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Delivery last mile is becoming an important business differentiation element due to the booming number of online purchases. In 2017, e-commerce was the main driver behind $2.3 trillion sales across the globe and is predicted to almost tripple to $4.5 trillion in 2021. As consumers are increasingly dependent on shopping online — it is predicted to be 95% all purchases are expected to be on the internet in 2040. This expected increase will extend all types of products, such as entertainment, apparel food, health and beauty, electronic and more.

Last mile delivery refers to the transportation in goods that is made from the transport hub to the destination. It is the final leg of a shipment’s journey before it’s delivered the customer. Last mile deliveries comprise more than 35% of the total cost for delivery and a company could lose or gain an existing customer based on a positive or negative delivery experience.

Factors affecting Last mile Logistics

1. Poor infrastructure

In the developing world the infrastructure may not be adequate. This means that the techniques employed to finish the delivery process could not be as efficient as they should. This usually means lengthy journeys and inefficient routes that cause delays in the delivery of the item. This can increase fuel expenses due to the additional time spent moving around with parcels. Delivery managers must tackle a variety of problems like incorrect or unsuitable addresses, traffic in urban areas, remote deliveries , etc.

2. The types of products

Sometimes, even the kind of merchandise can increase the problems of delivery last mile. Things like fragile objects like antiques, art glass objects perishable items and other tangible items are at danger of being damaged during the journey of the courier. To ensure that they are delivered without damage to their destination appropriate safety measures and planning are crucial.

3. Customer Problems

Inadequate information regarding the parcel such as insufficient address, distant location, cramped areas and the inability of the recipient to get the parcel or return it creates an obstacles to getting the item. These obstacles hinder the delivery of goods be delivered on time as promised by both courier companies as well as the customers. The possibility of delivery charges rises due to these unwelcome issues.

4. Lack of Visibility

To ensure a flawless last mile delivery procedure it is essential to focus on visibility. An important aspect cultivated by all courier firms (PUDO). There is a relationship between visibility in the supply chain and customer satisfaction. This link kept in mind with the utmost determination by retailers. Through real-time monitoring, consumers stay in the loop about the progress of their deliveries. And not compelled to make complaints.

Businesses that are susceptible to interruptions due to poor visibility are a bit harmed since they cannot provide a clear picture of their activities. Thus, businesses must modify their processes and give customers a clear view of their operations in order to keep their customers and ensure complete satisfaction.

5. Customer Expectations

Some customers want prompt delivery of their goods. If they want the delivery of their goods on the same day and are willing to pay a premium for it, ultimately they will disappoint by couriers. They are not able to devise delivery routes, resulting in delayed delivery and low customer satisfaction.

6. Transparency

This is among the most frequent challenges face by companies. Customers require an end-to -end view of the products they have delivered.

The lack of visibility of the products may not give complete details about the journey of the product. And may cause dissatisfaction among customers. Customers want to know the exact whereabouts that the delivery driver located. The length of time needed for the parcel to deliver and the place of delivery of the parcel.

To combat the issue of transparency, companies employ cloud-based tracking services. To inform their customers about the delivery status of their parcels. Warnings of delays of delivery sent out at a timely manner to the customer. Before they make complaints or complain about the service provided by couriers.

How can we streamline the last mile logistics process

It is important to keep in mind that factors that impact delivery could differ from location to place. However, the one thing that remains the same is that consumers all over the world prefer convenience and speedy delivery.

1. Solutions to tackle the challenges of geography

When it comes to delivery, efficiency is crucial. Delivery times can differ according to the number of stops made on a specific route. And the number of parcels transported at every stop. Cities with high density of apartment buildings are ideal locations for delivery on the last mile. However, one disadvantage of these locations is that they tend to have lots of traffic. And have fewer parking spaces, which hinders the efficiency of businesses. On the other hand, areas that have a small population and distances long between shops are not ideal for delivery last mile.

2. Beware of failed deliveries

There are times when people can’t be present to pick up their packages and in these instances. Delivery firms have to repeatedly try to deliver and this can increase the cost of delivery for the business. Another option is to request customers to collect their parcel from a specific address. This saves the time as well as money.

3. Adapting New Technology

To keep up with the constantly changing landscape of technology retailers have to develop new strategies to accommodate the growing demand. The failure of last mile deliveries is a major concern and in order to make the process more smooth businesses must increase their use and become more flexible to technological advances. Changes that implemented within the next few years are described in the following order:

  • A user-friendly interface designed for e-commerce businesses as well as logistic companies, and for customers who want to increase efficiency during work. The interfaces will be easy and user-friendly for everyone.
  • Applications-based software’s made available to speed up communication between E commerce firms as well as logistics companies and customers for updates that are timely.
  • Data collection that is timely and interpretation to provide an understanding of customer behavior
  • Storage and warehouses will be better maintained to ensure the safety and speedy transportation of cargo.
  • Effective adjustments to transport services to ensure timely delivery of goods to the intended customer.

4. Real-time visibility

Real-time visibility is one of the most essential requirements of customers in the present. Customers want to stay up-to-date with the status of their parcels. And need to aware of any problems that might arise in the delivery process. Informing customers about important events like delays, status etc. Should known to customers at the appropriate date to avoid disputes and loss of trust. This way the consumer informed prior to the time and does not make a complaint.

The Solution

One thing is obvious, that online shopping is increasing rapidly. In the modern world of internet-connected shopping issues of delivering it cheaply quickly, safely and in time are the main issues. That need to address to gain competitive advantages. The public attracted to logistics firms who offer quick and flexible delivery services. Smart Lockers are a crucial and indispensable solution that every company ought to take into consideration.

Automated LAST MILE delivery terminals offer customers with convenience. Decrease the time required to deliver and also cut down on the operational costs of delivery. And also help keep the fragmentation and wasted delivery of products to a reduced to a minimum. Since the packages delivered to one drop point that consolidated and pick-up point. In many countries, this led to the installation of lockers that allow customers to pick up or return their parcels.