In the scheme of things, you would think delivery and shipping giants like UPS, Fed Ex, DHL and others have a lock on the industry. However, is surprisingly becoming much more efficient, quicker, more accurate and leaves the customer more satisfied. Today, a non-shipping company is doing better than industry leaders. So, todays leaders better sharpen themselves and get better or they will lose the long-term game.

When outsiders enter a space, they often shake things up in new ways and send current leaders to the back of the line.

Similar change happened in wireless, smartphone and pay TV

This happened when AT&T entered the pay TV industry. Today, AT&T and Comcast are the top providers of pay TV service. In fact, during this pandemic, AT&T with their WarnerMedia operation has started releasing first run movies in theaters and on HBO Max, completely changing the way Hollywood thinks and works.

Also, think about the smartphone business. First, Motorola was the leader through the 1990’s. Then they were replaced by Nokia and Blackberry for the next decade. Then they were replaced by Apple iPhone and Google Android. Leadership in this sector was changed, several times, over the last couple decades.

Amazon threatens UPS, Fed Ex, DHL and entire shipping industry

Yes, things changed very quickly in the Pay TV, wireless and smartphone market. And they can change just as quickly in the shipping and delivery space as well.

Here is a personal example I lived through. See if this sounds familiar.

It’s Friday and I sit at home waiting for a delivery from UPS. Normally, this would not be a problem, however this package requires a signature, so I must sit here and wait, hour after hour. Eventually, the entire day is wasted.

Around 9 a.m. I got an email from UPS that my package would arrive shortly. So, I rushed home to meet the driver and pick it up.

On the message there was a link to watch the delivery truck get closer and closer and closer. When this happens, I always think living at this time is truly magical.

That was until the truck drove right by my house, leaving me behind in the dust. I watched them deliver to others in the neighborhood then simply leave.

Next, they went to other neighborhoods, the nearby UPS store and more. Everywhere but to me standing in my driveway.

UPS strategy is insulting to delivery recipients

When the package finally arrived around 2pm, I asked the driver why she didn’t just drop my package off at 9am? She said others had a “before 10:30am” delivery. Mine was a “before 6pm”.

OK. That would make sense if they drove by my front door. The delivery only took roughly 30 seconds. So, there would have been no delay to their schedule.

So, there is no reason to put the customer out and force them to sit around all day just to get a signature. I understand if they weren’t in my neighborhood, but they drove right by me standing there in the driveway.

UPS has no respect for the delivery recipients

This was a poor excuse and in fact insulting that UPS has no respect or regard for their delivery recipients.

Then again, we are not their customer. The shipper is their customer. So, they apparently don’t consider the delivery recipient to be of any concern.

I think it’s called UPS Nav which is what the trucks follow. It is hardware and software to make deliveries efficient for UPS. It may help them not take left turns to avoid traffic. There are all sorts of reasons this software works for UPS.

UPS Nav creates software list order for delivery

Granted, this is what delivery services need. However, the efficiency is a slap in the face to the customer. When the customer gets left behind as the UPS truck rides off into the sunset, it stinks.

Not only is this a terrible reflection on UPS, it is also a bad reflection on Best Buy, who had nothing to do with the delay other than choosing UPS to deliver to their valued customer.

As I sit here, tapping my fingers on the table, waiting patiently, I am getting steamed. Hour after hour is passing and I am forced to sit here and wait.

As I am steaming, all I can think is how UPS was here and passed me by.

Poor reflection on UPS delivery service

UPS Nav is a great idea. However, there are times when a machine can’t think straight. When dealing with your customers, if you leave them angry, you lose. Period.

I don’t mind if a company does thing efficiently. But if that means telling me you are just about here, then passing me by and making me sit at home all stinking day just waiting for the UPS driver to come back, then the whole thing stinks.

Amazon delivery service much better than UPS

Amazon, on the other hand delivers well. They let the customer know when they are a only few stops away. When you open the app, you can see the driver in your neighborhood. You can see the stops before you go down to your house. You can even walk outside and meet them as they pull up.

This is the huge challenge every traditional deliver service faces. Amazon is not a shipper, but they do a better job than other traditional shipping services when it comes to the last mile.

I believe much of that is because the delivery recipient is the customer of Amazon from start to finish. If they screw up anywhere along the line, the customer blames them.

That’s why Amazon focuses on the customer the entire way along the journey.

That’s where UPS, Fed Ex, DHL and other shippers go wrong. Their customer is the shipper, not the recipient. So, when the customer gets angry with a delivery, they just don’t care.

That is a significant weak link in their otherwise strong chain.

Apple and Google, two non-wireless companies broke into the industry with their own ideas about smartphones and changed the world. They sent traditional smartphone makers to the bottom of the list virtually overnight.

AT&T TV and WarnerMedia are changing the pay TV and movie making space.

The same thing now seems to be happening with in shipping. A non-shipping company makes shippers look bad.

So, if I were UPS, Fed Ex or any of the other traditional services, I would see this as a red alert.

This is a warning sign. Just like the Fed Ex entry several decades ago changed the entire delivery expectation, Amazon is shaking things up using technology and focused on keeping the customer happy, satisfied and delighted.

Smart retailers will begin to realize that a shipping problem is a poor reflection on them in the customer’s mind. So, to protect their own reputation and brand value, they will use the best shipper they can.

This is the red flag waiving and today’s shippers must pay attention before their arrogance causes them to lose the game. Remember, Motorola, Nokia and Blackberry once led the wireless smartphone sector. Things can change in the blink of an eye.

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