Method and System for Delivering Packages
Original Publication Date: 2001-Nov-25
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
The widespread adoption of toll free numbers and e-commerce web sites for the purchase of products has resulted in much difficulty for the delivery of these products to businesses and individuals. Shipping or product delivery companies (e.g., courier companies, post offices, etc.), due to the increase in the number packages which must be delivered, have had to invest significant capital to purchase the various package handling equipment (e.g., trucks) and hire additional delivery personnel to satisfy the increased shipping volumes. Running parallel with these developments has been the increased workloads on employees (which often require longer working hours and fewer holidays) and the increase in double-income families. Furthermore, these work and personal pressures on personal time have made most individual consumers impatient resulting in a "must get it now" type attitude. The invention relates to the method and system of delivering packages which require an individual to personally receive a package (e.g., by signature or the like) and relies on the schedules of the ultimate recipient of a package. The fact is that most people often leave their residences early in the morning (often much earlier than 8 am) and return late in the evening (often 6pm or later). These hours of non-attendance at their personal residence obviously coincide with typical business hours which usually are from about 8 am to 6 pm. The invention involves identifying the type of occupant of the address to which a package is to be delivered i.e., is the package to be delivered to a personal residence or a business. Identification of the type of occupant may be made by a selection on the shipping waybill, by zoning bylaws (e.g., based on the delivery address, a fairly accurate determination of the likely occupancy type can be made), the name of the addressee (e.g., is the package directed to a person at a company, a person only, a company only), etc. Once a determination of the type of occupant associated with the deliver-to address is made, a package should be routed so that it is delivered during a period of time during which the occupant of the deliver-to address is likely to be in attendance. Therefore, if it is determined that the deliver-to address is a personal residence, then there is little good in attempting to deliver the package during normal business hours as there is likely to be no one home. Similarly, there is little benefit in attempting to deliver a package to a business outside of business hours as the receiving department or reception area is likely closed.