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US Shipping and Postal Industry

The shipping and postal ecosystem sits at the intersection of global industries, including retail, logistics, and manufacturing. Fundamental shifts in these industries—the growth of e-commerce, evolving digitization, and the proliferation of data—are increasing volume, connecting physical and digital delivery, and demanding value-added services. As volume and consumer expectations grow, overstretched infrastructure is making business-as-usual unsustainable and pushing players to evolve. Shipping and postal providers should begin laying the foundation for digital transformation and an intelligent, adaptive national and international network that flexes based on demand.

About our services

Deloitte is passionate about connecting people and businesses locally, nationally, and globally through the shipping and postal industry.

Deloitte works with leaders in the shipping and postal industry to leverage macro technology forces to enable them to meet current and future business needs. We invest in emerging technologies such as cloudanalytics, and cognitive and are recognized as a global leader in IT operations consultingcloud application services, and data and analytics services. We bring demonstrated solutions from across industries, including retailtransportation, and global shipping. Our experience accelerates our ability to co-innovate and provide right-sized solutions for current and future technology needs. Our services include:

  • Building IT capabilities informed by a broad understanding of the ecosystem and using a tailored co-innovation approach.
  • Supporting systems development and maintenance using advanced methodologies such as DevSecOps.
  • Providing analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions focused on delivering powerful business outcomes.
  • Employing workforce transformation strategies to help develop a digital-ready workforce, transform culture, and improve employee experience.
  • Executing leading customer experience strategies to drive competitiveness and customer satisfaction.
  • Serving as trusted advisors by listening to our clients’ unique obstacles, understanding their business, and helping them address challenges with objectivity and candor.

Five technology trends influencing postal and shipping

Today, when business and technology are inextricably linked, architecting for longevity and adaptability requires a deep understanding of both today’s realities and tomorrow’s possibilities. The following five emerging trends explored in Tech Trends 2023 are challenging existing business models in the shipping and postal ecosystem. Though the future can seem distant and ill-defined, the foundations of next-generation shipping and postal networks are actively forming and primed for the kind of leading-edge thinking that can turn complexity into opportunity.

Human experience platforms

With a growing demand for systems that better understand and appropriately respond to humans, AI-powered solutions—from bots with customer segmentation to CRM systems that personalize customer interactions—are redefining the way people and organizations experience technology. In the shipping and postal industry, however, many e-commerce retailers are often setting expectations for many customers without input from shippers. To help improve the human experience, mailing and shipping organizations should consider:

  • Putting relevant information in the hands of consumers and business partners on demand
  • Empowering business customers to improve their own customers’ and employees’ experiences
  • Putting the human experience at the heart of digital innovation

By combining AI, human-centered design techniques, and neurological research, human experience platforms could recognize a user’s emotional state and the context behind it, and then respond suitably. Mailing and shipping organizations can work together with e-commerce retailers to integrate technology with every part of the customer journey and deliver an experience that provides value to customers.

Learn more about Human experience platforms.

Human experience

Digital twins: Bridging the physical and digital

Some organizations are finding that increasingly sophisticated simulation and modeling capabilities, power visualization, better interoperability, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are making it possible to create simulations that are more detailed and more dynamic than ever. As capabilities grow, transportation and logistics providers can use digital twins to optimize processes; make data-driven decisions in real time; and design new products, services, and business models. To be ahead of the curve, shipping and postal industry players can consider:

  • Building a better understanding of its physical assets
  • Analyzing physical assets to find ways to better use them

The shipping and postal industry provides highly physical services to its customers, which are already being enhanced by technology. The digital twin is a part of the next generation of technological enhancement for building adaptive national and international networks that flex according to capacity and demand.

Learn more about Digital twins: Bridging the physical and digital.

Digital

Ethical technology and trust

Many business leaders are reevaluating how their products, services, and the decisions they make—around managing data, building a partner ecosystem, and training employees, among others—build trust. This is especially true for the shipping and postal industry providers that visit the homes of Americans every day and handle their belongings. As the industry investigates new ways to leverage technology and data to enhance its services, it should:

  • Keep its guiding ethical principles at its core to retain customer trust
  • Position public trust as its most valuable asset and treat is as such

As shipping and postal providers build more integrated and intelligent networks, trust becomes a 360-degree undertaking to help ensure that the many dimensions across an organization’s technology, processes, and people are working in concert to maintain the high level of trust expected by their stakeholders.

Learn more about Ethical technology and trust.

Trust

Finance and the future of IT

As technology strategy has increasingly become the core of organizations’ business strategies, IT will need the support of finance to rethink governance for technology innovation, adapt to agile methodologies, and secure creative capital. Shipping and postal industry incumbents are facing competition from companies that are native to agile development and already have finance structures in place to support agility. To compete with technology natives, shipping and postal industry incumbents should consider:

  • Attributing costs, cost savings, and revenue increases to technology enhancement to better make the case for investment
  • Creating faster, more flexible investment processes

The transition for shipping and postal industry incumbents will not happen overnight, but there are strong incentives for both CIOs and CFOs to find ways to effectively fund innovation. Building distinctive, disciplined approaches now can lead to sustained competitive edges. As more large organizations demonstrate agile’s positive impact on speed to value, flexibility, and responsiveness to market needs, the time for CIO-CFO collaboration on this issue has never been more important.

Learn more about Finance and the future of IT.

Finance

Architecture awakens

To remain competitive in an ecosystem disrupted by technology innovation, shipping and postal organizations should evolve their approaches to technology architecture by transforming the role of the architect. To stay future-ready, the industry should consider:

  • Moving the most experienced architects into software development teams that are designing complex technology
  • Investing in learning and development opportunities for its architects to stay on the cutting edge
  • Empowering architects to push the organization into the future

Shipping and postal industry incumbents face competition from organizations that prioritize software development teams. Investing in architects and promoting their strategic value enterprise-wide can help evolve the IT function into a competitive differentiator in the digital economy. The shipping and postal industry should raise the status of architects in the organization to imbue them with the status they need to do their job well.

Learn more about Architecture awakens.

Architecture

Get in touch

Julie Meehan

Julie Meehan

Principal | Deloitte Consulting LLP

Julie Meehan is a Principal at Deloitte Consulting based in the Washington, DC area. She applies her knowledge and experience from 20+ years serving the global private sector to help public sector lea... More

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