With the rise in online shopping, many retailers have begun using inner-city shipping services for same-day or next-day shipping to customers in major metro areas. While this may seem like an efficient way to cut costs, some important considerations should be taken into account before beginning this practice.
In this article, our team answers some of the most frequently asked questions about inner-city shipping.
What is inner-city shipping?
An eCommerce business has the ability to reach consumers all over the world; but many businesses forget how many of those consumers live right in your town or city and how easy it can be for them to buy from you.
The term “inner city” refers to any metropolitan area where people live within 5-8 km of your store who may want to buy products they see on display at your brick-and-mortar location. Inner-city shipping is simply shipping from store to your local customer’s door.
What are the challenges of inner-city shipping?
Inner-city shipping could be challenging for many different reasons depending on what your business does, where it is located, and other factors. Here are some of the most common challenges businesses face when it comes to inner-city shipping.
Clean air zones and other local regulations
Clean air zones are specific areas that the government has deemed highly polluted or a pollution threat where only a particular amount of emissions are allowed.
In the last-mile delivery providers, clean air zones have proven a challenge. The governments are strict about meeting their standards, and penalties could be harsh if businesses don’t comply. As more green zones pop up around Europe, traditional companies will need to adapt or risk losing business due in part to these new regulations.
Shipping is a time-consuming and costly process. Some of the most common costs are fleet creation and maintenance, as well as staffing and training. However, some other expenses that people tend to forget at first glance are the penalties, the burned costs during the off-season, and the technology needed for the delivery.
Finding the right inner-city shipping technology could be rather difficult and has been a major obstacle for many companies. It does not only come at a high cost, but it’s ever-changing to adapt to the fast-changing customer expectations and market trends. Finding the right technology for your business could be the biggest challenge for your inner shipping strategy.
What are the different inner-city shipping options?
3-5 days delivery
The unconventional traditional delivery usually offers delivery within 3 to 5 business days. According to Sendcloud, this is seen as unfavorable by most consumers as more businesses start offering faster and more convenient delivery options.
According to PWC, 86% of customers are willing to pay more for faster delivery, while 80% believe that reliable and fast delivery is vital for a good customer experience. This indicates that customers expect faster delivery as time goes, and businesses are racing to offer it. This type of delivery is usually done within 2 hours of the time the customer places the order.
Capgemini Research Institute found that 73% of the customers looking for faster delivery prefer their orders delivered at a convenient time and not only fast. However, only 19% of shops find this as a priority.
What are some of the biggest inner-city shipping trends?
Ship from store
Ship from store is currently the biggest trend in last-mile logistics. Ship from store is a great way to boost your online presence without incurring high costs or lead times. With Ship from store they can easily browse through the inventory and then receive items right when it’s convenient for them—all with no hassle of waiting in line at some regional hub warehouse just so someone could ring up an order.
With the rise of environmental awareness, customers are always looking for more sustainable options. The logistics industry is one of the most polluting industries and you can avoid causing even more pollution by using an alternative transportation service like electric bikes.
A World Economic Forum (WEF) study found that last-mile solutions would emit 32% greenhouse gases, and inner-city shipping would raise traffic congestion by 21%.
At Packaly, we offer a fully CO2-neutral delivery, allowing only sustainable bicycle delivery.
Why should I outsource my inner-city shipping?
In our article about outsourcing last-mile delivery, we take a more in-depth look on why businesses should outsource their last mile. Here are a few reasons.
Cost & reliability
With the right inner-city shipping partner, you will not only be saving on costs by paying only for the parcel that you ship, but you will also be receiving the reliability of a successful partner.
At Packaly, we offer a pay-per-parcel model and have a successful 99.97% delivery success rate.
Creating and managing your own shipping team could be rather challenging, not only by the high cost it comes with, but also when it comes to creating a new department, finding obstacles, and how to solve them. Adding the different changes in regulations, market trends, and customer expectations could be hard to adapt to.
Technology is what makes or breaks your inner-city shipping strategy. Having the right technology that allows your customers to put an order and an easy-to-use interface for your employees to process the order, as well as an efficient technology that can ensure reliable and fast delivery can be costly and challenging.
Therefore, outsourcing your delivery to a last-mile delivery partner can make the difference in the success of your customer experience.
What should I look for in my inner-city shipping partner?
We have written a comprehensive guide on how to find a reliable last-mile delivery partner for your inner-city shipping. Here are a few aspects you should take into consideration when outsourcing your inner-city delivery.
Delivery success rate
The delivery success rate is the percentage that a company successfully delivers a parcel at the first attempt. This is an essential KPI that points out the company’s reliability as an inner-city shipping partner. The higher the rate, the better, and at Packaly, we are at 99.97%.
Fleet type & size
The bigger your business, the bigger the fleet needed for your deliveries. It is essential that you ask the companies you are considering as your inner-city shipping partner about their fleet.
Knowing what type of transport methods they use could identify how sustainable their model is and how fast they can be in inner cities where the traffic congestion and the green zones make it hard for traditional vehicles and trucks to reach. The fleet’s size also shows the company’s readiness to handle the number of orders you are sending from your store.
At Packaly, we have more than 1500 Riders that only use e-bikes to deliver your parcels in a fully sustainable way.
Success stories are essentially the challenges that these potential companies faced with other clients and they came over. An example would be Packaly and Lush, where Packaly had to adapt to Lush’s different tooling across different shops in the Netherlands within 8 weeks.
An inner-city shipping company that asks you to pay a flat fee could be a reasonable offer in some cases, but in most cases, a reliable last-mile partner would have you pay-per-parcel. This will help you save costs off season and have parallel profit and delivery costs numbers.
Also, it is important that the company’s cost align with your customer’s budget and expectations.
Bonus Answer: How to start shipping with Packaly
Fill in the form
Start by filling up this form, and our team will contact you ASAP to help you with further details and questions.
Create a Delivery Dashboard account
Set up your stores and business info
After successfully signing up, you need to enter your business details, such as your locations, opening hours, and billing information.
That’s it, you are ready to start processing the orders once you receive them. Our Rider will come to your store and pick up the parcel, as you track and trace your order.
Shipping has never been easier, faster, and more efficient with Packaly’s 100% CO2-neutral express and scheduled inner-city shipping solutions.