Same-day delivery could prove challenging for carriers

Major corporations like Wal-Mart, Amazon and eBay have announced plans to implement or test same-day delivery services. This shift is a major change that could lead some smaller companies to follow suit in an effort to retain clients, boost customer service and compete with larger firms. However, the logistics and planning requirements behind such plans may be overwhelming, and will require fleets of all sizes to have the most effective vehicle routing software in place. 

Will same-day shipping really catch on? 
With consumers seeking instant gratification now more than ever, they may be more likely to choose same-day shipping as an option while making online purchases. Some companies may see this delivery option as just another way to enhance client service and boost their reputations, others may see it as a costly and extremely complex system that adds additional work with little benefit. 

Even though larger corporations are currently only testing the system in select markets, it could spread across the country soon. John Donahoe, CEO of eBay, recently told Fortune magazine he predicts same-day shipping will someday be everywhere and most major retailers will provide it. However, it remains to be seen if consumers will be willing to pay the extra charge for same-day service, if companies will be able to make it cost effective for their business plans and how this will impact other shipping options if it does become popular. One thing is certain - companies that choose to test out this trend will need the best possible solutions to ensure operations run as smoothly as possible. 

Making the best use of available resources 
It used to take quite a bit of time for a fleet manager to plan an effective, logical and fuel-efficient route, but with the introduction of route optimization software, it's now much simpler for companies to determine how to manage their vehicles. Using this technology can help a manager know what resources they have available and how they can be best used to make pickups and deliveries. 

This is essential for firms testing out same-day delivery services. Because this option can make it tricky for carriers to guarantee they'll deliver all purchases on time, they must be prepared to invest in the latest solutions and prepare for the challenges it could bring. By using routing software, they can better ensure all vehicles will be used wisely and get merchandise to its intended destination on schedule.