Parcel shipping

What is Parcel Shipping?


By Komal Puri | April 30, 2024

What is Parcel Shipping?

Parcel shipping refers to the transportation of boxed objects by courier and postal companies. These parcels are usually boxed items that individuals or businesses send through various freight carriers that can handle different sizes, weights and destination locations.

How Does Parcel Shipping Work?

1. Packaging

Packaging is the first stage in parcel shipping, which protects goods from being damaged during transportation. Depending on the nature of an item, such as its delicacy, packaging selection will vary; breakable materials require wrapping materials like bubble wrap and foams while perishable products need cool packs with insulated packaging; also, the large items might demand robust crates or reinforced boxes for their consignment. Effective packing aims at minimizing movement within a package, absorbing shock and safeguarding it from external elements like moisture or temperature variations. Additionally, using eco-friendly packing supplies may meet some eco-standards as well as legal requirements.

2. Labeling

This is a critical step done to ensure parcels are easily traceable and handled effectively during shipping. Most modern parcel labels contain essential details such as addresses of sender and recipient(s), package weight and machine-readable barcodes or QR codes that can be integrated into the shipper’s tracking system. The barcode is scanned at several points along the way then updates about a given consignment appear in a central database. Besides being legible throughout dispatch through delivery, labeling should also focus on visibility plus durability of adhesive used for sticking them.

3. Collection

Collection encompasses initial recovery of packages from respective senders either through scheduled pick-ups or certain drop-off spots. In most cases of business organizations offering parcel services position themselves strategically so as to offer recurring pickups. During rush seasons for mailing especially Christmas time efficient collection operations become vital in managing increased volumes thereby ensuring punctuality is observed until delivery period comes up. In addition, this stage might also include preliminary sorting aimed to expedite processing at distribution centers.

4. Sorting

Parcels collected are now processed for onward distribution in highly automated sorting facilities. At the sorting centers, these parcels are segregated depending on size, weight, destination and urgency through a combination of automated machines and human hands. This is done using automated belts, scanners and sortation systems that direct packages to specific bins or pallets intended for different delivery routes or modes of transportations. The procedure is necessary for efficient logistics as it helps alleviate congestion points while enhancing flow of goods within supply chains.

5. Transport

Parcel transportation covers a wide range of operations involving trucks, trains, airplanes and fast ships depending on where the parcel should go and how quickly it should get there. For local deliveries, road transportation prevails over other types of shipping; yet cargo planes may be required for long-distance or cross-border shipments to guarantee short transit times. There are several factors used to determine which mode of transportation best serves the purpose: cost-effectiveness; speed; whether perishables require temperature control during shipment. Besides ensuring seamless transitions between various modes and carriers so as not to disrupt any schedule delays.

6. Delivery

The last leg is the “last-mile” delivery that seems challenging and expensive throughout the entire shipment process. This phase allows clients can decide when they want their items delivered such as scheduling of deliveries, getting proof that they were actually delivered among other things. Internet-based techniques like GPS tracking and mobile applications have made it possible for consumers to monitor their parcels live until delivered with notification sent right away. Also secure means like seeking signatures or providing safe places where they can be dropped off contribute to their safe receipt.

These steps in detail highlight the intricacy of parcel shipping and illuminate how crucial it is for each stage to be done right in order to have efficient, safe, customer-friendly delivery services.

Categories Of Parcel Shipping Services

Standard Shipping: 

Standard shipping services are what ordinary parceling is made of. Being dependable albeit not urgent, this service often takes a number of days to a week before the recipient can expect delivery owing to the distance involved. It is usually the cheapest option for routine online purchases where delivery urgency is low. Other advantages include lower prices and wide availability which makes it an option open both for customers and businesses.

Expedited Shipping: 

Expedited shipping accommodates consumers who need prompt package delivery. This system shortens transit times drastically making it significantly quicker compared to standard shipment options. It becomes even more beneficial when there are such urgent shipments as critical documents or last-minute gifts or perishable goods that require fast forwarding so as not to lose their originality through time loss. Quicker transport necessitates greater expenditures but it forms a very valuable part in some circumstances where time limits exist.

International Shipping: 

International shipping helps in sending parcels across borders though intricate logistics deal with transportation issues and regulatory requirements like customs clearance as well as international duties amongst others.

This could be a complex task since they demand coordination across many carriers while adhering to various international laws and local regulations. For example, political climate may change rapidly within different regions ; this means that tracking such changes over any relevant period requires regular analysis. Therefore, these factors relate directly to costs and period required for delivering products.

