Ecommerce is big business right now. Thanks to the growth in mobile shopping and online sites, both consumers and companies are swapping the high street for its digital counterpart.
To meet the demand of online shoppers, delivery and logistics companies are offering even more services than before, delivered using an array of tech.
One of the most significant stages in the shipment process that covers the biggest share of the costs involved with the delivery is last-mile delivery, accounting for up to 28 per cent of the overall amount. But what is last-mile delivery and why is it so important?
What is Last Mile Delivery?
The ‘last mile’ of the delivery process is the stage where the parcel arrives at its destination. This part of transporting the goods to where they need to go covers the moment the items are taken from the warehouse right up to the moment the parcel is handed to the recipient.
As a buyer tracking the progress of the package, the last mile is the section of the delivery cycle when they are notified that their parcel is ‘out for delivery’.
Issues with Last Mile Logistics
This final leg of the journey can take the longest amount of time. The driver may have to navigate awkward roads and traffic jams or drop off at multiple locations beforehand, delaying deliveries. It is these delays that prove to be the most expensive.
Add to this the promise for free as well as speedy delivery, and the last mile is not just costing money; it’s also including the management of customer expectations.
One of the main ways to overcome the issues surrounding last mile logistics is to look at the technology that is being used. Logistics companies can utilise up-to-date tracking services, for example, to give drivers the opportunity to communicate with each other and work together to plan delivery routes.
Also, courier companies could make use of digital lockers to get the parcel to a central location. By making use of these lockers, the issues involving traffic issues for example are alleviated. In addition, this means that the parcel is being placed in a location that suits the buyer.
Other tech that could be useful in the future is drones. These are being trialled by Amazon, and they are inching closer to becoming a reality for logistics companies that are seeking solutions to the last mile delivery issue.