Will Internet's Continued Growth Lead To Falls In Parcel Prices?
And this is very good news for everyone who wants to send a parcel. Mail delivery companies have vast resources at their disposal, in the shape of manpower and fleets of delivery vehicles equipped with the latest communications and location technology, and their financial success depends very heavily on those resources being put to the most efficient use.
With falling demand for letter delivery, many of these resources are being transferred to parcel carriage, as this is a more labour-intensive operation than sorting and delivering letters, which today is a highly automated process.
But it is also an area where countries' postal services are going head-to-head against established private courier companies, each with their own vast fleets of planes, lorries and vans. In some countries, even the letter service is being opened up to competition, with mainly local operators being granted licences to collect and deliver post in their area.
There are many reasons to welcome this, chief among them being the effect it is likely to have on parcel prices. Growing competition for the delivery of packages of all sizes is great news for businesses in general. It means that they can shop around for the best parcel prices, and in doing so, keep a tight rein on their overheads while retaining the quality of delivery service to their customers.
And greater use of satellite tracking technology is also contributing to delivery firms performing more efficiently, as drivers don't have to waste time trying to locate those tricky-to-find addresses tucked away on a housing estate, or in a warren-like complex of identical-looking industrial units.
Becoming more efficient is the best way for couriers to keep down their parcel delivery prices. This means better routing of vehicles, ensuring that they are well maintained so that they can be on the road for longer, and keeping drivers better informed.
The rising cost of fuel is one fly in the ointment which might ease the downward pressure on parcel prices. But with plenty of competition now well established, there is no excuse for not going online and comparing parcel prices for every delivery, whatever its size.