can mean more than just clever ways to deliver a shipment. Innovation can also be demonstrated in the ways that services are marketed, the tools given to customers, and the way pricing is staged. Those who have courier software capable of backing those initiatives tend to stand out among their competitors.

Experimentation with alternate methods of deliveries will need to be thoroughly planned and executed if a company hopes to develop a reputation as an innovator itself.

Future of the Courier Industry: Increased Competition in “Last Mile” Service

Increased competition in last mile delivery service

In our ongoing series about the future of the courier industry we take a look at how competition is shaping the last mile service market. If you missed it, our post last week focused on how e-commerce and m-commerce growth has affected courier companies.

Localized and regional courier services that provide inexpensive and efficient options are competing heavily among themselves for the last mile: the delivery to final recipients. Companies like Amazon, McDonald’s, and Starbucks are working with regional carriers in the US (Market Realist). Because the reputation of a company utilizing these types of courier services is affected by the courier’s performance, customer service and satisfaction is encouraging this increased competitive atmosphere.

With B2C deliveries expected to surpass B2B deliveries in Asia and North America by 2020 (Accenture), customer service is integral to the future success of any courier company. Regional courier companies who will excel in competing for their local last mile will focus primarily on establishing a reputation for excellent customer service and secondarily on developing relationships with corporate entities.

Future of the Courier Industry: E-commerce and m-Commerce Growth

Courier E-commerce and m-Commerce deliveries

The massive growth of the e-commerce industry has helped to drive the courier industry into an equally impressive state, with projections indicating 9% growth annually, reaching $343 billion globally by 2020 (Accenture). With the courier industry’s growth fueled by technological innovations, the landscape is expected to similarly evolve. What can this mean for your courier business?

Without the current availability of mail and courier services, the e-commerce industry would have been incapable of achieving the growth that it has today. Likewise, the demand that the e-commerce industry has generated continues to encouraging the growth of the courier industry. As mentioned earlier, B2C deliveries are increasing and expected to overtake B2B deliveries in volume by 2020.

The growth of the e-commerce industry and B2C deliveries present an opportunity for courier companies to increase their own market via e-commerce and direct-to-customer options. Online order placement, package tracking, and customer accounts are some services that will advantage a courier business as the industry evolves.

Ambitious companies may delve into m-commerce, or mobile commerce, a sub-industry of e-commerce, by offering branded mobile applications. When customers install these applications on their smartphones, they are ostensibly putting your brand in their pocket. A fully functional website and application will give courier companies a definite advantage in the future.

Delivery software, such as OnTime 360, can give your company the tools to succeed in this space. In addition to the off-the-shelf apps available, you can also make use of OnTime’s SDK and API toolset to deeply integrate your shipping services with any e-commerce or mobile commerce platform.

Why OnTime is the Best Choice for Medical Couriers

Couriers using delivery software in the medical industry

Healthcare couriers should uphold the same high standards as the industry that they serve. OnTime 360 helps you to improve your communication, customization, and scheduling. These factors majorly impact your ability to satisfy customers in the medical industry. OnTime 360’s security and features will allow you to instill trust in your courier software and to build trust within your community.


Because of the fast pace and changeable environment of the medical industry, communication with your clients and within your company must be consistent, concise, and accurate. Features such as notifications, status labels, and the OnTime Customer Web Portal will help to ensure that your company and clients are always informed and in sync.

OnTime 360 offers a variety of customizable notifications, which can be sent via text, email, or fax. These notifications can be triggered manually or automatically when certain events occur, such as a change in an order’s status label. Status labels can be changed on-the-go by drivers using OnTime Mobile to inform you and your clients of an order’s path. Order entry options can be customized and used to instruct your drivers regarding specifications that an order may require.

The OnTime Customer Web Portal can be used by your clients to place and track their orders. Users do not need to download anything to access the Customer Web Portal nor do they need to configure firewalls. This contributes toward HIPAA compliance and use in hospitals. Documentation, such as order history, can be viewed, downloaded, and printed from the Customer Web Portal. While your dispatchers and administrators can provide this information to clients, the instant access that the Web Portal provides will help to improve your communication.


