07 Aug, 2018 By Wayne Wang

In-house or Outsourced Delivery Here’s How to Decide

Shipping and logistics in light of business aren’t limited to delivery of goods to customers—there has always been a need for affiliated companies to trade off or exchange documents and other items to operate efficiently. However, there’s no denying that it is the delivery of goods like food and apparel that has increased the demand for courier services, along with the advent of online shopping.

Customers want convenience, and a courier in Australia that can ship items directly to their location in a quick and timely manner addresses this need. Be it food, retail, or documents, deliveries are becoming the new norm. When your company lacks this service, you are resisting a necessary change.

When choosing how to go about the delivery, a lot of factors come into play—the resources you have versus what you need, capacity to take in both online and phone orders, and the contrasting options of whether to get an in-house staff or an outsourced third party.


Deciding Between In-House and Outsourced


1. Control


An in-house team seems like an obvious choice for businesses that want to get into delivery. After all, you’d get to control and assure the quality of the items and delivery process so that each customer receives the best experience.

In addition, you can keep your brand consistent on all platforms, which is helpful in retaining customer loyalty. A survey has shown that 76% of buyers would prefer to order directly from the company instead of a third-party.

Since your delivery team is in-house, you’re in the loop with everything they do and have an actionable part in the entire process. You can make direct changes and decisions without having to work through management other than your own. And, since the production department is in proximity, you’d get to optimise the flow of the supply chain.

All this power comes with great responsibility, though, as total control means that you’re liable for everything that happens, including bad ones.


A third-party drop shipping company will source, store, and send on your behalf, but other fulfillment organisations will deliver products for you without having to relinquish your monitoring and tracking authority. You’d still need to source your stocks to the outsourcing company’s fulfillment center.

Some third-party couriers in Australia, however, offer efficient yet straightforward delivery services that allow you to retain full control. You can even provide specific instructions about how the item should be handled or the particular timeframe when it should be delivered.


2. Costs and Sales


When you decide to get into deliveries, you’d naturally incur additional costs, especially if you choose to have complete control. Everything you need to complete a job—from vehicle acquisition to fleet maintenance and even down to parking fees—means extra expenses. There’s also compensation for the staff and warehouse space to account for.

Vehicles for business purposes need to have insurance, which is considerably higher compared to regular car insurance. Running deliveries without the proper protection means having to pay off severe penalties.

However, some studies suggest that an in-house delivery team is 50% less expensive than outsourcing because it prevents set-up costs and other hidden fees. This also means that you don’t need to integrate a complex, third-party system on your store (that also carries significant charges).


A third-party courier can help you get a feel for the service if you want to know first how things can go before having your own in-house team. Cost for maintenance, storage space, staff, delivery, insurance, and others can be cheaper with an outsourced courier service. That way, you can allocate resources to other aspects of the business.


3. Productivity


Having an in-house staff to complete your deliveries will allow you to offer an excellent quality of service overall. Since you have the power to monitor their work, productivity and flexibility, the reliability of your workers will increase. It also fosters better communication between the fulfillment and customer service teams, which can make investigations to delivery problems quick and efficient.

On the other hand, this may still have some unintended consequences to your workforce and productivity. For instance, when delivery personnel gets into any difficulty in the middle of the job, somebody else must take over.  


If you want you and your employees to concentrate on each of your tasks on hand, an outsourced shipping service can help. Increase your in-house teams’ productivity and have one less thing to worry about by getting a third-party courier.


4. Knowledge in Logistics and Shipping


Admittedly, offering delivery is more of an afterthought for some businesses. While it’s an opportunity for you and your employees to learn and grow, it may take some time to know how to manage it and get the process streamlined. It can be challenging and will possibly take up considerable resources.


Get a courier partner that has the expertise and experience to fulfill your delivery requests. You don’t really have to tell them how to run things, as they already know how to do it right. Of course, they would still need to learn the nature of your business to make the process even more efficient.


5. Workforce


As previously mentioned, getting into delivery is an opportunity for your current workers to learn the ropes. This training can even strengthen your existing HR team.

There’s no denying, though, that you’d need additional people to take care of this job; and whether you choose to dip into your current worker pool or hire more, you’re bound to incur added costs. Extra labour would have to be accounted for, and the hiring, training, and goal-setting are iterative steps that require substantial time and effort.


Outsourcing your deliveries to a partner company means fewer expenses when it comes to hiring additional workforce. You can also assure the expertise of the delivery personnel because their employer has already trained them. Furthermore, the partner retains liability for the staff.


Making a Choice

There really is no one correct solution because the goals and capacity of your business are bound to change as you grow, and time passes. You could have better chances with an outsourcing shipping company today, but once the corporation progresses and gets bigger, you have the option to transition to an in-house one.

It’s best to evaluate yourself from time to time to ensure that what you choose today is still helping you deliver your customers’ needs quickly and cost-effectively.