The market size for couriers, parcels and express delivery in Australia stands at $9.37 billion in 2023. This market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.5%. It is estimated to reach $13.46 billion in 2028.
Ecommerce order fulfilment has been a major driver for the growth of the industry. Customers show a preference for faster shipping. In response, eCommerce brands use last-minute couriers to address the buyer’s urgent needs.
The last minute delivery service addresses a very specific need of eCommerce brands and their customers. It comes in handy in certain scenarios but plays a crucial role in customer satisfaction. In this article, we will understand how and when eCommerce companies can use last minute courier delivery for order fulfilment.
What are Last Minute Couriers?
The concept of last minute couriers is quite similar to same day delivery. However, the difference lies in the situation. The same day delivery follows a specific logistics schedule. In most cases, same day delivery is applicable if the courier is sent before a specific time. The time would be based on the dispatch schedule for local couriers.
If a courier is sent past this time, same day delivery would not be possible. This courier would be sent based on the next dispatch schedule. If a courier company operates on a significant scale, the company would have multiple dispatch schedules. Even such companies would have a deadline for same day deliveries based on the last dispatch. Such deadlines would also be applicable for intercity and interstate deliveries.
Last minute courier delivery is based on urgent requests. This type of courier bypasses the logistics schedule. Last minute delivery service handles the couriers on priority basis. Same day last minute couriers are shipped for local delivery regardless of the dispatch schedule. The courier company would use additional resources to expedite these couriers.
The process for last minute courier delivery is different for intercity, interstate, and international shipments. In such cases, the last minute delivery providers have to intercept existing schedules. The last minute couriers are added to the ongoing shipments. If that would not be possible, they would add it to the next available shipment headed to the same destination.
The last minute delivery providers accelerate the shipping process. This may involve additional resources. As a result, last minute delivery service is usually more expensive.
Benefits of Last Minute Delivery Service
While last minute couriers are expensive, they do offer certain benefits for eCommerce and retail businesses. It allows these businesses to meet unpredictable customer demand. Online shoppers show a preference for fast delivery. 80% of online shoppers expect same day delivery for online orders. Additionally, 61% of customers would shop with brands that can deliver their orders within 3 days.
Last minute delivery service can help online retailers significantly reduce shipping time. This can help retailers serve more customers. Offering fast delivery can also reduce the cart abandonment rate. 22% of shoppers abandon purchases if the brand does not offer fast delivery. Last minute courier delivery can help eCommerce brands retrieve such customers.
Despite additional costs, online stores can still maintain their margins with last minute courier delivery. 61% of online shoppers are willing to pay more to get their orders faster. Using last minute delivery providers, eCommerce can gain an edge in a competitive market without compromising their margins.
Top 3 Challenges of Last Minute Couriers
As last minute delivery service works a little differently from regular logistics operations, it also presents a unique set of challenges. Here are some of the biggest challenges faced by last minute delivery providers and eCommerce companies.
Shipping companies follow specific dispatch schedules to organise deliveries. As last minute couriers bypass these schedules, it presents several challenges. Firstly, the logistics company has to put additional resources to process the last minute courier.
Second, they would have to rework the documents to incorporate the courier with the existing schedule. This can be even more challenging for interstate and international deliveries. It can lead to mismanagement of the shipments. It may also lead to disruption of the ongoing delivery schedules. Courier companies would have to redesign the current delivery routes to accommodate last minute deliveries. Consequently, it can delay regular deliveries.
Last minute couriers cost more than regular delivery services. This is because of the additional resources and complex processes. Last minute courier delivery adds to the cost of warehousing, operations, fuel, labour, and more. These costs increase with the weight of the courier and the distance of delivery. If the scheduled deliveries fail owing to additional locations, the rescheduling further adds to the logistics costs.
The challenges of last minute couriers can get further complicated when it comes to customer relations. Additional deliveries and changes in route also affect the delivery schedule. This might cause inconvenience to some customers.
For instance, a customer has scheduled to receive the parcel before 10 in the morning. It is imperative for the courier service provider to adhere to this schedule. The customer might not be available after that time. So if the delivery is delayed owing to a change in route, it would cause inconvenience to the customer. Furthermore, it may also lead to delivery exceptions.
Each last minute courier would change the schedule. Hence, the last minute delivery provider would have to communicate the change in delivery schedule to the customer. Frequent changes are also likely to annoy the customer.
