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Disadvantages of Same Day Shipping

June 10, 2020 Published by

boxes arrive at door

Same day shipping was once considered a novel, fantastical idea. Shoppers rejoiced at the thought of their favorite items arriving instantly with the click of a button, while fulfillment centers around the world laughed at the notion such a thing could ever happen. Now, however, advancements by fulfillment giants such as Amazon have made same day shipping possible and it has taken the world by storm.
Although same day shipping can be extremely convenient, it is not without its disadvantages to both customers and businesses. Here are the main problems.

Disadvantage #1: Limited Flexibility

The process for same day shipping is expedited, and it can sometimes move faster than you’d like or expect. Companies who offer deliveries with longer wait times have the ability to make changes to an order. This includes being able to re-route, alter the contents, cancel, and hold. Same day shippers, however, don’t have this flexibility with their orders once they hit the warehouse. Any changes will cause delays – which will severely upset customers.
It’s important to focus on maintaining a positive image for your brand rather than jumping onto a trend you may not be equipped to join. Aside from losing the ability to change plans, same day shipping can also be taxing on your operational capacity.

Disadvantage #2: Capacity

Depending on the day, you might also find it tricky to find the space to move products on the same day. Getting space on trucks in particular is extremely competitive – as they are quick to max out their capacity near the end of the day. You will have to fit last minute, same day shipments along with products other customers ordered previously. Additionally, costs for order processing will increase when you have to invest more in the staff, equipment, and floor space needed to improve capacity.

Disadvantage #3: Efficiency

Efficiency is extremely important within any fulfillment operation. One of the biggest ways to improve efficiency in shipping is grouping orders, e.g. making group picks of the same item or picking in the same area to reduce travel times. However, same day shipping limits the possibilities for grouping as there is less time available to accumulate orders in your picking queue before order processing. Usually, the smaller the queue, the less opportunities you’ll have to make gains on efficiency.

Disadvantage #4: Customers Don’t Always Need or Want Same Day Shipping

Another potential problem with same day shipping is that not everyone is as on board with it as the media and big fulfillment companies would like to portray. Most customers usually place orders once they get home from work. This means, some customers won’t really want an item to arrive as they are preparing to settle in the next night. With the increase in “porch pirates,” many think twice before ordering a package that will likely sit on their doorstep overnight. Customers also have to shell out extra for same-day shipping, which might make traditional wait times more appealing for some. In fact, when given the choice, most consumers prefer free shipping instead of same day shipping.

Consumer sentiment against same day shipping could grow due to its impact on the environment. Because same day shipping makes it more difficult to group orders together on trucks, the trucks make more trips to deliver roughly the same amount of goods – using more fuel and increasing emissions. According to a study on corporate social responsibility, 92% of consumers are more likely to trust companies that support social or environmental issues. So, stressing the positive impact traditional delivery standards can have on the environment may improve your brand’s perception more than same day shipping would.

To Ship Same Day or Not

Same-day shipping has taken the world by storm, but it is not the end all be all for today’s businesses. Examine your customer base as well as your operational capacity carefully before deciding to switch to same day shipping. In many cases, offering a slower service but remaining reliable and consistent is all you need to attract and retain loyal customers.