The items that healthcare couriers collect and deliver are often delicate and of a sensitive nature. Confidentiality and competence are necessary for the handling of these items. Certain features in OnTime 360 can help to guarantee that the proper precautions and accommodations are made for your more complicated deliveries.

The vehicle management feature allows you to classify your vehicles to assign the right driver with the right vehicle to the right shipment. This way, if a shipment requires temperature controlled shipping, you can be sure that a vehicle that can accommodate that is assigned. Vehicle management will help you to eliminate confusion, maintain the viability of samples, and ensure confidentiality, saving you money on mistakes and growing your trusted reputation.

Status labels can also be customized within OnTime 360 to reflect your specific needs as a medical courier. Customized status labels will allow customers, drivers, and administrators to always be informed of what is happening with a delivery. The specific steps in your process will be accounted for and can be reviewed and referenced later, helping you to shape better methods within your organization.


The medical industry is extremely fast-paced; however, regular pickups and deliveries are also required by pharmacies, hospitals, and other facilities. OnTime 360’s scheduling, route planning, and tracking features are all helpful in this capacity.

Schedules can be used to determine when certain services are available, pickup times, delivery times, and other scheduling-related options. The route planning feature can be used to determine where certain drivers will be at specific times of day and what routes they will take to arrive there. When these features are used in conjunction with one another, your daily pickups and deliveries run like clockwork.

The tracking feature can be used to view and compare the timeliness of your orders. Color coded labels can be used to inform you if orders are past pickup time, past delivery time, or within a certain number of hours of delivery time. This information can help you to determine more effective ways to use the scheduling and route planning features.

Couriers in the Healthcare Market

Couriers using delivery software in the healthcare industry

With the global demand for medical supplies steadily increasing, fast and reliable healthcare couriers are seizing the opportunity to create long-lasting relationships with healthcare providers. Because of the high standards and extensive regulations that the healthcare industry requires, being trustworthy is essential for couriers serving medical professionals.

Healthcare couriers deliver to and collect from a variety of medical centers and service providers. These may include labs, clinics, hospitals, doctors, clinical research labs, pharmaceutical and biotechnical industries, and blood banks. To work effectively with these specialized clients, couriers must adjust their practices and services accordingly. Here are some of the most important considerations for healthcare couriers.

Supply of delicate equipment, specimens, and samples

Healthcare couriers are required to ship sensitive and important materials, which generally require quick transport. These items may include urine and blood samples, sterilized operating room tools and instructions, healthcare records, immunizations, or biohazardous materials. In every case, time-sensitive delivery options, properly trained and equipped staff, and customized solutions will ensure that these delicate items are handled and delivered on time.

Time-critical delivery options

The medical industry is not tolerant of traffic delays or unscheduled deliveries. The viability of specimens erodes over time, and most deliveries simply cannot wait. Trusted healthcare courier services provide various delivery options that specifically service the medical industry’s unique needs. Some of these options include 24/7 services, STAT deliveries, same-day deliveries, overnight deliveries, air deliveries, and on-call deliveries.

Properly equipped

Medical professionals often need deliveries to be sterile, refrigerated, confidential, or otherwise explicitly handled. These special requirements are measured by a high standard, making a courier service’s ability to properly handle deliveries a cornerstone of success. Warehouses and vehicles which are equipped to store and transport critical deliveries, medical equipment, and viable samples are an absolute requirement for healthcare couriers. Trained and professional staff, dry ice and temperature-controlled packaging, and other adjustments are also common features of successful medical courier services.

Customized solutions

Many trusted healthcare couriers provide customized solutions in compliance with regulatory bodies such as OSHA and HIPAA. This specialized experience has an especially significant impact on the medical industry because of the varied services that are required by healthcare professionals. Daily services to healthcare facilities, homecare support, confidential delivery of records, and long term care delivery for pharmacies are some of the customized solutions commonly offered by successful medical couriers. Some have used the reputation that they have built from these services to partner with healthcare companies. Others provide outsourced courier services to hospitals and other facilities for repeated and regular routes.

Professional delivery software can help bring your company into compliance and make it possible to provide compelling services to clients in the healthcare industry.

5 More Questions to Ask Yourself When Evaluating Courier Software

Five more questions to ask when evaluating courier delivery software

After considering our first five questions to ask when evaluating courier software, allow us to present five more. These questions can help you choose a delivery software solution that will benefit your organization for years to come.

