Interestingly enough, 60% of commercial delivery businesses report that last-mile delivery causes the most significant number of issues in their supply chain logistics. In fact, this part of the supply chain might be the make-it-or-break-it factor that can separate your business operations from the competition. For this reason, we are going to address the biggest challenges of last-mile delivery and how to solve them.
Given the extensive rise in customer demands in the last couple of years, the commercial warehousing and delivery world has had to adapt to the far-reaching changes this trend has brought about. Yet, to meet set output goals, the reformation and innovations to your supply chain must be introduced methodically. In other words, you must pay special attention every step of the way, particularly to last-mile delivery processes.
Why is last-mile delivery so important?
But what makes last-mile delivery so essential? With the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic, eCommerce has experienced an unprecedented rise of 44%. Some markups note that consumer spending rose by more than $800 billion, making commercial logistics and delivery processes instrumental in satisfying this kind of demand.
However, with this kind of rapid growth, businesses have naturally struggled to streamline their operations. Under time constraints, ad hoc solutions meant to be temporary become permanent even when they are essentially subpar.
The main reason why last-mile delivery is essential is that most customers expect no delays and no mistakes while waiting for their product to arrive. Accordingly, this final step in the delivery process will determine if you keep your customers or business associates. Furthermore, last-mile delivery expenses account for more than 50% of total delivery costs. Therefore, you can proceed to locate the specific challenges of last-mile delivery so that you can solve them and enhance your outpost.
Streamlining last-mile delivery requires a comprehensive shipment architecture to cut down costs.
The high-costs related to the last-mile delivery segment affect customers and businesses, making cost-effective innovations in the last-mile infrastructure vital for doing business well. Therefore, the surge in demand businesses are experiencing requires mechanization and software that can fulfill the demand.
Essentially, your last-mile delivery has to be both seamless and inexpensive. And this can only be achieved with appropriate last-mile delivery software. Having underdeveloped software solutions can exacerbate other elements of your business operations and the supply chain. So, inadequate handling and registration of orders lead to failed deliveries, customs clearance problems, and intolerable delays, causing cash flow and staff recruitment problems. Therefore, the typically high costs of handling last-mile delivery can get dramatically higher with inadequate software solutions. So, make sure you do your research and invest in the appropriate software for your purposes.
Building customer loyalty with tracking codes
Tracking codes allow the customer to track the delivery status, making this feature a prerequisite for building a successful delivery business. Shipment tracking also will enable customers to participate in the delivery process as they can notify you if their order is experiencing issues at a particular stage. Furthermore, the psychological effect of knowing how the delivery is holding up also makes it an attractive last-mile delivery feature. In fact, most customers can actually make sense only of the last-mile delivery processes, making this stage particularly significant for their user experience.
These factors make real-time delivery status tracking indispensable for the customer and the business. However, optimizing the tracking feature for delivery businesses requires a state-of-the-art interaction between steps of the delivery process and electronic systems that communicate this information to the customer.
So, to boost customer loyalty and generate more income, you should invest in your last-mile
architecture to provide customers with online, accurate, and detailed location updates. This increases transparency and puts email or SMS shipment tracking as a testimony of your delivery business efficiency.
Delays and failure to deliver the package
Outdated technology brings about massive hiccups that can be highly detrimental to your last-mile delivery efficiency. Unfortunately, the traditional delivery approaches are not optimized enough to reduce the high shipping costs. Consequently, a messy, outdated system will bring about delays in deliveries or, even worse, complete failures to bring the shipment to the necessary address.
Therefore, basing your location tracking or logistics on pen and paper and Google maps simply won’t do. Next to a comprehensive satellite-based location tracking system, you also need to supplement your logistics department with comprehensive communication channels that eliminate the possibility of creating information delays. Once this is set in place, your last-mile delivery output should be able to become scalable enough to ensure a smooth and well-rehearsed workflow.
Efficient route planning is a key component of last-mile delivery mechanization.
Inaccurate route planning
The following last-mile delivery issue also ties in with the inability to establish a strong foundation in the delivery management department. Essentially, without a solid backbone rooted in efficient communication and logistical planning, your shipments will likely experience delays due to inaccurate route planning.
For that reason, you need to plan a route to achieve the maximum potential. You will also cut down costs and eliminate delays and shipping mistakes. Automatizing route planning should be just one in a series of steps in shipment management. This means investing in logistics experts and technician training alongside route planning mechanization is necessary.
All in all, we hope this article has helped you recognize the biggest challenges of last-mile delivery and how to solve them. Good luck!
Conrad Jackson is a logistics manager specializing in shipment management and warehousing. Occasionally, he also resolves commercial and logistical problems by streamlining relocation procedures in collaboration with City Movers. Another area of interest is rating technologies that ensure systematic dispatch tracking in commercial delivery contexts.
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