Fobbing off consumers with half-baked responses will not do

Just how hard it is to send a package to another country? A couple of recent experiences in receiving and sending documents through couriers only managed to raise my ire. The slowness in the company’s response to my – genuine – concerns was what set it off. Questions about the time of delivery and what caused the delay kept falling on the uninterested ears of those manning the customer service desk.

Sure, the two packages were eventually delivered… but one question kept nagging me thereafter. Why do we have to deal with one or just few couriers? Why do we not have many so that customers can get an optimum level of service.

It is as simple as the basic economic principle of supply and demand. The more couriers we have, the higher will be the competition among businesses to win over the loyalty of customers and which would prompt them to offer more benefits to clients.

So far, there are just a few international courier services and some local ones to choose from. Some of the big names do not operate in all countries. It is interesting to see that some of the biggest ones trace their launch to the early years of the last century.

United Parcel Services (UPS) was founded in 1907. Today, it is estimated to deliver more than 15 million packages a day to 6.1 million customers in more than 220 countries.

As for DHL, described as the largest courier company in the world, its formation goes back to 1969. There is FedEx, founded in 1971. Then there are the two Indian entities, DTDC and Bluedart, with a strong presence in South Asia and elsewhere.



However, recent tech advances and a thriving e-commerce industry have raised demand for more players. Businesses and individuals are conducting transactions and orders across continents over the web, and some stores even have discounts when buying online. Under these circumstances, both businesses and customers deserve more couriers. Already some e-commerce companies, such as JD.COM, which is among the largest Chinese e-tailers, have taken to using drones for some deliveries in rural areas.

“Having a pool of different courier services to draw from means you can offer the best customer experience possible, ensuring your parcels are delivered on time with the most competitive rates”, wrote April Smallwood in a blog on multiple carrier shipping strategies.

At the end of the day, no customer would like to hear “Sorry, we don’t have express service on the last working day of the week”. There should be… and customers deserve to choose from many such options.


This article is originally published in Gulf News by Jumana Al Tamimi, Associate Editor


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