Delivery (commerce)

Delivery (commerce)

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Encyclopedia
Delivery is the process of transporting goods. Most goods are delivered through a transportation network
Transport network
A transport network, or transportation network in American English, is typically a network of roads, streets, pipes, aqueducts, power lines, or nearly any structure which permits either vehicular movement or flow of some commodity....

. Cargo
Cargo
Cargo is goods or produce transported, generally for commercial gain, by ship, aircraft, train, van or truck. In modern times, containers are used in most intermodal long-haul cargo transport.-Marine:...

 (physical goods) are primarily delivered via roads and railroads
Rail transport
Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks they run on...

 on land, shipping lanes on the sea and airline
Airline
An airline provides air transport services for traveling passengers and freight. Airlines lease or own their aircraft with which to supply these services and may form partnerships or alliances with other airlines for mutual benefit...

 networks in the air. Certain specialized goods may be delivered via other networks, such as pipelines
Pipeline transport
Pipeline transport is the transportation of goods through a pipe. Most commonly, liquids and gases are sent, but pneumatic tubes that transport solid capsules using compressed air are also used....

 for liquid goods, power grids for electrical power and computer networks such as the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 or broadcast
Broadcasting
Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and video content to a dispersed audience via any audio visual medium. Receiving parties may include the general public or a relatively large subset of thereof...

 networks for electronic information.

The general process of delivering goods is known as distribution
Distribution (business)
Product distribution is one of the four elements of the marketing mix. An organization or set of organizations involved in the process of making a product or service available for use or consumption by a consumer or business user.The other three parts of the marketing mix are product, pricing,...

. The study of effective processes for delivery and disposition of goods and personnel is called logistics
Logistics
Logistics is the management of the flow of goods between the point of origin and the point of destination in order to meet the requirements of customers or corporations. Logistics involves the integration of information, transportation, inventory, warehousing, material handling, and packaging, and...

. Firms that specialize in delivering commercial goods from point of production or storage to point of sale
Point of sale
Point of sale or checkout is the location where a transaction occurs...

 are generally known as distributors, while those that specialize in the delivery of goods from point of sale to the consumer are known as delivery services. Postal
Postal
Postal may refer to:* Mail, the postal service* The Postal Service, a band* "Going postal", the U.S. slang phrase meaning a killing spree* Going Postal, a 2004 Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett...

, courier
Courier
A courier is a person or a company who delivers messages, packages, and mail. Couriers are distinguished from ordinary mail services by features such as speed, security, tracking, signature, specialization and individualization of express services, and swift delivery times, which are optional for...

, and relocation services
Relocation services
Relocation services or employee relocation include a range of internal business processes to transfer employees, their families, and/or entire departments of a business to a new location. Like other types of employee benefits, these processes are usually administered by human resources specialists...

 also deliver goods for commercial and private interests.

Consumer goods delivery



Most consumer goods are delivered from a point of production (factory
Factory
A factory or manufacturing plant is an industrial building where laborers manufacture goods or supervise machines processing one product into another. Most modern factories have large warehouses or warehouse-like facilities that contain heavy equipment used for assembly line production...

 or farm
Farm
A farm is an area of land, or, for aquaculture, lake, river or sea, including various structures, devoted primarily to the practice of producing and managing food , fibres and, increasingly, fuel. It is the basic production facility in food production. Farms may be owned and operated by a single...

) through one or more points of storage (warehouse
Warehouse
A warehouse is a commercial building for storage of goods. Warehouses are used by manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, transport businesses, customs, etc. They are usually large plain buildings in industrial areas of cities and towns. They usually have loading docks to load and unload...

s) to a point of sale (retail store), where the consumer buys the good and is responsible for its transportation to point of consumption. There are many variations on this model for specific types of goods and modes of sale. Products sold via catalogue or the Internet may be delivered directly from the manufacturer or warehouse to the consumer's home, or to an automated delivery booth
Packstation
Packstation is a service run by DHL Parcel Germany, a business unit of Deutsche Post's Mail division, in Germany. It provides automated booths for self-service collection of parcels and oversize letters as well as self-service dispatch of parcels 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Packstation...

