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So we are well into the 16th year of the new millennium – the last millennium anyone reading this will ever see!
It’s been a strange and highly memorable millennium so far, for both good and not so good reasons. Whilst There have been Tsunamis (natural and financial), massive earthquakes, hurricanes and bush fires, the end of the twin towers in Manhattan, wars with losses on a truly tragic scale and the sad situation we currently find ourselves in with religious extremists, we still have plenty to be thankful for. In 2011 world population reached 7 billion and the extraordinary advances in technology and social networking puts many of those 7 billion in direct contact with each other. Our capacity to invent and improve is undiminished, and whilst some would say this too has it’s drawbacks, who would have thought even 8 years ago that the power our mobile phones have now would be remotely possible? Pretty much everything we do is now done differently to not so long ago; the way we communicate, the way we watch entertainment, the way and the cars we drive, the way we shop, the way we educate.
We live in a world of astonishing natural beauty, and advances in travel make it possible for more and more of us to visit worldwide sites of particular interest to us. And of course, we can tweet, snapchat, instagram and facebook the world to make sure our friends get to see what we see almost at the exact moment we do!
Harnessing all this extra potential is a key part of improving the supply chain, and along with the rest of our industry, we are rolling out improvements in our technology and tightening up our own chain of data transfer so that our real time tracking is exactly that. Who knows, perhaps in a few months or years, you will be able to watch online as your mum signs for her birthday present in Sydney as part of the proof of delivery process. We might be onto something there….
Happy New Year to you all.
28 November 2014
So. It was pretty ugly out on the streets. Turns out it was pretty ugly on the net too, and whilst the public fought and scratched and screamed for their bargains until the shelves collapsed in the real world stores, many of the e-tailers saw their own systems collapse under the weight of web traffic too. Now we know we said to be prepared and shop early in our last blog, but we didn’t think our witty little missives had such reach!
Which brings us rather neatly to a link back to our last blog; spare a thought for the poor delivery drivers that now have to cart all your gifts to your door. Surely, with such an unprecedented demand on online shopping, this is a huge task. Amazon will no doubt make use of their own shiny new delivery service. Royal Mail will weep quietly (or loudly) at such a travesty. And the rest of us will work harder than ever to make your Christmas wishes come true. Santa is said to be readying the software for his new delivery super-hub for next year already.
We LOVE commerce. We LOVE e-commerce even more, because it fills our vans and lorries. That means all our staff can go shopping too. And so the world goes round. Keep in mind though – when these magical “sales” come along, it’s only a bargain if you would have bought it at full price. Don’t get too caught up in the heady rush for the cheap TV and try to remember what Christmas is really about: family, togetherness, rest and recharging of batteries for the coming year and whatever it brings. And for those of us of a certain age, Zulu, The Italian Job and The Queens Speech on the telly delivered to you well in time for Christmas by those Air Courier International delivery elves.
6th November 2014
In the run up to Christmas, the Air Courier International delivery elves are always exceptionally busy. This year is no different, and in fact the continued increase in online trading brings more and more pressure to bear on our industry each year. This is great news for us as an industry, but brings with it significant challenges. The spike in demand from the beginning of November through to Christmas leaves the express delivery sector with a staffing and resource issue that is becoming increasingly difficult to manage.
As a business, one cannot have the vehicles, scanners, drivers, warehouse staff, trunker lorries and hub staff required for this Christmas spike for the entire year. It would be commercial suicide. However, the upturn in UK wide deliveries we saw last year (and we are a small cog in a very big machine) was somewhere in the region of 250% – that really needs to be managed as the pressure to deliver on time is also greater during this period. Further, as businesses we need to ensure our regular customers – the ones that rely on us for all of the 12 months in the year – are not let down as a result of this pressure.
We managed the process last year with detailed planning, holiday bans on key periods, and extra temporary staff and rental vehicles. Our plans are already in action this year, but we also rely on other providers and knowing their contingency plans is equally as important to us. Inevitably, at a time when the increase in traffic is so great, and when a very large percentage of that extra traffic is going to home addresses (therefore increasing the need for re-delivery as recipients are not home to sign for receipt), there will be delays. Managing those delays is what is important. Make sure you include a mobile number for your recipients as often as possible – we will text them a delivery slot in advance which they can change if they know they won’t be home. This alleviates pressure on the system enormously and is a great example of our industry thinking outside the box and providing innovative solutions to 21st century problems.
Give as much time for delivery as possible – sending something the day before Christmas Eve is not forward planning! If somebody isn’t home when delivery is attempted, it is exceptionally unlikely that a driver with 150 deliveries on his van is going to be able to return on that day, so your present will not reach it’s recipient in time for Christmas. Avoid the stress this will cause by being more organised and getting your presents and online shopping done as early as possible.
Then get to Christmas Eve knowing the elves have done their job, and you can sit back with that well earned glass of port and a warm mince pie. Have a lovely Christmas!