Today there was a total solar eclipse viewable across the US mainland. And not to eclipse that event 😉…it was also a Monday (known to many as the beginning of the work-week). Most in the parcel delivery industry know that on a week to week basis, Monday’s are the largest day for e-Commerce pickups, mainly because orders that are purchased on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday usually roll to Monday to be fulfilled and shipped via National Carriers.
Increasingly over the past few years, this has resulted in minor supply chain disruptions on a weekly basis, through the networks of those parcel delivery companies. What does this have to do with the title of this article: What does Dedicated Delivery mean? And, is there an answer to this weekly supply chain disruption problem?
The dictionary definition of dedicated (adjective): devoted to a task or purpose; having single-minded loyalty or integrity; exclusively allocated to or intended for a particular service.
Dedicated Delivery does not just mean using a delivery company that has these dictionary definition attributes though. In the industry, Dedicated Delivery is also a noun, meaning a specific type of delivery in which the shipping customer purchases a route from the carrier, that is solely for their use. No other customers. No other parcels. Nothing is co-mingled. Often this service is more expensive than a pool distribution model—like UPS and FedEx—in which all parcels from all customers go on the same truck and are delivered in the National Carrier’s most efficient geographically optimized routes, and with same procedures. However, for certain shipping customers, Dedicated Delivery model bring advantages and can cost less.
There is solution to the supply chain disruption described above, and you shouldn’t be surprised that it has come from the largest online retailer—Amazon. The answer is including Dedicated Delivery into their supply chain. This solution allows Amazon the ability to customize procedures specifically for them and their customers. In major markets they use Dedicated Service Providers delivering on behalf of Amazon Logistics, allowing them flexibility to make a 7 day per week delivery schedule—something that the National Carriers are not doing at this time. And it is this 7 days per week model and having Dedicated Delivery routes that smooths the delivery week, mitigating the volume spike created from a traditional pool distribution model in which deliveries are only taking place 5 days of the week even though purchases and fulfillment is happening 7 days a week.
Dedicated Delivery also has the advantage of being setup specifically for the unique challenges that might come from a shipping customer. After all, some companies and some product is inherently different and cannot be treated or delivered the same as other parcels. Using a traditional delivery model would be a bit like using regular sunglasses to watch an eclipse—you can do it, but you know that you really should be using the special eclipse glasses that are made for viewing the sun and actually protect your eyes 😉.