1100 Billion Parcels Shipped by Andrea Anderson
When it comes to shipping parcels, there are a lot of options. USPS, FedEx, UPS, and Ship Smart, to name a few. 2019 marked an extraordinary feat in the logistics industry. For the first time, over 100 billion parcels (weighing under 70-lbs) shipped in the world's 13 major markets (Pitney). Amazingly, these 100+ billion packages were indexed based on specific metrics. Meaning thousands, perhaps even millions or billions more were shipped and delivered worldwide. Some projections estimate that over 200 billion packages will ship through the major global markets in 2025 (Pitney Shipping Index). With all the shipping options and innovations around the globe, what is the future of logistic services, and how will it impact our national economy?
Companies have been expanding their services at an unprecedented rate. In 2016, a well-known company made its first drone delivery and continued to develop the technology (Amazon). What does this mean for delivery drivers or the individuals who would have previously packaged? Is the potential of this technology going to make personnel obsolete? Or will the people who would have packed and delivered instead be trained to operate the drone technology? Another possibility, employees may be required to have higher or specific educations, thus eliminating entry-level type jobs that support a majority of the middle class. Along the same lines as drone technology is the prospect of driverless vehicles, with the same questions to answer. Only a future with drone delivery technology and driverless vehicles can accurately answer these pressing questions.
Continuously advancing the execution of services is necessary for a company to survive. They must be innovative but still suitable for customers. While some developing technologies are futuristic seeming, they may also be minimally necessary. A company such as Ship Smart has trained and skilled individuals for packing, shipping, delivery, and more. It's vitally important to know that your belongings, items, and products are safe, cared for, and successfully delivered. The gentle and personal touch of humans is never going to phase out of the logistics industry. If the delicate nature of humans weren't involved in logistics, then certainly, 100+ billion parcels shipped within a year would not have been possible.
An advancement that companies should be making a priority is sustainable packaging. They should be investing in recycled cardboard containers, recycled, recyclable, or biodegradable packing materials. Suppose companies would focus on decreasing their carbon footprint, from packaging to the transportations used in local and international shipping. In that case, the human race has a higher potential for an even greater future. For example, "Eco Ship NYK's Super Eco Ship 2030 is a concept ship said to be the container vessel of the future. The Eco Ship will cut down on carbon emissions by reducing the weight and draft of the ship, hence requiring lesser fuel" (SHM, par. 17). Another resource for shipping companies is the Sustainable Shipping Initiative, which is committed to accelerating the sustainability of the shipping industry.
Thinking about packages makes me giddy. One of my favorite things is opening packages, even if the contents are as simple as my monthly supplements. There is something very special about cutting the tape or tearing the perforated portion to exhume the items from inside. I have to admit, too, that I'm always happy to know my order was a part of providing jobs. And if sustainability were commonplace through the shipping industry, well, I would be a kid in a candy show.