What you should know about fast shipping for time-critical deliveries
If you’ve ever thought how convenient it would be if your shipment could just arrive at its destination instantly, you’ll have probably wondered also how fast it could realistically get there with today’s logistics and technology. While more and more businesses are offering one-day or even same-day deliveries, the fastest a package can arrive at its destination really is limited to your delivery provider’s services. For shipments that need to be at a location as soon as possible, there are services that delivery providers should have that will make every effort to deliver your package as fast as possible.
In this article, we answer some of the common questions surrounding fast shipping, including examples of when it’s required and the solutions to fulfil a shipment in the quickest time frame.
What are some reasons for needing urgent, fast shipping?
Urgently required medical goods
When a patient’s health is dependent on an important shipment, its timeliness becomes even more critical. Moreover, healthcare shipments that arrive from international locations can’t afford to be held at the border. An experienced delivery provider with ‘Mission Critical’ fast shipping solutions will have the regulatory compliance expertise to fast-track shipments through customs.
Urgent shipments within healthcare vary. This includes one-off shipments, such as equipment for an emergency life-saving operation, as well as time-sensitive fragile medicines that need stable environments.
Automotive and electrical parts for just-in-time (J.I.T) deliveries
Shippers often use urgent services for emergency scenarios. But recently, more shippers are choosing to use fast speed for other deliveries.
Just-in-time (J.I.T) manufacturers use these services to get shipments delivered on time. J.I.T is important for industries such as manufacturing and focuses on optimization. It avoids overproduction, which can lead to unnecessary costs incurred by production, resources and storage. J.I.T also avoids underproduction as the equipment is produced, packaged and delivered according to demand. As a result, customers won’t have to wait from a lack of supply.
Supply chain disruption within any industry
No matter how optimized a supply chain is, errors and unforeseen events can impact regular distribution and cause supply chain disruption.
This results in supply chain disruption that can vary in severity. For example, a broken-down freight truck or a weather-related flight cancellation can cause minor delays. Major impacts of an unforeseen event such as a tsunami, political unrest, and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic, can disrupt a supply chain for months.
Smaller disruptions can also cause a significant “domino effect” as supply runs short. The relationship between supply and demand can be fragile. For this reason, it’s important to have a contingency plan that can expedite a shipment when a breakdown occurs.
What are the quickest methods to deliver time-critical shipments?
Air transport for cross-country or international deliveries
Due to speed, air transport is generally used to facilitate ultra-fast shipments. Generally, commercial flights are in highly populated areas due to their frequent scheduling. When the destination is in a remote location, or if there isn’t a direct flight option, dedicated chartered flights can be used.
Ground transport for nearby deliveries
Based on airport timings, ground transport can be the quickest option for deliveries nearby. Ground transport is often used for the beginning and last-mile part of the journey when taking a shipment to and from its flight. Ground transportation is also used as part of a contingency plan. For example, if a flight is cancelled last minute, and a shipment must be transported only by ground, or to the next closest airport.
What solutions help to fulfill urgent shipments?
Online routing tools
A state-of-the-art transportation management system finds the optimal route and maps it out within minutes. To find the quickest route, powerful technology shows the delivery provider detailed visibility of flight and ground transportation solutions available.
Real-time flight data provides up-to-the-minute access to the status of all global flights, with local agents ranked by quality and capability for the perfect fit. Where commercial flights aren’t available within tight timelines, routes can be planned for ground transportation to another airport, or even using chartered flights.
These online routing tools are important to provide detailed visibility for both the recipient and the shipper.
An onboard courier can add extra security, expedited customs clearance, and greater flexibility. An onboard courier boards a commercial aircraft with your shipment in hand versus air cargo, assuring total control during transport.
How can the recipient and shipping ensure they’re kept informed of the time-sensitive journey?
Dedicated fast shipping experts available 24 hours a day
As for any urgent situation, you need to get in touch with someone who can help as soon as possible. When you require a fast shipping service, dedicated help should be available and ready to help at any time of the day, throughout the year.
These shipments often require complex expertise to provide the right shipping. For example, urgent healthcare solutions such as vaccinations or donated blood need to be kept within a controlled environment to protect their integrity – and, in turn, protect the wellbeing of the patient. Other shipments such as dangerous goods need to be handled with specific care to ensure they’re kept stable and in compliance for transport.
For these kinds of shipments, look for a delivery provider who offers logistical specialists for your industry. Experts in cold-chain logistics, international import/export, and handling of dangerous goods can help ensure total compliance.
Full visibility tracking
When every minute matters, it’s important to provide peace of mind while the shipment is in the hands of the delivery provider. Therefore, it is essential for the recipient and the shipper to have full tracking for the most time-sensitive shipments.
Tracking ultra-fast shipments provide far more detail that wouldn’t be necessary for regular shipments.
Delivery providers should be able to offer best-in-class visibility into your ultra-fast shipment, throughout the entire journey. One of the ways to track a shipment is through a customer tracking platform. The shipper (and recipient) have access to an online tracking platform, where they are kept in the loop of every milestone of their deliveries.
Some of the features available within a tracking portal include the planned itinerary upfront, automated flight tracking and on-time performance (plus total elapsed time reporting), and any special shipment or delivery instructions.
The importance of urgent deliveries for every business
Time-critical deliveries are important for a large variety of purposes, as often or as little as you need them. Some customers use these services on a scheduled basis, while others use fast shipping solutions as a contingency plan to manage a temporary supply chain disruption. Regardless of how often you need a shipment urgently when every minute counts, it’s important to consider using a delivery provider that offers a fast shipping solution.