How to Manage Urgent Deliveries Based on Your Industry

Updated on June 26, 2024 by Alisa Cvilij

urgent deliveries

In the past, ‘urgent delivery’ applied mainly to medical emergencies. It could have involved getting spare machinery parts so the production process could continue. It meant that something important would stand a standstill while it waited for materials or parts to arrive.

But that’s all changed now. Modern technology has increased the speed with which things happen. And people’s expectations are increasing along with it.

The upswing in e-commerce has created unprecedented demands for faster, more efficient deliveries.

With the emergence of terms like ‘quick commerce’ and ‘same-day delivery,’ logistics operations must rethink their delivery strategies to maintain their market position. 

Research indicates that customers today tend to favor stores that offer fast delivery options. This means that retailers and e-commerce businesses vie for the top position regarding deliveries. And the pressure on them to deliver increases.

Table of content

  1. What is an urgent delivery?

  2. Industries where ‘urgent delivery’ is a frequent occurrence

  3. Timeframes

  4. Where do you go to outsource speedy deliveries?

  5. How to manage urgent deliveries based on your industry

  6. How technology can help boost speedy deliveries for your business

What is an urgent delivery?

The word ‘urgent’ is defined as immediate action. In logistics, ’urgent delivery’ means the transportation of goods in an efficient manner.

The aim is for goods to reach their destination in the quickest time possible. It is usually associated with something important, such as medical supplies that may save a life. Or the urgent delivery of raw materials so that a production line does not have to shut down.

But ‘urgent’ means different things to different people, and today, urgent delivery has almost become the norm.

Industries where ‘urgent delivery’ is a frequent occurrence

  • At the top of this list, no doubt, is the medical and pharmaceutical industry. Life-saving medical supplies are frequently flown around the world by airplane or helicopter. Drones are often used to get supplies to hard-to-reach destinations.
  • Perishable foods need to reach their destinations reasonably quickly. Refrigerated trucks meet this need to an extent, but brand competition keeps this industry on its toes. Urgency is key when it comes to freshness and availability.
  • In supply chain environments, large retailers cannot run out of stock. They often have special product deals and need frequent replenishment to fulfill customer promises. Shutting down a production line is very costly in a manufacturing environment. When machines need spare parts or raw materials are in short supply, time is of the essence. Deliveries have to be handled with urgency.
  • In the e-commerce space, customers have come to expect prompt and well-organized service from their suppliers. People’s lives are very rushed, and they don’t have time to sit around and wait for deliveries—it has to happen at a convenient time. The sooner, the better.

Each urgent delivery is uniquely important to the person or organization requesting it and must be handled with due respect.


Many customers in the e-commerce space have become accustomed to same-day delivery. They often base their buying decisions on the efficiency of a supplier’s delivery service. Many of them are happy to pay for a prompt and reliable delivery service.

A survey of customer expectations showed that two-thirds of global online customers expect delivery in 24 hours, and 40 percent expect delivery within two hours.

Where do you go to outsource speedy deliveries?

Businesses that ship to other countries know about shipping routines and cross-border transport. However, long-haul road trips and sea freight take time. If you’re looking for a fast solution that your fleet cannot manage in time, consider using a third-party logistics company. Local and international courier companies are equipped to handle fast deliveries. That’s their business. You can opt for one of the bigger companies, such as DHL, UPS, and FedEx, or search for a smaller company that will handle same-day deliveries nationwide. Large courier companies such as DHL have networks worldwide. They will handle your local deliveries on a next-day basis. For urgent deliveries, you can register as a priority customer, and they will strive to deliver them sooner.

UPS Small Business is another global courier that offers professional express delivery services. Your parcels are tracked internationally; you can check the delivery status whenever you like.

How to manage urgent deliveries based on your industry

Whether you offer a same-day delivery service or just need to help a customer with an urgent delivery, your logistics and cost will be affected.

How do you handle requests for urgent deliveries so you don’t lose on the deal? And how does it affect your staffing, costs, and logistical processes?

It depends on the type of business you are in. Read on if you’re already handling multiple urgent deliveries and need to rethink your strategies.

You may also be starting out and wondering how to get into the express delivery business; we also have some useful tips for you.

Urgent deliveries in the supply chain

If you’re in a supply chain environment, you probably have established delivery methods for various situations that arise. Big retail companies can establish depots where they keep enough stock to service large areas. This reduces the pressure when outlets urgently need stock.

