Logistics is big business, always has been and always will be.  Simple reason really, it’s hard to do. If you look at the basic system there’s a heavy reliance on available data.  Take FedEx for example they have their own fleet of Airbus A310’s and Boeing 727 cargo planes, to ensure they could do their job they became an airline at the same time.

If you think about it each package is a piece of data and it works it’s way through a network of nodes and lines to get to a destination.  Each packet has an idea so it’s easily traceable.


On the commercial side there’s a highly tuned and very efficient system of making sure that each package ID gets to the right place and by the most effective route.  Once it reaches the penultimate point in the network, the depot before delivery, that the real customer experience starts. It’s also the point, in my opinion, where the whole thing could be tightened up.

So the picture shows my delivery for today. The day I can cope with, the time on the other hand is a bit open ended, a ten hour window.  Northern Ireland is easy to work on for the simple fact that there’s only one depot in Belfast and the rough travelling time my house is 1h 45mins.  Even with a stack of deliveries I could work out a rough time (I’m guessing around 2pm) of a delivery.

Courier companies could work all this to their advantage and receive even more gushing praise than ever before.

  1. Have a GPS device installed on each van, constant updates to the cloud.
  2. Parcel id’s would be assigned to a van anyway
  3. With my tracking number I should know where the van is.
  4. Google Maps could then plot the position of the van.  Even put a little random algorithm in so the precise location is scrambled a bit.
  5. When the van is a couple of miles in range it could even push a SMS message to my phone. I could run home and receive the package.

I’m sure this must have been pitched a million times before, so why is no one doing it? If they are, who are they?