The last mile is the final delivery leg of a shipment. Thanks to e-commerce growth and pandemic shifts, this segment of the delivery industry is becoming more complex and costly.
Delivery hiccups cost companies billions and damage their brand. This is especially true for local and regional retailers, who often rely on gig economy workers to complete deliveries.
The role of the driver
Whether it’s specialty furniture or lifesaving medication, e-commerce companies and logistics providers depend on final mile drivers to deliver orders from their distribution centers to consumers. These delivery drivers are the only touchpoint that physically connects brands with customers, and they’re often held to high standards for speed, convenience, and friendly service. Visit to hire delivery truck.
Managing the complexity of last-mile delivery can be expensive, especially for carriers and fulfillment companies who must allocate funds to extra stops, failed deliveries, fleet operation, and drivers’ salaries. However, more efficient routes and better planning can save money by minimizing out-of-route miles, which can account for as much as 10% of a fleet’s mileage.
In addition, businesses must find innovative strategies to provide lightning-fast deliveries while maintaining a competitive truck driver salary per hour. In the past, this has meant recruiting independent drivers, but these contractors can be inefficient, hard to find, and inconsistent with schedules, causing delivery delays. Instead, a more reliable option is using intelligent, tech-enabled last mile technology to connect with a large pool of qualified logistics professionals.
The role of the vehicle
The vehicle is essential to the last mile logistics process because it allows drivers to reach customer doorsteps. However, these vehicles are often expensive to operate because of fuel costs and other operating expenses. Additionally, failed deliveries add to operational costs.
A company that misses a delivery due to a lack of communication or a wrong address can incur costly costs associated with refueling and labor. This can also lead to lost brand loyalty and reduced consumer confidence.
Companies that focus on last-mile logistics are increasingly using EV vehicles in their fleets. These vehicles are more efficient than traditional gas-powered trucks, and they can help reduce a company’s carbon footprint.
EVs can also offer improved visibility for driver safety, a major concern in urban areas where traffic is heavy. For example, UPS has learned that its drivers spend millions of gallons of fuel each year waiting to turn left on city streets. When drivers are able to avoid this delay, they can make more deliveries in one day.
The role of the technology
While e-commerce has shifted the way consumers shop, logistics is still a critical part of the supply chain. Consumers expect quick delivery and visibility into their order status, and they can easily switch to competing brands with better shipping options if a company fails to meet these demands.
With fuel prices and driver shortages rising, balancing unit economics with customer satisfaction is challenging for many companies. However, advanced technology can improve the performance of your delivery fleet and reduce costs.
For example, by equipping vehicles with GPS and communication technologies, you can provide customers with real-time notifications and updates of their deliveries. This enables them to make decisions on the go without having to call back your dispatch team for more information. Additionally, technology like OptimoRoute helps drivers optimize routes and streamlines the transportation dispatch process to deliver more orders with less downtime. This helps you meet rising customer expectations for faster deliveries and increased service levels.
The role of the network
When it comes to last-mile delivery, a company’s reputation and customer satisfaction can rest on its ability to communicate real-time shipment status. This is why it’s important for shipping departments to select a freight 3PL partner that specializes in providing last mile logistics services.
Ecommerce and omnichannel retail have raised consumer expectations for fast and free shipping. This has led to an increase in last mile deliveries. Last mile delivery makes up a large percentage of total logistics costs, and high failed delivery rates can cost companies a lot of revenue.
For this reason, many LTLs (less than truckload carriers) and even some truckload carriers are expanding their operations to include last-mile logistics. To improve efficiency, they are creating dedicated last mile divisions with trucks and equipment designed for this type of delivery. This allows them to maximize the capacity of their fleets. This also enables them to create a better service level and build brand loyalty with customers.