Last-mile distribution: getting the goods to the customer’s doorstep on time, every time


By Komal Puri | October 13, 2022

An optimal last-mile logistics system manages complexities seamlessly. Modern logistics platforms track every aspect of the process, providing management with full visibility over the entire operation. Optimizing routes, providing electronic proof of deliveries, maintaining communications consistently with customers, providing live tracking, and providing delivery options are just a few of the reasons that choosing to optimize last-mile operations is of utmost importance.

What Is last-mile distribution?

Last-mile distribution refers to the last leg of the supply chain operations. When a product goes from a hub to the end customer’s door, that is last-minute delivery. Last-mile tracking is used by modern logistics platforms to eliminate unnecessary delays, maximize cost optimization and increase productivity.

Issues Faced in Last-mile Distribution

Last-mile carrier operations face a lot of challenges especially with an increase in the demand for same-day deliveries. Poor visibility poses serious issues during last-mile operations. Inefficient routing, inaccurately assigning tasks, and poorly managed third-party contractors can all be avoided to deliver on time. Technology needs to be applied as this is not likely to be achieved manually.

Vehicle capacity should be utilized to the fullest in the last-mile distribution process, especially as same-day delivery packages are usually small. If businesses waited for vehicles to fill up, there’s no way they could make the delivery on the same day. Efficient routing tools help save your business from overspending and deliver things on time.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an example of an unexpected circumstance that can disrupt already established logistics models. Contactless delivery is one response to COVID regulations, but it’s not so simple. Electronic signatures and proof of delivery are not as easy to attain and an increased amount of notifications need to be sent while awaiting responses.

Latest Trends in Last-mile Distribution

Organizations have sought creative solutions to keep up with demands. Customer satisfaction can be achieved when last-mile logistics operations evolve by incorporating technology. Live-tracking through GPS helps locate misplaced packages, therefore diverting customer complaints. The location of the package and fleet driver can be produced in real-time using software applications.

Micro warehousing involves renting spaces that are converted into warehouses. This can greatly assist in increasing the quality and quantity of fulfillment services. This is a good solution when order volumes increase rapidly and unpredictably. This method can also be successfully employed in keeping various kinds of delivery types ( same-day and no-rush deliveries) distinct from one another, cutting down on the time required to fulfill the orders.

Automated solutions for your business replace human labor with robots, drones, and automated vehicles. When you analyze your cost of doing business, you may find that on average more than half of your expenses go for payroll. This will not mean eliminating human labor as there are still plenty of tasks that require a human touch.

Technologies such as drones or autonomous trucks can keep running twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Mishandled deliveries are often reduced when they are used as they eliminate gaps seen with human delivery teams. As these technologies evolve, areas of improvement will be identified and upgrades will be made.

Komal puri

Komal Puri is a seasoned professional in the logistics and supply chain industry. As the Senior Director of Marketing and a subject matter expert at FarEye, she has been instrumental in shaping the industry narrative for the past decade. Her expertise and insights have earned her numerous awards and recognition. Komal’s writings reflect her deep understanding of the industry, offering valuable insights and thought leadership.

Komal Puri
Sr. Director of Marketing | FarEye

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