The delivery of parcels is such a common thing that we hardly ever stop to think and wonder how a courier service actually operates. The courier service networks of today are sophisticated, 24-hour operations with parcels coming in and going out in a steady, never-ending stream.
If you plan to make use of courier services for the first time, however, it is important to have an understanding of the shipping and delivery service industry so that you can choose the right courier services for you:
Once your parcel has been adequately prepared for shipping with the right packaging and the correct forms completed, it is ready for collection. Many courier companies have websites where this process is made easy with online forms that you can fill in. Some courier operations have tracking facilities so that you can see where your parcel is in real-time.
At the local depot
After collection of your parcel, it is transported to a local depot where it gets added to thousands of other parcels that were collected on the same day. All these parcels are then taken to a sorting station where a similar process takes place.
At the sorting station
Once the parcels arrive at the sorting station, they are grouped into 'local' and 'international' destinations, after which they are sorted into the various region and country groups. After regions and countries have been determined, the sorting process continues by grouping parcels according to 'import stations' in the destination regions.
At the import station
The import station, located in the destination country then receives the parcels after which they are grouped to be forwarded to local delivery depots.
At the local delivery depot
At the local delivery depot, the sorting and grouping process is repeated one more, after which parcels are assigned to specific drivers that have been allocated specific local delivery destinations.