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.