When to Use Last Minute Couriers?
A last minute delivery service is similar to an on-demand courier. The only difference is that last minute couriers are shipped on priority. Ecommerce companies either run their own fleet or partner with a 3PL. In both cases, they adhere to a delivery schedule for order fulfilment.
You can use last minute delivery providers when you need to bypass the schedule. This is usually done for urgent couriers. You can use last minute couriers during high demand periods. These can be holiday seasons or flash sales. Despite the offers, customers do expect fast deliveries.
High demand for online purchases also results in more shipments. Consequently, logistics schedules would already be packed. But, if you need to get products to the customer faster, you can use last minute delivery service.
This strategy can be especially useful during the holiday season. 62% of online shoppers buy gifts a week before Christmas. However, 22nd December is the second busiest day for online Christmas shopping.
This means that you have 2 to 5 days to process and deliver the order. These deliveries need to be completed despite the holiday rush. If you cannot ship the products within this window, you might lose a customer. This is where last minute delivery providers can help.
This type of courier can bypass the rush and deliver the order to your customers on time. Furthermore, you can use the same day last minute couriers to serve late shoppers. As mentioned earlier, 61% of online shoppers are willing to pay more to get their orders faster.
How to Choose Last Minute Delivery Provider?
It can be confusing for retailers to choose a courier service for last minute delivery. Often they would consult their regular logistics partner. But, not every courier company can provide last minute delivery service.
And not all last minute delivery providers can offer the same level of efficiency. Here are a few factors that you should consider when choosing this type of courier service:
Courier companies have their own specialisations. Some have a better network for international shipments. While some have exceptional resources for domestic shipping. The speed and efficiency of last minute couriers heavily depend on the network.
You need to consider the delivery destination and the network of the last minute delivery provider. You need to ensure that they have sufficient resources to carry the shipment from your location to the destination city.
You should also check the local delivery network of the courier service. This is necessary for last mile delivery. This is the costliest part of order fulfilment. But, a last minute delivery provider with a local network can get you a better deal.
You should also check the available resources the last minute delivery service can provide. This includes warehouses, micro-fulfilment centres, local delivery facilities, transport vehicles, human resources, and so on. These resources can help you gauge the capacity of the courier company to handle last minute deliveries.
Pickup & Fulfilment Options
Last minute couriers can be a hassle. An eCommerce company has to go through several steps to process orders. You should ask the last minute delivery providers about pick-up or drop-off options. You need to know whether you will have to drop off the package at the courier facility. Or the courier service can pick up the package from your warehouse.
In both cases, courier companies follow a schedule. You will need to check the procedure for last minute courier delivery. Then you need to ensure that it aligns with your order fulfilment process. This is especially important for same day last minute couriers. These types of deliveries depend on speed and streamlined processes.
The better a courier service can facilitate pick-up, the faster it can initiate the delivery process. Simultaneously, you also need to check the fulfilment options your customers would receive.
While most customers would prefer doorstep delivery. Some customers would want to pick up the order to receive the products faster. You need to check whether the last minute delivery providers can give such fulfilment options to your customers.
Experience & Reputation
While resources and services are important, experience can make a huge difference in logistics. You need to see how much experience the last minute delivery provider has with priority couriers.
Last minute couriers present a lot of challenges. You need an experienced logistics provider to overcome the problems and deliver the products. They should be experienced with this kind of delivery service. The last minute delivery service should also have experience in your target market.
You can directly ask a courier company about their experience. But, you will have a better understanding of their reputation from their customers. You can ask for customer testimonials and even contact the customers yourself. You can also check online reviews to gauge how the company has served its customers in the past.
Order tracking is an essential aspect of last minute couriers. It helps you keep track of the parcel. This gives you the necessary information to communicate delivery-related details with your customers.
You can also provide tracking information to the customer. It shows transparency. Allowing order tracking is an important part of the eCommerce customer experience. 90% of customers actively track their orders online. 20% of them check it multiple times a day. If the customers have ordered something on priority they would want to know that the delivery is on schedule.
This service grants customers more control over the fulfilment process. They can stay updated about the delivery status. The customers can also communicate changes in delivery schedule or location based on the current status.
You also need to check the reliability of the tracking system. A tracking system is considered less reliable if it depends on manual input. Such systems are easy to manipulate and you become dependent on the transparency of the last minute delivery provider. You should look for a tracking system that can give real-time updates based on the current location of the last minute courier.