Supply chain deliveries usually go hand in hand with inventory and warehouse management. As a dispatcher in this environment, you will have to ensure that urgent deliveries happen seamlessly. This involves automating the planning process.

E-commerce and courier services

If you’re in the e-commerce or courier space, you will have figured out that express deliveries impact both costs and resources.

On any normal day, you plan your deliveries using the best route possible, saving on fuel costs and time. Then, a regular customer has an urgent request.

Your predicament is whether to help your customer and push the rest of your delivery schedule out or refuse to help and lose the customer. Of course, you must keep this important customer, so you agree. But the delivery address is way off your scheduled routes for the day.

If this is a once-off occurrence, you will more than likely make a plan. But when it starts happening more often, it’s time to put something in place so that you don’t lose business. You also need to make sure that it’s cost-effective.

If your business is growing and you are confident that you will be able to manage a separate express delivery service, consider setting up your own. First, weigh the pros and cons of self-delivery vs. 3PL delivery.

In a nutshell, you will need to:

  •       Allocate a vehicle and driver to your express delivery service.
  •       Calculate a cost per mile, considering the costs of having a dedicated driver and vehicle.
  •       Advertise your express service so you can recoup the driver and vehicle costs.
  •       Offer same-day or next-day deliveries at competitive prices.

When your express delivery service is up and running and attracting customers, you may not have enough vehicles. Ideally, you should work out how to manage the urgent deliveries with the vehicles that you have.

You will need a fast and accurate route planner. Manual route planning takes time and will impact your delivery time.

Vehicles must sometimes be redirected to handle other urgent deliveries or collections. This entails effective communication between you and your drivers. A vehicle tracking system will let you know where they are and whether it’s feasible to redirect them.

To begin with, if there are not enough urgent deliveries to fill up a daily schedule, you can always add some normal deliveries to the schedule. Along the same route if you have them. The aim is to decrease costs by maximizing the number of deliveries each time your vehicle goes out.


If you don’t have enough delivery trucks, consider teaming up with another courier company that can take on the additional work if you can’t manage it. It may mean forfeiting some of the profits, but you get to keep the customer and earn a reliable reputation.


Some suppliers include delivery costs in their pricing, while others charge for them. This is particularly relevant in the e-commerce space, where many retailers and online stores offer free delivery if the order value exceeds a specified amount.

You are more likely to get repeat business if you offer competitive pricing. If you’re an e-commerce business, you can offer discounts based on customer spend. It’s one way to generate extra purchases.

Business hours

If your organization is large, offer a 24-hour call service. Even if you don’t collect parcels at night, your customers will appreciate knowing that you will collect them in the morning.

How technology can help boost speedy and urgent deliveries

The first step to optimizing your delivery process is careful planning. Here are the steps:

  •       Obtain the customer addresses.
  •       Plot the addresses on a map using GPS coordinates.
  •       View the map points and work out the simplest route. A circular route is ideal so that there is no overlapping.
  •       Calculate the distance between points and then determine the length of each journey section. This will give you an accurate ETA.
  •       Create a delivery schedule to hand to your driver.

Alternatively, you can take a look at the Track-POD Last Mile Logistics Software. You can save yourself a lot of time as the software works with you. All you need to provide is customer information; the software does the rest.

It will work out the fastest, most efficient route, taking traffic snarls and bad weather into account, too. It builds in extra time for peak-hour traffic and gives you an accurate ETA that can be passed on to your customer.

The time saved using route planning software means getting the package to your customer sooner. You can then handle a larger number of deliveries.

Check out this video to see how route planning software works:

The next step in the process is to track your vehicles. This gives you real-time information about where your driver is, helping you manage their schedule in real-time. You may be able to send the driver on another errand, such as an urgent collection, or to return to base and collect another urgent delivery.

Track-POD facilitates vehicle tracking, too. It transmits real-time vehicle and driver information to the dispatcher’s app. It also keeps the customer updated on the status of their delivery.

The Track-POD mobile app helps your dispatcher keep in touch with the driver along the route. Your driver can also contact the customer to arrange the final access to the property. The app also helps drivers record rejected deliveries and their reasons. Drivers can perform contactless deliveries and attach photographs to POD documents.

When the customer receives the parcel, they glass-sign proof of delivery on the driver’s Track-POD mobile app.

The driver then leaves promptly for the next urgent delivery. There is no time-consuming paperwork to be done, and the signed POD has already been transmitted to a database in the cloud.

manage urgent deliveries with Track-POD