1. Does the solution help where you need help?

Every business has certain areas that could be improved. When evaluating courier software providers, ask yourself what aspects of your business need improvement. Certain software options may help with these areas, while others may hinder your potential changes. Be sure that the features and options offered by your chosen provider fit within your business’s needs.

2. Is the software compatible with your existing hardware?

Some software solutions may require that you purchase new mobile devices, computers, or other hardware in order to use the programs. If the software will not work for you, all other considerations will likely be moot. It is important that you consider whether or not you are willing to make the investment required and if the benefits provided will be worth that cost. The provider’s sales or support team should be able to offer you information regarding any hardware or software accommodations that you may need to make.

3. Does the price work for you?

Every courier delivery software is priced differently. Generally, different features are available under different levels of pricing. Consider whether the plan that contains your desired options is worth the purchase or subscription cost and if it fits within your plans for the future. If you are unsure about the investment, check whether the software provider offers a money back or other relevant guarantees.

4. Are you satisfied with the level of support offered?

Because you are committing to a potentially and hopefully long term relationship with the software’s support team, your ability to communicate and work with them will heavily impact your overall satisfaction and ability to use the software. Be sure to contact support before buying and read through customer reviews to find out if the support team is understanding, capable, and right for you.

5. How long will implementation require?

Setting up and implementing a new courier software system will require time and training. Because you want your software to improve your day-to-day efficiency, the most seamless and speedy transition will allow you to start reaping these benefits soonest. Find out about setup assistance and software demonstrations offered by potential software providers to make the best choice for your business.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Evaluating Courier Software

Five questions to ask when evaluating courier delivery software

While the experts at OnTime and other software providers are well-versed in the intricacies of courier management solutions, no one knows your business like you do. The best and most valuable assessment of your company’s needs is your own. Below are five questions to ask yourself when evaluating courier delivery software to help decide which software is right for your business.

1. Is the software configurable to your company?

The way that your company works is unique. Your courier management software must be customizable to fit your unique needs and adaptable to your business processes. Consider the way that your dispatchers, drivers, and other employees work. If the software that you are considering requires that you completely overhaul the way that your business is run, you may want to consider a more flexible solution.

2. Is the software secure?

To feel assured putting your data and customer information into a software system, learn about their security. Find out how your data will be stored, when and where it will be secured, and what methods are used to keep your data safe. This information can help you to ensure that your chosen delivery software will fit with your current Firewall and IT infrastructure.

3. Can the software integrate?

If you use a variety of software systems to keep track of your customers, accounting, employees, and other important company data, your courier management software must be able to communicate with these programs. Look for a software with complex and varied integration options to allow you to connect your data and inform your company accurately.

4. Is the order entry process an improvement?

One of the major reasons that likely inspired you to investigate courier software is the potential to improve dispatching speed and effectivity. Certain features, such as autofill suggestions and pre-assigned pricing will be offered by the solutions which will have the largest positive impact on your order entry and dispatching processes.

5. Can the system function offline?

If you cannot connect to your data without an internet connection, drivers in remote areas will be unable to use your system. This can result in inaccurate data, missed deliveries, and other issues. Be sure that the software you select has the ability to function offline so that your data is always up-to-date and available to all of your users, no matter where they are.

7 Signs It’s Time for a Better Courier Software

Upgrade Courier SoftwareWhether you haven’t tried courier software or you are unsatisfied with your current solution, you have been thinking about making an upgrade. If the following seven signs describe your courier company, the time to find a better courier software is now.

You do not have real-time visibility

Because your day-to-day is always evolving, you need to be able to make informed decisions at a moment’s notice. Your courier management software should allow you to analyze your entire company’s performance whenever you need. If you are always stuck waiting for reports from multiple systems and departments to be consolidated, your business will fall behind.

Your overhead is rising

With your scheduling spread across multiple or unreliable systems, you will likely experience difficulties managing deliveries. Late, unfulfilled, and cancelled deliveries may be more common. An effective courier software solution will provide you with the ability to track deliveries and notify customers of any delays at the moment they occur. With the records that you accumulate, you will be able to identify issues within your delivery management and automate the adjustments that will improve your business.