. Small manufacturers may deliver their products directly to retail stores without warehousing. Some manufacturers maintain factory outlets which serve as both warehouse and retail store, selling products directly to consumers at wholesale prices (although many retail stores falsely advertise as factory outlets). Building, construction, landscaping and like materials are generally delivered to the consumer by a contractor as part of another service. Some highly perishable or hazardous goods, such as radioisotopes used in medical imaging
Medical imaging
Medical imaging is the technique and process used to create images of the human body for clinical purposes or medical science...

, are delivered directly from manufacturer to consumer. Home delivery is often available for fast food
Fast food
Fast food is the term given to food that can be prepared and served very quickly. While any meal with low preparation time can be considered to be fast food, typically the term refers to food sold in a restaurant or store with preheated or precooked ingredients, and served to the customer in a...

 and other convenience products, e.g. pizza delivery
Pizza delivery
Pizza delivery is a service in which a pizzeria delivers a pizza to a customer. Delivery is normally made with an automobile, motor scooter, or bicycle.- Ordering :...

. Sometimes home delivery of supermarket
Supermarket
A supermarket, a form of grocery store, is a self-service store offering a wide variety of food and household merchandise, organized into departments...

 goods is possible. A milk float
Milk float
A milk float is a battery electric vehicle , specifically designed for the delivery of fresh milk. They were once common in many European countries, particularly the United Kingdom, and were operated by local dairies...

 is a small battery electric vehicle
Battery electric vehicle
A battery electric vehicle, or BEV, is a type of electric vehicle that uses chemical energy stored in rechargeable battery packs. BEVs use electric motors and motor controllers instead of, or in addition to, internal combustion engines for propulsion.A battery-only electric vehicle or...

 (BEV), specifically designed for the delivery of fresh milk
Milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

.

Delivery vehicles



Vehicles are often specialized to deliver different types of goods. On land, semi-trailer
Semi-trailer
A semi-trailer is a trailer without a front axle. A large proportion of its weight is supported by a road tractor, a detachable front axle assembly known as a dolly, or the tail of another trailer...

s are outfitted with various trailers
Trailer (vehicle)
A trailer is generally an unpowered vehicle pulled by a powered vehicle. Commonly, the term trailer refers to such vehicles used for transport of goods and materials....

 such as box trailers, flatbeds, car carriers, tanks and other specialized trailers, while railroad trains include similarly specialized cars. Armored cars
Armored car (valuables)
A common meaning of armored car is as an armored van or truck, used in transporting valuables, such as large quantities of money . The armored car is a multifunctional vehicle designed to protect and ensure the well being of the transported individuals and/or contents...

, dump truck
Dump truck
A dump truck is a truck used for transporting loose material for construction. A typical dump truck is equipped with a hydraulically operated open-box bed hinged at the rear, the front of which can be lifted up to allow the contents to be deposited on the ground behind the truck at the site of...

s and concrete mixer
Concrete mixer
A concrete mixer is a device that homogeneously combines cement, aggregate such as sand or gravel, and water to form concrete. A typical concrete mixer uses a revolving drum to mix the components...

s are examples of vehicles specialized for delivery of specific types of goods. On the sea, merchant ships come in various forms, such as cargo ship
Cargo ship
A cargo ship or freighter is any sort of ship or vessel that carries cargo, goods, and materials from one port to another. Thousands of cargo carriers ply the world's seas and oceans each year; they handle the bulk of international trade...

s, oil tankers and fishing boats. Freight aircraft are used to deliver cargo.

Often, passenger
Passenger
A passenger is a term broadly used to describe any person who travels in a vehicle, but bears little or no responsibility for the tasks required for that vehicle to arrive at its destination....

 vehicles are used for delivery of goods. These include busses, van
Van
A van is a kind of vehicle used for transporting goods or groups of people.In British English usage, it can be either specially designed or based on a saloon or sedan car, the latter type often including derivatives with open backs...

s, pick-ups
Pickup truck
A pickup truck is a light motor vehicle with an open-top rear cargo area .-Definition:...

