Goods that are shipped across the country and internationally are something relatively new in the history of trade. It was only a century ago that most things were bought and sold in a brick and mortar shop. Sure, people would send items long distance, but those were almost exclusively to friends or family members, not for business.
The problem wasn’t that we didn’t have the technology to ship containers or boxes or parcels. It was the technology of payment that was lacking. Think about it. Why would a company want to send you a product if you couldn’t pay them until after you received it? Similarly, why would you want to pay for something across the country and only be sent it after they received your check or cash?
The internet, however, has solved this problem. Credit cards make it easy to put in your payment information in a matter of seconds, and before you know it, your items are being packaged in shipping boxes and loaded up in a truck to start their journey to your house.
It’s taken quite a bit of time for our conception of trade to evolve to the state it has, but it begs the question: What will our business model be like in another 50 or 100 years? Will shipping be twice as quick? Will things remain as they are since our transportation is pretty high speed and efficient as it can get as is? It’s too early to tell what will happen, but I can bet that autonomous vehicles will be a cog in the system that speeds the process up even more. Sure, everyone seems to be a bit timid or even afraid of the idea of vehicles driving themselves, but by taking the human component out of the model, business is actually faster, more efficient, and more objective. (Yes, we’re gonna leave the whole can of worms that is jobs vs. AI out of this article.)
So, what do you think? Will our idea of shipping boxes evolve in the next century, too? Will cardboard be outdated by a newer, cheaper, sturdier substance that is just as eco-friendly? Will shipping become a cheaper thing overall, or will prices rise simply because the efficiency will increase?
If only we could peer just a few decades into the future, I’m sure a lot of these questions would be answered in short fashion.