Your overall efficiency is unsatisfactory

You and your employees spend an inordinate amount of time on minute and manual tasks that should be automated by your courier management system. These tasks may be as simple as transferring information from a spreadsheet, or as complex as implementing the proper pricing configurations. In any case, this inefficiency is a drain on your company’s resources and a waste of your and your employees’ time.

You lack competitive advantages

If you are unable to offer the level of service and variety of options that your customers enjoy from competitors, an upgrade of your courier software may provide the competitive advantages that you are missing. Online tracking services, instant text and email notifications, and printable reports are some options that can help to facilitate better customer service.

Your departments are disparate

You lack sufficient mobile integration from your current courier software provider and your employees and customers are suffering for it. A lack of internal communication has negative effects on customer service and your bottom line. Up-to-date courier management software will provide you with the tools you need to facilitate proper communication, such as mobile applications, automated notifications, and built-in messaging services.

You are using an on-premises system

Lately, it may seem as though the advantages of cloud computing are being shouted from every rooftop. The support and security that hosted services can offer has outpaced on-premises solutions. You need to be able to access your information at any time, from any device. Cloud computing makes this possible.

Your current system doesn’t support your company’s complex needs

You are excited by the opportunities that technology has made possible within the courier industry, but you find yourself unable to implement these new innovations within your company because your current system simply will not support them. If your courier management solution is unable to grow and change with your business, you will likely find it is time to move on to a new service.

Interested in learning more about courier software in the cloud? Get a quick comparison of how your existing courier software may stack up against OnTime 360.

Promote Your Courier Business with Solid Connections

Delivery Software ConnectionsBuild your network

Meeting people and telling them about your company and services is one of the most effective free ways to advertise your courier business. Be sure that you comport yourself in a professional manner for these types of professional interactions. Some ways to encourage your ability to network include joining local business networking groups, such as your Chamber of Commerce, or carrying business cards to give to potential new clients or contacts.

Find your audience

Depending on what types of people or businesses you serve, you may have opportunities to network and advertise in unique ways. For example, grocery delivery services can meet contacts and customers at grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and even apartment buildings, whereas medical delivery services will find more success at doctor’s offices and pharmacies. However, both of these types of courier services could likely find new customers at retirement homes. The most effective ways to advertise your business will be based on your audience.

Connect with local media

Depending on your budget and the size of your community, you may have a variety of advertising options available via the local press. From television and radio commercials to putting a classified ad in the newspaper, your local media will give you access to more customers in your area. If paid advertising options are too expensive or ineffective, you may want to put together a press release and send it to your local papers, radio stations, and television networks for the opportunity to have a profile presented on your local business.

How to Advertise Your Delivery Business

Customer signing for delivery from courier with uniform and brandFledgling startups and established enterprises conduct many operations differently from each other, but both types of companies require one thing to survive: customers. Without a connection to your audience, your business will be unable to grow or even operate. Advertising opportunities can provide that much needed connection to your audience in the short and long term and should not be overlooked. Below are some ways the team at OnTime 360 have found are effective in advertising your courier business.

Develop a consistent brand

Your brand is what will help people remember you and associate you with package delivery. The colors and logo that you choose to represent your business should be legible and help to consistently reinforce your brand. Including your logo on vehicles, uniforms, your website, and advertising materials will help to further integrate your brand and company with quality courier service.

Improve your online presence

The internet offers a number of inexpensive, highly effective methods for advertising your business and building your brand. Online classifieds, such as Craigslist (in the United States) and Kijiji (in Canada), are free to post on and, like your local media, can expose your brand to more potential customers. A website will allow you to reinforce your brand through design and list your services, prices, contact information, and hours of operation. With social media, you can keep in direct contact with your customers. Your promotions will even be included in their update feed.

Including more advanced online features can often draw new customers that require such technology from their couriers. For example, the OnTime Customer Web Portal can be used to draw customers interested in a self-service portal and improved regulatory compliance.

Garner referrals

Word of mouth is one of the most trusted forms of advertising. If you complete your deliveries on time and provide high quality service, your clients will likely mention you to friends or associates who would benefit from your services. To encourage referrals, offer a referral bonus program for existing clients and be sure to ask long-term customers if they do know people who regularly use or require a courier service such as yours.