This article will explore the logistics of last mile delivery in great detail, identify struggles you may face with this type of delivery in the future, and explain how technology can solve these issues. With this knowledge at your company’s disposal, you’ll have a significant competitive advantage.
What is Last Mile Delivery?
Last mile delivery is the movement of goods from a transportation hub to the final destination. This final destination could be a home, a retail store, or a business. The last mile is often seen as the most complex and costly part of the shipping process because it involves moving goods to a specific location.
Many factors can affect last-mile delivery, including traffic congestion, geographic limitations, and the type of goods delivered. In some cases, hiring a professional courier service may be necessary to ensure that the goods are delivered on time and in perfect condition.
5 Key Steps in the Last Mile Delivery Process
There are five critical steps in the last mile delivery process:
- Planning and coordination: The first step is to develop a plan for how the goods will be delivered from the transportation hub to the final destination. This plan should consider traffic patterns, geographic limitations, and the type of goods delivered.
- Picking up the goods: The next step is to pick up the goods from the transportation hub. This can be done with a truck, van, or bicycle.
- Transporting the goods: Once the goods have been picked up, they must be transported to the final destination. This step can be challenging due to traffic congestion and other factors.
- Delivering the goods: The next step is to deliver the goods to the final destination. This can be done with a truck, van, or bicycle.
- Monitoring and tracking: The last step is to monitor and track the delivery to ensure it is on time and in perfect condition. This step is essential to ensure that the customer is happy with the delivery.
The Cost of Last Mile Delivery
The cost of last mile delivery can be high, which is one of the main reasons many businesses avoid offering this service. Last-mile delivery can often cost up to 10 times more than traditional shipping methods.
There are a few reasons for this high cost:
- There is the cost of fuel. Last-mile delivery trucks tend to be large and heavy, which means they use power.
- There is the cost of time. Last mile delivery drivers often have to deal with traffic congestion, which can significantly delay the delivery process.
- There is the cost of labor. Last-mile delivery drivers are paid hourly, so the longer it takes to make a delivery, the more it will cost.
What is the “Last Mile Problem”?
The “last mile problem” is a term used to describe the challenges businesses face when offering last mile delivery. These significant challenges often make last-mile delivery impractical for many companies.
There are a few reasons why the last mile problem exists:
- There is the issue of cost. As mentioned above, last-mile delivery can be costly.
- There is the issue of time. Last mile delivery often takes longer than traditional shipping methods, frustrating customers.
- There is the issue of geography.
Last mile delivery can be challenging in areas with high traffic congestion or limited road access.
Problems Faced in Last Mile Delivery
There are a few problems that can be faced during last mile delivery. These problems include:
- Traffic Congestion: Too much traffic can often lead to late deliveries, and as a result, customers who are not pleased with the service.
- Limited Access to Roads: If there are few roads leading to the destination, it becomes tough for the delivery driver which often causes them to miss deliveries. Unhappy customers then follow.
- Poor Infrastructure: When roads are in bad condition, it makes it hard for the driver to get the product to the customer on time. This often causes deliveries to be late and customers to be displeased.
- Weather Conditions: If the delivery driver has to contend with treacherous weather, it’ll be harder for them to make their ETA. Customers will be unhappy if they don’t receive their order on time (or at all).
- Security Issues: Security issues are a hindrance for delivery drivers trying to reach their destination on time, which often leads to missed deliveries and frustrated customers.
What is the biggest challenge with last mile deliveries?
The biggest challenge with last mile deliveries is the cost. Last mile delivery can be costly, and it’s often not practical for many businesses. Additionally, last mile delivery can be very time-consuming and frustrate customers. Finally, last-mile delivery can be challenging in areas with high traffic congestion or limited road access.
Technology Can Help Reduce the Cost of Last Mile Delivery
Fortunately, there are a few ways to use technology to reduce the cost of last mile delivery. One way is to use route optimization software. This type of software considers traffic patterns and finds the shortest and fastest route for the delivery driver. This can save a significant amount of time and reduce the amount of fuel used.
Another way to use technology to reduce the cost of last-mile delivery is a parcel locker system. This system allows customers to pick up their orders conveniently, such as at a grocery store or a gas station. This can save a significant amount of time for the delivery driver and reduce the number of missed deliveries.
Finally, you can use technology to track your deliveries. This type of system can help you see where your delivery drivers are at all times, and it can also help you monitor the status of your orders. This information can be valuable in ensuring that your deliveries are on time and in perfect condition.
Technology Solutions for Last Mile Delivery
Last mile delivery can be challenging, but there are a few ways to use technology to reduce costs. Route optimization software, parcel locker systems, and tracking systems can help make last-mile delivery more efficient and affordable.
Many technology solutions can be used to improve last-mile delivery. These solutions include:
- GPS tracking: GPS tracking can help you keep tabs on your shipments, so you always know where they are and when they’ll arrive. This information can also be used to optimize delivery routes, ensuring that your goods always reach their destination on time.
- RFID tags: RFID tags work by tracking the location of the items as they are being transported. This information can then be used to improve the delivery route and make sure that goods arrive on time.
- Smartphones: Using a smartphone to track the location of goods during transport can help optimize the delivery route and ensure items are delivered on time.
- Tablets: Tracking the location of your goods during transit using tablets can help optimize your delivery route and ensure that everything arrives on schedule.
- Tracking Software: Tracking software allows you to follow the movement of your products while they are in transit. This data can help you plan the quickest and most efficient delivery route, ensuring that your goods arrive on time.
These technology solutions can help improve last mile delivery and make it more efficient. These solutions can also help reduce the cost of last-mile delivery.