With booming economies at its heart, the MEASA region has been experiencing a new era of growth, vitality and stability. Largely in part to the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and their drive to become a global leader in commerce, the bridge between East and West has been fortified.
China have been heavily investing in infrastructure with their One Belt initiative, building road and rail throughout the multicontinental region and even pushing further south into the heart of Africa.
These improvements, advances and innovations already benefit the countries they reach. However, there is a still a way to go before the couriers, last mile delivery and shipping operators in the region can enjoy the freedoms found in other regions of the world.
One of the main issues faced by couriers in the region, is vague and inaccurate postal addresses. This issue can be found even in the vast, modern metropolises of the Emirates where between 15% & 40% of deliveries can fail.
Zoom out from the central region to North Africa and India, where vast expanses of roads and routes can be lucky to have a name. This presents an issue not just for those living there, but for businesses with vital goods and services they wish to supply. For the courier, a GPS location is sometimes as close as they can get.
Another issue plaguing the region is connectivity. Without proper infrastructure, mobile signal, the internet and even GPS can become scarce.
Along with the above, comes another blow to business in the region. Cash on Delivery. Without the connectivity, cash is still king. The lowly last mile delivery service then shoulders the burden of failed delivery, returns and with the address issues, timing. Often, with CoD, a late or failed delivery can simply be ignored, as no transaction has taken place on the customer’s part.
Finally, with cash, comes a security risk. Areas lacking in connectivity require drivers to then keep a float for payment. In addition to this, previous payments can soon build up on any one delivery route which can then become a target for criminals and criminal enterprises.
Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes to many of the above issues. Embracing technology and investing in infrastructure are the only sure-fire ways to bring around a more efficient service.
Apps such as What3Words have brought around incredible innovation in location tracking. Dividing the globe into 3-metre squared areas, each represented by a combination of just 3 words. The app has revolutionised last mile delivery, emergency service response and navigation.
As the technology and infrastructure grows across the MEASA region, quicker deliveries will lead to less failed deliveries. More connectivity, means less CoD and what we see, is a different snowball all together gaining momentum.
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