Although the majority of orders reach their destination without any damage. Shipping damages can occur owing to a variety of reasons. In eCommerce, it is one of the most common reasons for returns. 20% of customers return a product because it was damaged.
Alongside compensating the customers, the company would also have to bear expenses for reverse logistics. They would also have to bear the expenses to send a replacement to the customer. This almost doubles the overall shipping costs for one order. Furthermore, you would already be paying more for last minute delivery service.
A protection warranty helps you get compensation for the losses incurred owing to lost or damaged parcels. Last minute delivery services would have their own protection warranty policies. You should check the level of coverage that the warranty offers. This is all the more necessary if you are frequently using last minute couriers.
Policy for Last Minute Couriers
Each courier service would have a different policy on last minute couriers. These policies would outline the parameters, processes, and restrictions for last minute delivery service. The policy may prove to be an advantage or a disadvantage for you. But it is highly subjective. It depends on your target markets, products, order size, frequency of shipping and so on.
You need to understand the terms and conditions for last minute couriers. You should especially check the factors that concern order fulfilment. These include volumetric weight restrictions, delivery time, additional charges, delivery exceptions, and so on.
Proof of Delivery
Once the courier company delivers the parcel, they need to collect proof of delivery. This document shows that the parcel was delivered to the right address. It also marks the time of delivery. This document is essential to prove that the customer has received the order on time.
You need to check how the last minute delivery provider collects proof of delivery. The process should be transparent and free from manipulation by the customer or the courier company. In some cases, a signature on paper would suffice.
But there are better ways to collect proof of delivery. These include digital signatures and OTP verification. These digital formats help ensure the transparency of the system. These methods also make it easy for you to collect data. You can measure order fulfilment-related metrics such as the number of on-time deliveries and delayed deliveries.
A courier company can provide several other services alongside last minute delivery. You can inquire about the services that can be helpful for your order fulfilment process. This includes services like packaging, courier pick-up, storage, and so on.
If you are looking for international last minute couriers, you should also look for import and export customs clearance services. You might also need documentation, port pick-up, and warehousing services for international express couriers.
Some logistics companies also provide services for complete eCommerce order fulfilment. You can use their resources to store the inventory and process orders. This can significantly speed up the process for last minute couriers as well.
You can also use a micro-fulfilment strategy by using the logistics of local service centres in the target market. This will help you offer same day last minute couriers to your customers.
Use Last Minute Couriers for Priority Order Fulfilment
Last minute delivery service can help you complete even the most urgent request from your customers. This type of service bypasses regular logistics schedules to ship your orders on priority. Last minute couriers can also give you a competitive advantage in the market. You can win over customers looking for faster delivery or need the product urgently.
With customer satisfaction at stake, you need a reliable courier service to expedite last minute courier delivery. PACK & SEND has a reliable delivery network spread across Australia and 80,000 destinations across the globe. You can use our courier services to cater to your buyer’s last minute needs.
What does last minute courier cost in Australia?
The cost of last minute courier in Australia depends on several factors. These include volumetric weight, package contents, and distance. Last minute courier delivery is usually more expensive than regular courier. This is because the package is delivered on priority.
You can use this calculator to find out the exact cost of last minute courier for your parcel. All you need to do is enter the origin, destination, and details about the package. The calculator will present different courier options, including last minute delivery, along with the cost.
Which things can you send in last minute couriers?
You can send all kinds of things with last minute couriers as long as they are not prohibited or restricted goods. However, different last minute delivery providers have their own restrictions. These can be based on the weight and size of the package. Some courier companies may also restrict a certain type of products for last minute delivery.
How fast is last minute courier service?
Last minute couriers are treated as a priority. You can use this type of courier service to deliver things urgently. But the speed of delivery depends on the distance. You can get the same day last minute couriers for local and domestic deliveries. However, international couriers would take at least 2 to 3 days.
The speed of delivery also depends on the network of last minute delivery providers. A company with a widespread network in a region can ship the courier faster. However, you might not get priority service in certain remote locations with low connectivity.
Which companies offer last minute courier service in Australia?
PACK & SEND offers last minute courier service in Australia with its reliable domestic network spread across the country. It is one of the top-rated courier service providers in Australia with several options for priority shipping. You can send goods internationally to more than 80,000 destinations.