Existing parcel delivery practices
Courier and U.K parcel services was opened up in the 1990s, it has since then developed into a competitive market, with many privately owned companies contending for business opportunities inside the United Kingdom.
There are as many as a hundred different companies delivering parcels inside Scotland or around it.
The Royal Mail- operated by Postcomm (the industry watchdog). It is the only service that is regulated by them, it is the typical parcel service rendered by the Royal Mail, which falls under its Universal Service Obligation. All consumers inside the United Kingdom are able to post letters/ parcels to other parts of the country and at the same rates because of this Universal Service Obligation.
This exclude other service providers though, they are able to charge customers as they see fit for the services rendered.
In the U.K, Parcel delivery typically necessitates consumers to be around in their homes to receive the parcel.
These can proof inconvenient for workers, it is often not possible for workers to be at home when their parcels arrives. Therefore, parcel operators have developed a system that can be used to process these kinds of parcels that are not delivered successfully.
Almost all operators use a variation of the process listed below:
- If the customer is not around at the time of delivery, the parcel will be sent back to the depot for collection
- The operator may leave a card at the premises of the consumer to inform him/her that the parcel has arrived and it is waiting for collection.
- If the consumer wants, the parcel can be re-delivered.
Sometimes operators may leave the parcel with neighbours (usually next door), the consumer can then collects them later. It may also be stored in a secured location at the premises of the customer, this is usually done when there exists arrangements between the consumer and the parcel delivery companies.
There are two main challenges experienced by consumers when trying to collect their parcel deliveries in their homes, they are:
- Cost issues: the Royal mail delivery system charges users at the same rates all over the country for delivering parcels and letters to any part of the UK. This means that consumers in the rural areas does not have to be charged differently to receive or even send a parcel, it assures equal service for all. The other parcel operators can charge as they fit though, they charge customers due to their different locations.
- Home deliveries: most consumers miss their deliveries because they are not at home when the delivery guy came around. It is often impossible to be around all the time. This can be very expensive and inconvenient. Traveling to depots to collect their parcels increase fuel costs, precious time is also wasted while traveling to and fro from the depot. This is especially difficult for those in the rural areas, who have properties that are far from others.
Though many companies have developed the strategy of redelivering the parcels at a more convenient time, but again, it may not be possible sometimes for the operator and the consumer to agree on together on a more convenient time.
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