Obstacles in Last-Mile Delivery Logistics and Cost-Cutting

Businesses have initiated a race to develop new technologies and experimental supply chain models to boost parcel volume, speed deliveries, and satisfy customers while simultaneously reducing expenses.

FREMONT, CA: As consumers increasingly rely on ecommerce for all their purchasing requirements, rapid fulfillment and distribution are no longer a "nice to have"—it's a requirement for every online shopping experience. Businesses are rushing to develop new technologies, experimental supply chains, and models to increase parcel volume, expedite deliveries, and please customers. The difficulty of last-mile delivery continues to be a significant pain point for businesses. And logistics businesses and their retail partners must prioritize this if they hope to combat the competitors in the market. Unfortunately, same-day, final-mile delivery is one of their significant expenses and obstacles.

Many consumers are already familiar with local services through digital platforms due to the advent of the gig economy. Location-based technology enables consumers to open a mobile app to hail a car, book a place to stay, order coffee to the office, or even schedule takeout to arrive as they enter their apartment. The approach has been widespread in transportation, hotel, and food delivery for some time. Retailers are eying its inexpensive startup costs, asset-light operations, and enhanced customer experience to alleviate their last-mile delivery difficulties.

Using technology, retailers, logistics partners, and customers can interact directly with non-professional, local couriers using their vehicles to make deliveries. Companies can expedite the delivery of online orders to clients, and customers can receive things when and where they like. The ability to make both on-demand and planned deliveries ensures that clients are present at the time of delivery, hence eliminating the need for a second (or third) effort. The last mile delivery in a product's trip from a warehouse to the back of a truck to a customer's doorstep – the point at which the package arrives at the buyer's door.

Last-mile delivery is the most expensive and time-consuming aspect of the shipping process and is essential for customer satisfaction. The final leg of cargo involves many stops with small drop sizes. In rural places, delivery points along a given route may be separated by many miles, with just one or two packages delivered to each location. The costs and inefficiencies problem continue the growth of ecommerce in US retail sales, which has drastically increased the number of parcels sent each day and boosted customer expectations to include not only quick but also free delivery.

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