, cars
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

 (e.g., for mail or pizza delivery), motorcycles and bicycles (e.g., for newspaper delivery). A significant amount of freight is carried in the cargo holds of passenger ships and aircraft. Everyday travelers, known as a casual courier
Casual courier
A "casual courier" is an everyday traveler that informally delivers packages for shippers. The term describes an alternative delivery practice of sending items from one place to another via independent traveler....

, can also be used to deliver goods.

Delivery to remote, primitive or inhospitable areas may be accomplished using small aircraft
General aviation
General aviation is one of the two categories of civil aviation. It refers to all flights other than military and scheduled airline and regular cargo flights, both private and commercial. General aviation flights range from gliders and powered parachutes to large, non-scheduled cargo jet flights...

, snowmobiles, horse-drawn vehicle
Horse-drawn vehicle
A horse-drawn vehicle is a mechanized piece of equipment pulled by one horse or by a team of horses. These vehicles typically had two or four wheels and were used to carry passengers and/or a load...

s, dog sled
Dog sled
A dog sled is a sled pulled by one or more sled dogs used to travel over ice and through snow. Numerous types of sleds are used, depending on their function. They can be used for dog sled racing.-History:...

s, pack animal
Pack animal
A pack animal or beast of burden is a working animal used by humans as means of transporting materials by attaching them so their weight bears on the animal's back; the term may be applied to either an individual animal or a species so employed...

s, on foot, or by a variety of other transport methods.

Periodic deliveries


Some products are delivered to consumers on a periodic schedule. Historically, home delivery of many goods was much more common in urban centres of the developed world. At the beginning of the 20th century, perishable farm items such as milk, eggs and ice, were delivered weekly or even daily to customers by local farms. Milkmen delivered milk and other farm produce. With the advent of home refrigeration and better distribution methods, these products are today largely delivered through the same retail distribution systems as other food products. icemen
Iceman (occupation)
An iceman is someone who sells or delivers ice from a wagon, cart, or motor-truck.The profession was formerly much more common. From the late 19th century to mid 20th century, in cities and towns icemen would commonly make daily rounds delivering ice for iceboxes before the electric domestic...

 delivered ice for iceboxes until the popularization of home refrigerator rendered them obsolete in most places. Similarly, laundry was once picked up and washed at a commercial laundry
Laundry
Laundry is a noun that refers to the act of washing clothing and linens, the place where that washing is done, and/or that which needs to be, is being, or has been laundered...

 before being delivered to middle class homes until the appearance of the washing machine
Washing machine
A washing machine is a machine designed to wash laundry, such as clothing, towels and sheets...

 and dryer
Dryer
A dryer most commonly means:* Hair dryer* Hand dryer* Clothes dryer, also known as a tumble-dryer* Belt dryer* Cereal dryer, for food preservation* Desiccant, a substance that absorbs or adsorbs water...

 (the lower classes washed their own and the upper classes had live-in servants). Likewise deliveries of coal and wood for home heating were more common until they were replaced in many areas by natural gas, oil, or electric heating. Some products, most notably home heating oil, are still delivered periodically.

Milk delivery continued until the mid-twentieth century across North America. For example, the last milk delivery by horse-and-wagon in Edmonton
Edmonton
Edmonton is the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta and is the province's second-largest city. Edmonton is located on the North Saskatchewan River and is the centre of the Edmonton Capital Region, which is surrounded by the central region of the province.The city and its census...

 was in 1961. Cultural references to affairs between housewives and delivery men are common. A recurrent cartoon theme was that of a family whose children resembled a visiting milkman. This also explains the following lines of Jeannie C. Riley
Jeannie C. Riley
Jeannie C. Riley is an American country music and gospel singer. She is best known for her 1968 country and pop hit "Harper Valley PTA" , which missed becoming the Billboard Country and Pop number one hit at the same time...

's 1968 hit song Harper Valley PTA
Harper Valley PTA
"Harper Valley PTA" is a country song written by Tom T. Hall that was a major international hit single for country singer Jeannie C. Riley in 1968. Riley's record sold over six million copies as a single. The song made Riley the first woman to top both Billboard's Hot 100 and the U.S...

:
There's old Bobby Taylor sitting there, and seven times he's asked me for a date,
And Mrs. Taylor sure seems to use a lot of ice whenever he's away.