I recently had an experience with Fedex Ground service that emphasizes the still large opportunities available in the Business of Delivery. I had been waiting for a package for four months along with my ever patient editor. It finally shipped – and the notice of its attempted delivery was delivered to my offices (I could swear I was inside… but that is another story). So I called to Fedex to see what I could do to get it delivered again. It needed my signature and I would be in but mostly out of the office for the next few days. So could Fedex leave the package at a Fedex/Kinko location I would be working at frequently for the next few days. No can do! Okay … well maybe I can go pick it up – can do! But this is at an office about 40 kilometers away and taking me through some of the worst traffic in Toronto.
Okay – maybe you could have it transferred to your Fedex offices in downtown Toronto, they are much more convenient to me for pickup. No can do! Fedex Ground cannot leave packages at Fedex Express terminals for pickup. Okay .. I would stay in the office all day (jeopardizing my other work schedule)to pickup the package to get this important delivery. No delivery! Instead I get a call after 5:30PM saying I will have to wait another day for delivery – or I can come pick it up at the edge of town.
Eventually, I was able to work out delivery to a mutually acceptable place where I could leave a signed statement saying “Leave the package here at my own risk etc”. But at the cost of much loss of time and frustration. This raised some questions: Why can’t Fedex offices like Kinkos or Fedex Express accept Fedex Ground package for pickup? Why not a local Canada Post station – given I am willing to pay for the service?
But hey Fedex is not alone in having problems of delivery. Indigo, the largest book retailers in Canada will not allow customers to order a book online and then go pick it up from a conveniently located book store. I will pay the shipping costs; and I will probably buy another magazine or book when I come to pick up the delivery. No can do! To be sure, there are a lot of other retail firms in Canada that are also selling their customers short by having this and other strange notions on the Business of Delivery.
You would think, given the costs of delivery retries, the convenience to customers especially given traffic gridlock in urban centers, and given the broader need for energy conservation by all, the Business of Delivery could be made more effective. But fear not dear reader, Business of late has been ignoring opportunity. For example, I would like a 5th of all tax breaks given to US oil companies over the past 30 years for their campaigns to provide energy independence…..Listen guys I will take a nickel on the dollar.