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How courier companies can benefit from cost reduction and implement business growth through fleet management

With great demand for online-based shopping comes an even greater need for efficient fleet management. Adapt to the times and grow your courier business with rewarding fleet management practices.With great demand for online-based shopping comes an even greater need for efficient fleet management. Adapt to the times and grow your courier business with rewarding fleet management practices.

Modern delivery services and fleet management go hand in hand in the era of fleet innovation. For a manager to accurately keep track of customers, delivery routes and local as well as international delivery services, the use of fleet management is highly recommended.

What is a courier company?

Whenever you scroll through an online store, order items and clear your cart, guess who delivers your goods right to your doorstep? Courier companies.

These are businesses that collect and deliver items ranging from things like clothes to groceries, from one location to another. They are an affordable option for transporting and delivering parcels across South Africa.

While courier services make online shopping that much easier for the average person, businesses also use these services often, as they are an important part of business operations.

Using couriers for e-commerce fulfilment allows businesses to:

  • Deliver multiple packages
  • Provide a more specialised or regional delivery service
  • Relieve themselves of service delivery responsibility

How does delivery work in a courier business?

How courier services go about fulfilling their orders, depends on the nature of the business, contracts, locations, customer needs and a number of other variables.

To reduce overall transport and delivery time, couriers often pick up many different orders to deliver to specific areas at a time. This is prefered over going back and forth between locations, with a zig-zag pattern. To help avoid this, route optimisation is often used. This way, courier services can dispatch multiple orders in a day and cut down on unnecessary journeys by coordinating area-specific deliveries.

Delivery cycle

How couriers go about delivering parcels might change depending on where the couriers are located. Most couriers follow a standard cycle centred around the customers based on their chosen delivery preferences. 

An average courier delivery process could look like this:

1. From the moment your order is processed and shipping details are sent to you for easy tracking, businesses deliver all orders to a local depot where couriers pick them up and drive them to designated areas of distribution.

2. During this time, you will receive a tracking update of their items, notifying you that the courier company is on-route to delivering goods right to your home or office.

3. This cycle gets repeated as the courier returns to the local depot to pick up and deliver parcels to other eagerly waiting customers. 

Depending on delivery routes and destinations, this cycle could be a lot more back and forth, especially without the fleet management services that offer route optimisation and fuel management.

How to choose the best courier service in South Africa?

Courier companies handle a lot of precious, personal and valuable goods. That's why it's important to find a company you trust. A business might need a courier who can deliver their goods on time and make sure their goods arrive undamaged, while the average person just needs a courier company that can deliver their goods quickly.

When looking at courier companies, there are plenty to choose from. Based on your needs, a consumer can view online reviews from previous customers, while it's best for businesses to choose a courier that has what it takes to manage the size of orders they wish to fulfil and whether that company can meet their local or global needs, they might need to partner with both local and international courier services.

Other aspects to consider include; price, location, international reach, express delivery options and many more. For businesses, it's smart to consider multiple courier companies that can cater for delivering different types of packages to assist with your needs. 

We put together a list of five courier companies South Africa has to offer that includes both local and/or global shipping:

  1. Fastway Couriers
  2. Globeflight
  3. The Courier Guy
  4. MDS Collivery
  5. Aerospeed Couriers

With The Courier Guy being one of the top courier services south of Africa, offering a popular range of delivery services like:

  • Same-day express delivery
  • Overnight courier
  • International shipping

In order to select the best South African courier service for you, research the services offered and become familiar with their processing procedures.

How to choose the best courier service in South Africa?

What is fleet management and how does it benefit delivery services?

Fleet management is used to track and monitor business operations. With this, a courier company can keep a fleet running efficiently, on time, and within budget while also making effective business decisions.

Fleet management and operations are a part of any business that relies on commercial vehicles to function. To boost productivity and make a business run as smoothly as possible, fleet management is used to oversee all fleet operations, employees and maintenance practices.

The reason fleet management is widely used, apart from efficient management:

  • Coordination of fleet
  • Ability to cut fleet costs
  • Maximising productivity
  • Reaching delivery quotas

 How does fleet management work?

While fleet management software may appear to be a simple solution to the many difficulties that this line of work presents, it is only when other factors are under control that the technologies of fleet management services can be used to their fullest potential.

Software

The foundation of fleet management is GPS tracking. The fleet manager can view the precise location using the software and use it to monitor the vehicles while receiving additional information on other aspects of driving behaviour and safety.

Telematics

Fleet managers can more easily gather data about a vehicle's acceleration, speed, braking force, and fuel consumption through telematics, which helps them determine when maintenance and repairs are necessary.

The sensors are used to detect any sudden movements, such as fast acceleration or harsh braking, giving you a good idea of the driver's behaviour, which can directly impact the fuel usage of that vehicle.

Maintenance

Keeping track of a fleet's records and maintenance expenses can be very expensive. By handling vehicle maintenance, negotiating maintenance expenses, and planning service intervals, using a fleet management system can help cut costs and avoid unexpected downtime.

 How do delivery services benefit through vehicle telematics?

Using courier delivery services to ship goods from suppliers to wholesalers or fulfil customer orders is a common and affordable option for business growth. In our increasingly connected world, especially with the rise of e-commerce, there is no denying the importance and benefits of courier services.

In all aspects of fleet management, a manager needs to run fleet vehicles and maintain safety while they are on the road.

