The turnover of CEP service providers has risen rapidly in recent years, both in Germany and Austria. And this is not only due to the pandemic. Experts predict that this trend will also continue after the pandemic. Moreover, it is not only the turnover that has increased but also the number of challenges that the CEP service providers have to deal with. These challenges include growing competition, ever-higher demands from customers and the need to reduce emissions. Fortunately, digital solutions provide ways to overcome these challenges.
What are CEP services? – Definition
The abbreviation CEP stands for Courier-Express-Parcel. Correspondingly, CEP services are Courier-Express-Parcel services, a part of logistics services.
CEP services can be divided into:
- Courier services: Courier services deliver consignments from a “consignor” directly to the addressee as quickly as possible. These can be urgent medicines as well as important documents. In cities, courier service providers often use bikes instead of cars.
- Parcel services: Parcel service providers deliver goods to private individuals or companies, usually at the normal postal delivery times. Well-known examples in Austria and Germany are DHL, Hermes and DPD.
- Express services: The central characteristics of express services are already expressed in the name. Here, the focus is on fast delivery within a guaranteed period of time. Express services are often offered as an additional service and for a surcharge by parcel services. .
Important: With CEP services, the size and weight of transport objects are limited. Other providers will bring the new fridge or piano.
Digital logistics and CEP – how modern tools improve the services offered
As we have already outlined at the beginning, the volume of shipments is constantly growing. At the same time, customers’ demands are increasing, both in terms of speed and availability of courier, express and parcel services. Same-day delivery and delivery at fixed time are gradually becoming the rule rather than the exception.
Therefore, CEP services benefit from digital solutions such as CEP software:
- Thanks to such software, customers can book the CEP services online, via a central platform. Usually, they can use the same platform to see where their delivery is currently located and how long it will take, using their tracking number. The delivery service Lieferando is a good example here.
- Additionally, courier services providers can keep a full overview of all vehicles and deliveries at all times. In real-time, they can track where the drivers are, which helps them to optimise their routes and reduce additional work. Since all processes run via one platform, the administrative burden is also cut down.
Digital solutions for logistics are often combined with new forms of mobility. While e-mobility generally reduces emissions and meets the desire of customers for more sustainability, CEP services can use e-bikes or cargo bikes to address another problem: the increasing lack of space in cities. After all, e-bikes and cargo bikes do not cause traffic jams and do not need much space when parked.
Tracking systems and parcel, express, courier services
GPS trackers like PowUnity’s BikeTrax and fleet management platforms play a key role in the digitalisation of CEP services. Only the combination of GPS trackers and fleet management platforms offers the possibility to track e-bikes and other vehicles in real-time. Courier, express and parcel services can use the real-time data to optimise their fleet management, prevent theft or recover stolen vehicles. They can also make the data available to customers, which brings us back to Lieferando and the tracking of delivery services.
In our article “IoT GPS Tracker – the Internet of Things in your bike”, you can read more about how fleet operators can use BikeTrax GPS trackers combined with the PowUnity platform for fleet management.
Zedify – a modern CEP service
Zedify from England is a PowUnity partner and uses cargo bikes to transport goods of all kinds – from flowers and food to medicines and laboratory samples. In addition, depending on the load, trikes, quads or e-vans are used. By taking over the “last mile” deliveries for e-commerce and retail, Zedify also wants to tackle air pollution in urban areas. Currently, the company is not only active in various English cities, but also in Scotland.
PowUnity Trackers provide Zedify with vital and accurate real time tracking information. This information combined with the added security element the tracker provides is a vital component to our operation.
Tom Scruby, Zedify
Digitalisation is becoming a key competitive factor for CEP services
Transporting goods quickly and environmentally friendly from one place to another around the clock will become even more important in the coming years. Tracking solutions and digital platforms can help CEP service companies to stay “on top of the game”.
In inner-city areas, the chances of success are particularly high when CEP service providers combine the advantages of digital tools and e-mobility. Thanks to such a combination, their services can become more efficient, more user-friendly and more sustainable.