DELIVERY SERVICES



Virtually every business owner makes use of delivery services in their operations. For some companies, reliable, timely deliveries of parcels, letters, and documents are an essential element of their overall business practices. For others, delivery services are needed only occasionally to distribute contracts, business proposals, financial records, and other business materials.

At one time, the United States Postal Service provided virtually all mail and package delivery in the United States. But today's business owner has a number of choices when it comes to delivery/courier services. These choices range from major international carriers such as Federal Express, Airborne Express, DHL Worldwide Express, the United Parcel Service, and the aforementioned U.S. Postal Service to companies that provide regional services. Moreover, these options are relatively inexpensive, due to the fierce competition that characterizes the industry. As a matter of fact, delivery services have become so competitive that overnight and same day delivery services have been the norm for many business operations since the mid-1990s. As one United Parcel Service executive told Brandweek, "It's no longer an issue of overnight, but rather what time of day." Indeed, all of the major players in the delivery industry offer some type of same-day delivery program.

As competition for delivery dollars has increased, so have the technological advances and innovations offered by delivery companies. These technological innovations are apparent in all facets of company operations, from the sophisticated operational equipment used to separate and track parcels to customer service operations that enable clients to utilize new technologies to monitor the location and status of every package.

WEIGHING DELIVERY OPTIONS

FURTHER READING:

Brown, Ann. "Saving on Next-Day Delivery: The Right Mailing Service Can Reduce Your Office Expenses." Black Enterprise. December 1996.

Coleman, Lisa. "Overnight isn't Fast Enough." Brandweek . July 31, 1995.

Minahan, Tim. "Strategy Shift Pushes More Business to Parcel Carriers." Purchasing. March 26, 1998.

Rice, Marc. "Competition Fierce in Complex Business of Delivering Packages." Marketing News. May 22, 1995.

Sigworth, Dwight. "How to Choose a Package Carrier." Air Cargo World. March 1998.



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