Top Four Courier and Delivery Services Trends of 2021

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With more people working from home, more online orders are being made than ever. The unpredictability of the current climate might make investing in a franchise business seem like a bad idea, but courier and delivery services companies are a pretty safe bet. Here are the top four industry trends in 2021.

The courier and delivery sector has seen some impressive growth over 2020 and 2021, and this trajectory looks set to continue. The industry is making dynamic changes to incorporate tech and protect the environment. If you’re looking to make an all-weather investment in an innovative area, a delivery business could suit you perfectly.

What does a delivery franchise do?

A courier franchise is a business which operates in the ever-expanding courier and delivery sector. Every month, more individuals and companies rely on diverse courier and delivery firms, rather than the long-standing postal service, meaning the sector continues to expand. Here’s a list of franchises which are performing well this year: 

  • Post & Packing - This franchise serves as a one-stop post shop for retailers and businesses, offering a range of services, including courier services. 

  • World Options - World Options is a worldwide courier, offering a variety of services which can cater to any kind of business.

  • Speedy Freight - This franchise is the UK’s number one courier, offering same day courier and freight services.

  • Diamond Logistics - Diamond Logistics is the fastest growing courier and fulfillment franchise business in the UK, providing customers with comprehensive logistics solutions.  

The shape of the courier services sector post-COVID

Sectors and businesses across the world have been negatively affected by COVID-19. Yet the courier sector has actually managed to benefit, and has continued to ride a wave of growth and success. If you’re interested in starting your own franchise, this could be a fantastic opportunity for you, as growth is set to continue. In fact, the market value of the industry is expected to increase by 92% between 2019 and 2024, reaching a total value of £21 billion [Mintel]. 

Parcel-sending demand has skyrocketed over the pandemic, and there’s clear evidence of this. Royal Mail, for example, achieved a profit of £726 million in 2020, compared to an £180 million profit the year before [The Guardian]. Other companies have enjoyed revenue increases, too, including worldwide courier company World Options.

I am contacted on a weekly basis by highly skilled and motivated individuals from the logistics sector who are looking to make a career change, become their own boss and build their own franchised business. We feel that the future is bright.
—Howard McCormick, World Options UK Franchise Sales, Recruitment and Freight Director

The top four courier and delivery trends in 2021

1. Sustainability 

A lot of reassessments and adjustments have been made during the pandemic, with many having some extra time to think on their hands. Statistics show that more people have become actively aware of and concerned about climate change, and the need for sustainability in business and in general life. In fact, 40% of people reported in mid-2020 that they intended to adopt more sustainable behaviour in the future [Boston Consulting Group]. 

Sustainability is a cross-industry trend. But the courier and delivery sector will be considering the many different ways in which it can become more environmentally friendly as 2021 goes on, including the use of electric delivery vans. Amazon rolled out its first 100,000 custom-built electric delivery vans recently, following its commitment to becoming a carbon-neutral company by 2040 [The Sunday Times]. Other businesses will likely follow in the footstep of this industry-shaping giant. 

2. Technology

The use of drones in the delivery industry has been predicted and heralded for some time now. It’s likely that drone usage will become more common in 2021, as more courier and delivery services across the UK and the wider world look into it.

[UPS has] invested millions into researching and testing delivering packages by drones. Some of this research has included UPS flying Drones over large bodies of water, delivering humanitarian supplies using UAVs in Africa and making deliveries with Drones in remote areas in the United States.
—Shahzad Akram, World Options 

Many different technologies and technological advancements are spotlighted by courier and delivery services trends, and it’s not just drones that are receiving investment and focus this year. More consumers than ever are enjoying the use of highly functional courier and delivery services apps. Diamond Logistics, for example, utilises its despatchlab to connect with customers - a smart solution which allows people to book, track and manage their courier requirements, express parcels and shipments.

3. Same-day delivery 

Along with the increased demand for sustainable solutions, there’s a potentially contradictory demand for efficiency and instant results. Lots of customers want their products shipped as soon as possible. 

Courier franchises in 2021 will need to balance the demands of sustainability with the desire for same-day delivery, and if they’re able to do this, they’ll gain a strong competitive advantage.

4. Choice of carrier 

People like choice, and businesses want to tap into this, so going into the latter half of the year, businesses are likely to continue to diversify the range of carriers that they employ so that they can suit the needs of every type of customer.

In 2021, shippers will look to grow their carrier networks to include local and regional carriers to prevent future disruptions. And as companies increasingly ship orders from stores rather than from central distribution centers, there will also be growth in courier services that deliver parcels from stores to local customers.

Start a profitable franchise in the delivery sector

Running a business can be an intimidating prospect, especially in the current climate, but franchising can offer you a safer way to get in the game, with an established, proven model of business success to follow. Choose the right franchise for you, in or out of the delivery sector, and success is likely to follow. 

>> Read more articles on the Courier & Delivery sector

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