November 1, 2001, 12:00 AM

APL Direct Logistics launches a package-delivery notification system

APL Direct Logistics has launched Proactive Parcel Management, which enables online retailers and cataloguers to notify customers when their packages will be arriving -- especially if they will be late.

A significant number of calls coming in to retailers’ call centers are simply inquiries from customers wondering where their orders are. APL Direct Logistics, an outsourcing fulfillment company, today launched a service it says can reduce those calls.

The new service, known as Proactive Parcel Management, enables online retailers and cataloguers to notify customers when their packages will be arriving -- especially if they will be late.

The service allows retailers to monitor packages while they are in the package carriers` delivery system, and if a package is going to be delivered later than promised, to advise the consumer via e-mail or by placing a call. Companies may also choose to outsource their tracking management and customer service operations to APL Direct Logistics, which in turn may contact the consumer.

"When a package carrier fails to deliver a package on time, consumers don`t blame the carrier -- they blame the outlet that sold them the product, which could impact their decision to shop with that company again," says APL Direct Logistics President and CEO Frank DiMaria. "By keeping consumers up-to-date with the status of their package through the use of a system like PPM, you`re sending a lot of important messages to those consumers. You care, you`re in control, and you stand behind every order you process."

Retailers will pay 20-30 cents to identify each problem, then about $1.50 per e-mail, $1 per minute for a phone call, or 22 cents for a postcard to notify the customer about the problem, if they outsource norification to APL, DiMaria tells Internet Retailer.

Jacksonville, FL-based APL says about 6% of all packages are delivered late or not at all. "Consumer direct companies can`t change the fact that late deliveries occur," DiMaria says, "but they can decide to improve the way they deal with late deliveries from a customer service perspective."


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