The emerging trend of digitization and online shopping has disrupted the supply chain of firms to a large extent. The current Covid-19 pandemic situation has caused more and more people to rely on online shopping that led to a change in consumer behavior and difficulty for firms to focus on the last mile delivery market.
Last Mile Delivery refers to the supply chain management and the planning of all the processes to reach the final destination for delivering products.
The urban freight distribution is facing many challenges which have to be overcome. This article provides a complete guide on the trends, challenges and tips for improving and maintaining the efficiency of Last Mile Delivery in 2021.
Top Last Mile Delivery Trends in 2021
Automation and Robotization
In this digital world, automation plays an important role. Robotic delivery methods like robots, drones, self-driving vehicles etc. are installed by delivery firms in their supply chain management system.
Certain emissions standards are introduced to prevent air pollution. The Clean Air Zones, Ultra-Low Emission Zones have made it compulsory for logistics firms to use environment- friendly vehicles.
Another latest trend in last mile delivery is that more and more firms are insourcing their own vehicles instead of outsourcing them to fulfill the deliveries. Many ecommerce firms are using their own trucks or vehicles for local deliveries.
To improve the performance of last mile delivery, logistics firms are implementing technologies like location intelligence (LI) that facilitates visibility, route optimization, and real-time tracking. This helps to inform the customers about the location of their product in
Increased safety in delivery
Due to the present pandemic situation prevailing in the world, people are more concerned about their safety. Hence, contactless delivery has become a major trend in the last mile delivery system. Firms have now started the use of Electronic Proof of Delivery software (e-POD) and online payment systems to maintain the safety of the customers.
Challenges to do Last Mile Delivery
Challenge of faster delivery to customers
Customers order their desired products online and expect faster delivery of goods. This adds pressure on the retailers to supply large orders on time.
- Difficulty in Inventory management
There is a faster package and delivery of online orders. This makes it difficult for the warehousing firms to keep track of all the orders. Last mile delivery can be effective only if there is proper implementation of inventory management software.
Adaptation to technology innovation
Technological advancement is continuous. Customers use the latest technologies to communicate and place orders. Hence, retailers have to stay updated with the latest technologies to satisfy their customers.
Increased delivery costs
Customers are usually reluctant to pay the delivery charges hence, they purchase from those who offer free delivery services. It is difficult to eliminate the delivery costs as customers are not willing to pay for it.
- Challenge of free returns
When customers place online orders, it gives a benefit of doubt to the customers as they are not placing orders by physically selecting them. They expect free returns from the retailers. This adds costs of providing free return service.
To overcome these challenges it is important to keep in mind some important tips for effective
last mile delivery.
Tips to implement Last Mile Delivery strategy
Use last mile tracking solutions
Use last mile tracking solutions to gain proper visibility of the product both for the customers and the business. Track the location of the delivery driver through delivery driver GPS. This will also enable the customers to know where their product is and when
they can receive it.
- Let your customers choose the delivery time
For an effective last mile delivery, you must offer various personalized delivery options
to your customers. Let your customers choose a specific delivery time, local pickup
delivery or same day delivery.
Select the right mode of transport
With the advancement in technology, various automated modes of transport for delivery
are introduced. Evaluate and use the mode of transport that best suits your needs. You
can use semi and full autonomous ground vehicles (AGV) to deliver goods.
Retailers as distributors
The distance between the warehouse and the end customer is quite long. To reduce this
distance, retailers can be used as distributors in areas where there are large customer
bases. To reduce the Last Mile Distance retail outlets can be established in certain
locations for commonly purchased items.
These are some last mile delivery tips that can help warehousing and logistics firms to
eliminate costs, keep up with technology and satisfy their customers. The warehousing firms must research the pricing policies, alternate distribution channels and budget before implementing the last mile delivery system.