In addition, a number of regional parcel delivery companies have sprung up since the 1990s. They combine the track and trace capability of the national carriers with the ability to guarantee next day delivery at ground rates over a larger delivery footprint. Because they are regionally based, they are able to improve shipment time in transit and increase shippers productivity with later pick up times. The regional parcel carriers can be a cost effective enhancement to UPS and FedEx because they do not charge the full array of accessorial charges mentioned in the section above.
The individual sorting and handling systems of small parcel carriers can put severe stress on the packages and contents. Packaging needs to be designed for the potential hazards which may be encountered in parcel delivery systems. The major carriers have a packaging engineering staff which provides packaging guidelines and sometimes package design and package testing services. Recipients, if they are to are to receive packages in a timely and appropriate manner, must accommodate carriers.
With the rise of the sharing economy multiple family dwelling with restricted access face difficulties due to increasing volume of deliveries, some of which, such as food, may be time sensitive. Some have built storage rooms for packages and installed refrigerators. Recipients often choose to use a high capacity “parcel box” which will store large amounts of items and mail at the same time. Deposited items are securely stored with the use of internal security baffles which allow parcels to drop down into the lower portions of the box whilst restricting the theft of items through the aperture opening.