Consumer expectation is getting more demanding day-by-day. Consumers want their products and services delivered to their doorstep in a hassle-free manner, but without delay. Due to this reason, the supply chain industry is growing robust and getting concerned about their last-mile delivery.
Last-mile Delivery and its Importance
Last-mile delivery is considered to be the distance between a fulfillment centre to the location of the end consumer. Last-mile delivery is the last leg of the dispatch journey for the package. It supports the supply chain in the movement of products from the warehouse to be delivered to the final point of sale.
Even the customers are willing to pay premium delivery charges to get faster delivery of the ordered goods. The agenda behind improved last-mile logistics is to deliver goods to their recipients within a short span of time in a cost-effective manner.
Challenges in the Last-mile Delivery
For satisfying the ever-growing customer needs, a supply chain aims to deliver its package safely and on-time. More and more consumers are inclined towards eCommerce for their daily shopping needs, making the faster delivery option part and parcel of online retailing. Last-mile delivery faces the following challenges:
- The biggest challenge for last-mile delivery is the inefficiency as the final distance of shipment delivery experiences multiple stops with smaller drop sizes. In many of the areas, the delivery points are far apart from each other with decreasing dropping off facilities.
- The last-mile delivery costs take up a substantial part of the total shipping costs. However, the delivery charges are curtailed by the strategies of IT Consulting solutions to survive in the cut-throat competition. This is forcing the supply chain to shoulder the costs, making shipments delay during the last-mile delivery.
Overcome the Last-Mile Delivery Challenges
The delivery of the shipments to the endpoint of sale within time and with the good condition is a part of the delivery experience. Supply chain and logistics are thriving to improve customer service and thereby focussing on improving the last-mile delivery.
- Supply chain and logistics can introduce upfront store collections, wherein the customers are asked to pick up their shipments from a nearby store.
- Optimization of the routes can help in cutting the high costs of last-mile delivery.
- The logistics facilities must be improved with much higher pay to make sure the delivery partners do not delay the last-mile delivery.
- Crowdsourcing through IT Consulting solutions helps the logistics and supply chain providers to find local delivery partners for sending the parcels through courier.
Neglecting the First Mile Delivery
As faster delivery options are in demand these days, the challenges faced from the entry and movement of goods through the first mile are similar to the last-mile journey. Yet, the first-mile delivery optimization is being neglected by most of the supply and logistics chains. The first mile deliveries are forsaken because of these reasons:
- Amidst competition, logistics providers have improved their last-mile delivery. The shipments spend very little time in the last-mile as compared to the first-mile delivery. The shipping process consumes the majority of the time in packing, labeling, documentation, and deciding the most appropriate mode of transportation.
- Maintaining the inventory, maintaining the sales order, and transshipping takes up a majority of the shipment fees. This cost inefficiency produces unpredictable delivery time. The first-mile deliveries are often delayed when parcels fail to reach the container ships-within time.
Improvements in First-Mile Delivery
A supply chain faces threats of disruption from getting swiped up from the market due to inadequate customer service. They concentrate more on the last-mile delivery fearing the cost-effectiveness of changing routes and transportation processes for the last mile delivery.
Logistics team should optimize the first-mile delivery in order to drive the last-mile delivery of shipments:
- Movement of goods should be tracked right after the goods leave the warehouse till it gets dropped off to the desired location. This tracking facility should be shared with the customers.
- The transit and subsequent delays should be measured and tracked in real-time to remove any obstacles and accelerate the transporting process.
- The mode of transportation and routes should be planned and prioritized so that the shipments cross lesser fulfillment areas and improve the facilities of cross-docking.
In simple terms, last-mile delivery is as important as the last-mile delivery for dispatching the goods from the transportation hub to the final delivery destination, and both of them should be optimized for seamless customer experience.