Vehicle telematics data comes in handy when analysing the following:

  • Fleet vehicles
  • Vehicle location
  • Service delivery
  • Coverage
  • Driver behaviour
  • Community safety
  • Routing
  • Dispatching units
  • Diagnostics
  • Preventative maintenance

For your package to be shipped securely and on schedule, you will need an experienced company or service provider that uses telematics technology to live-track and deliver packages securely.

Lost goods?

After ordering an item online and getting the confirmation Email/SMS from the courier service that your parcel is on its way, the first logical option is to track its every movement until it arrives at your doorstep, right? Well, what if your goods get lost in transit around South Africa or within your city? This is where fleet management can assist.

Each parcel has a shipping label that is scanned at each stop along the way, fleet management software can conduct a search starting from the last depot where the shipment was scanned and track it down to the last vehicle that had the items.

What’s the role of the fleet manager?

Fleet managers aim to keep costs low, maximise profits, and minimise risk while overseeing and optimising a fleet.

They are often in charge of the different departments that make up a whole fleet. Fleet managers are in charge of fleet operations and may be tasked with duties like route planning, driver management, asset utilisation, vehicle maintenance, and the implementation of any programmes that help boost business productivity and avoid cost wastage.

To improve fleet efficiency and lower operating costs, entities frequently use companies like Cartrack that offer efficient vehicle telematics with affordable, easy-to-use overall fleet management solutions.

The latest benefits of fleet management

No matter how many vehicles are in the fleet, manually managing them can be difficult. Through predictive analytics and precise reporting, fleet management software can assist fleet managers in:

  • Gaining real-time visibility into their operations
  • Improving driver satisfaction
  • Reducing fuel consumption.
    Reducing operation cost
  • Maintaining fleet
  • Complying with regulatory guidelines 
  • Boosting service levels

5 ways fleet management can improve delivery efficiency in companies

Fleet management technologies have dominated the world of logistics and business transportation. Due to the variety of advantages it provides, they have not only simplified the process but also improved delivery efficiency. Here's how:

  1. Real-time routing

Route optimisation for effective planning is referred to as "real-time dynamic routing" because it enables fleet managers to make use of real-time data and insights. It considers a variety of factors, including same-day delivery, the quantity of goods, the weather conditions, and the movement of traffic.

It increases the business organisation's dependability in keeping to schedules and deadlines. Additionally, it helps drivers save time, enabling them to complete more deliveries in a single day.

  1. End-to-end real-time monitoring

The data is available throughout the supply chain for managers and qualified employees. Allowing for better decision-making and general performance improvement as they would be able to access live information anytime from their fleet platform.

Fleet platforms make use of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and telematics to provide the power of planning, fleet and driver allocation, and tracking from a single point.

Productivity is increased by highlighting potential problems and improving transparency for customers, managers, drivers, and the business through: 

  • Aggregated data
  • Automated reporting
  • Improved real-time visibility across the supply chain

  1. Visibility

Since goods sometimes use several different modes of transportation to get to their destination, it is occasionally challenging for businesses to pinpoint their exact location due to the nonlinear nature of the route.

However with automated systems, the visibility of intermodal transportation has improved, aiding in the smooth coordination and execution of the plans. Fleet management also increases operational capability and operational efficiency while ensuring that shipments are handled with the utmost care and according to best practices.

  1. Electronic proof of delivery

An electronic proof of delivery (POD) is the signing off of your delivered items on a mobile device. It’s a significant benefit of moving logistics toward digital methods. By going paperless, you can cut costs while streamlining operations for both fleet managers and employees.

With the aid of electronic tools, the labour-intensive manual data entry process is now significantly reduced and gives drivers all the information they require, on an easily accessible platform.

  1. Contactless Shipping

Fleet management software can let customers know when their products have been delivered and confirm delivery through electronic signatures, minimising or eliminating physical contact and maintaining social distance. They are kept informed at every stage of the process and can also pay using digital wallets.

Resulting in:

  • Enhanced customer experience
  • Increased delivery profitability
  • Efficient #PL management
  • Greater control over fleet operations 
  • Improves intermodal transportation efficiency
  • Helps archive perfect order index
  • Adherence to on-time in-full deliveries
  • Reduces carbon footprint
5 ways fleet management can improve delivery efficiency in companies

Benefits of fleet management for courier companies

Fleet management software offers the same benefits enjoyed by other businesses and industries. With a complete view of fleet daily operations, managers can efficiently manage and offer their expertise through fleet platforms without physically being where they are needed.

Now, courier services can monitor their driver's progress with real-time information, giving you the required insight into driver behaviour and vehicle treatment.

Wireless communication can be used to inform customers when their deliveries will arrive. While other features like mileage reports allow you to track and validate your employees’ work and billing.

Fleet management services also offer the following benefits to courier companies:

  • Communicate quickly and clearly
  • Reduce time spent on administration
  • Deliver a more flexible and reliable service
  • Maximise successful orders
  • Improve operational efficiency
  • Ensure accurate pickups, deliveries and returns

Why is fleet management required?


Catrack’s fleet management solutions can help courier companies that deliver locally and internationally. No matter the size of the courier service, a good fleet management system can help you manage any business.

Contact Cartrack today for an easy fleet management solution that can be tailored to your business needs.

Any organisation that uses commercial vehicles for day-to-day operations needs an effective system to manage deliveries - here’s how fleet management can help.