Same-Day Delivery: 

Same-day delivery options represent higher levels of emergency and convenience for parcels’ movement. With this service, packages picked up early morning will reach respective recipients by night fall on the same day. Such swift turnarounds require good logistical setup and at times advanced technological systems that help optimize routes & delivery timetables respectively. For medical gadgets this method is most efficient in case they are required urgently. Similarly, a customer may want to buy something at the last minute and would like it delivered immediately.

Each of these shipping methods serves different purposes in the parcel delivery business, from cost-effectiveness and regularity to urgency and global reach. Knowing about these choices enables customers and enterprises to select an appropriate service based on specific needs, budget constraints, and timelines.

Challenges In Parcel Shipping

Cost Management

In shipping parcels one of the primary issues is striking the balance between fast delivery times while being cost effective. That would involve finding out the best ways of transport that minimize costs while meeting expected delivery times. These factors include fuel prices, carrier rates among others making up for major expenses. Accordingly businesses must constantly factor in these variables so as to find reliable routes through which goods can be transported at reasonable costs without compromising on quality of services rendered.

Logistics Coordination

Managing logistics involving multi-modal transportation and multiple carriers requires seamless coordination and integration of data across various platforms. These will also have different durations before arriving at their final destinations which results from use of roads, water or airways hence all have divergent transit periods plus handling requirements. When there are more handoffs between different freighters, synchronization with other schedules becomes harder since they may be used by several involved parties who deal with transportations so as to prevent delays and ensure that parcels arrive when needed.

Damage and Loss

A very difficult task is ensuring the safety and integrity of parcels during transit. This means appropriate packaging, carrier’s handling and secure storage at transfer points. A risk of damage or loss, thus, exists with increasing handoffs or distance shipped. Consequently, strong risk management strategies have to be put in place including insurance and stringent quality controls at every shipping stage.

Regulatory Compliance

The complexity of international shipping lies in a vast spectrum of regulations as well as customs law. Therefore, each country has its own set of rules telling what can be shipped, how it should be documented and what duties or taxes apply. For shippers to avoid delays, penalties or seizure of their consignments they must keep themselves updated on these regulatory changes and observe them.

Optimize your parcel shipping operations

Benefits of Parcel Shipping


If you are a company owner, you know that one of the hardest parts about starting a business is finding customers. Without any customers, revenue will not be coming in and you will have a tough time surviving as an organization. You want to find as many groups of people as possible to sell your product to, but sometimes it's hard due to distance. With shipping technology, this no longer has to be an issue. It allows businesses of all sizes the opportunity to reach out and deliver their products far beyond local communities. This is good for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) because usually they can't afford the infrastructure or capital needed to sell in different markets. The more potential customers they can ship products to, the better off they will be.


When it comes down to it, consumers don't really care how things get done; all they care about is that it gets there on time. Parcel shipping makes this process much easier for all parties involved by offering multiple types of delivery options so that everyone can be happy with the choice. Customers also want tracking services so that they know where their package is at all times during delivery. Lockers are another solution that customers love because it allows them to pick up their package at any hour without having someone home for delivery.

Tracking and Security: 

Similar to what was stated above — transparency is very important when making a sale/purchase. Tracking technology has advanced rapidly over the past few decades and now provides detailed information on both items location at any given time and how long it should take until arrival beforehand. These measurements help regulate expectations and fix issues before they have a chance to blow up into something worse such as lost or misrouted packages.

Companies also need strong security measures in place if they are going to persuade people into investing in their product(s). Tamper-evident packaging, secure handling practices, and stringent delivery protocols are all critical in keeping the integrity of shipped items. These features also reduce the risk of theft or damage from happening.

Automated Processes: 

Key improvements to operational efficiency are automated processes. FarEye automates integral tasks in logistics such as route planning, carrier selection, and delivery scheduling. This diminishes the chance of human error, while quickly completing the entire shipping process from dispatch to delivery.

Customizable Solutions: 

No company matches another one exactly, and their logistical needs can be dramatically different. So, FarEye offers customizable logistical solutions that adapt specifically with the challenges of an industry. For example, refrigerated transport for perishable items or enhanced security for more valuable goods. Basically put, it ensures that all needs are met correctly.

Putting these strategies into play with the help of FarEye will result in a faster and cheaper delivery service for companies. By doing this you can expect a more efficient operation process which will make your business more competitive overall in its market sector.

Komal puri

Komal Puri is a seasoned professional in the logistics and supply chain industry. As the Senior Director of Marketing and a subject matter expert at FarEye, she has been instrumental in shaping the industry narrative for the past decade. Her expertise and insights have earned her numerous awards and recognition. Komal’s writings reflect her deep understanding of the industry, offering valuable insights and thought leadership.

Komal Puri
Sr. Director of Marketing | FarEye

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