It’s now the norm to see doorstep delivery of groceries, medication, dry cleaning, oversized patio furniture, and basically anything else you can think of. And we expect those deliveries on demand, sometimes even the same day we place the order.

Technology has raised consumer expectations and, in turn, those expectations are spawning an avalanche of logistics-related bells and whistles. Sensors on packages can alert you – via text message or email – to tell you the package has arrived. You can ping the delivery company to say where you want the package delivered: your home, your office, or a pick-up location. Pretty soon, you might even be able to notify a retailer to put that package in the trunk of your car. Amazon is working with car companies to develop GPS-locatable cars with trunks that can handle parcel delivery and pick-up. 

But all these sensors and devices talking to each other could mean more than just enhanced delivery. What if postal vehicles enabled with sensors could also read the local air quality? Or carriers equipped with scanners could provide services for citizens who have no one to check on them? Or delivery vehicles moving through neighborhoods could provide data to local governments useful for urban planning?

Clearly, “neighborhood logistics” are more than just delivering mail and packages. 

Just what else might neighborhood logistics encompass? We asked four postal experts to write guest blogs offering their thoughts and predictions on the future of neighborhood logistics: 

The Delivery Revolution in Your Neighborhood by  Jody Berenblatt, senior advisor, GrayHair Advisors
Worth the Price: High Quality, Convenience, and Timeliness by Robert M. Campbell, Ph.D., president and vice-chancellor, Mount Allison University, Sackville, NB Canada
Carriers as Conduits by Jim Holland, research director, National Association of Letter Carriers
Rethinking Mailbox Access by Keith Kellison, senior vice president, UPS Global Public Affairs

Read what they had to say and let us know what you think, including what kind of delivery and logistical services you might want in your neighborhood. 

Comments (2)

  • anon

    I use tons of them - Postmates, Handy, Door Dash, Washio, and more I can't think of at the moment. And I use Uber to get around. I am a sucker for a mobile app/service provider.

    Sep 02, 2015
  • anon

    The USPO has made a series of errors over the past few years. Ist they took out the stamp machines. Now everyone who requires just a stamp must now wait in line with the PO bread and butter clientele who are there to do business shipping packages. Many is the time I watch a retail shipper walk out the door headed to UPS or Fed-Ex as opposed to waiting in line behind 30 people who just need a stamp or a change of address card. Next some moron decided to take the already reduced personnel out from behind the counter and place them in the lobby to greet customers inquiring "why are you here today?" Are you kidding me? I'm not dropping off my laundry and pretty sure I can't make my bank deposit here either. Many many times leaving a single solitary clerk at the counter as the customers continue to pile up. It's not unrealistic for shipping a parcel to suck up 45 minutes of your time just to ship. Ridiculous. Moving on - I have to laugh every time that commercial comes on with those cheery friendly post office delivery people telling us we should just give our packages over to them. Laughable at best. And here is the biggest reason that will never work much like the extra 4 digits on the zip code that no one uses. They refuse to scan your packages when you fork them over. In their ignorance or laziness they just aren't smart enough to comprehend how the system works. If the package isn't scanned in when I hand it to you - my customers don't know I shipped it in a timely fashion. You may now proceed to stack them up at your house for Christmas gift giving. They have those scanners because they use them (hopefully) when they deliver packages. At my store once - I handed over 3 packages for pick up. The carrier picked them up off the counter and proceeded to walk out the door. I stopped him and asked him if he was going to scan them. He turned around - smiled at me and said "don't you trust me?" Actually - I told him no and asked for them back. I never bothered him again to do his job that the taxpayers paid him to do. Not paid by the taxpayer you say? Hooey - you show me any other company in the USA that can operate billions of dollars in the red year after year and still remain open. The fault of the post office not running in the black is the fault of the employees and their bloated pensions and benefits. Any other business would have gone out of business a long time ago.

    Aug 27, 2015

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