Top 4 Last Mile Delivery Challenges And Solutions in 2023
When a company refers to last-mile operations, they are talking about the service of shipping goods to their final destination, which is usually a commercial or residential address. Many companies face an ever-increasing demand for faster shipments and same-day deliveries, but there are last-mile delivery challenges that can slow the entire process down.
In this article, the experts at Pillow Logistics explain a few of the challenges of last-mile delivery and the solutions that will help businesses gain a competitive edge.
What Are Four Last-Mile Delivery Challenges And Their Solutions?
There are numerous last-mile delivery problems, but some are more important than others. Luckily, the last-mile delivery solutions discussed below will ensure a company’s last-mile operations are streamlined to match consumer expectations.
Additionally, applying these solutions to your supply chain will help you maximize profits and improve productivity while satisfying customer needs.
1. Challenge – Late Deliveries
Unfortunately, customers are often left unsatisfied, irritated, or frustrated when they receive their goods late. Many factors (sick drivers, traffic, accidents) can affect a business’s delivery timing.
These disruptions lead to scheduling issues and delays resulting in loss of profits, poor productivity, and routing issues the following days or weeks. With so much competition in the delivery sector, customers nowadays expect a more prompt delivery timeframe.
When their expectations are not met, this usually results in a high increase in customer turnover rates, which most businesses want to avoid. After all, a loss of customers directly equates to a loss in profits.
So if you want to follow through with predetermined last-mile delivery timelines to safeguard your business’s reputation to ensure your bottom line isn’t negatively impacted, you need to quickly adopt solutions.
Solution: Adaptive Route Planning
There are a few solutions to combat the problem of late last-mile deliveries. For example, companies can create a robust last-mile delivery system that is versatile and adaptive to last-minute changes. This fluid system will help businesses deliver orders promptly, no matter the conditions.
In addition, companies can create a route planning system that guarantees transparency and effortless communication at all levels of the supply chain’s last-mile delivery process. If done right, route planning can ensure a business retains customers and keeps them satisfied.
2. Challenge – Poor Visibility
If a company wants to secure customer loyalty, they need to have proper visibility. Last-mile deliveries without adequate visibility of the process cause many customers to lose faith in a company and its offerings.
For the most part, buyers expect to be able to see when their package will get to them to make collection plans on their part. They can become frustrated and enraged if they cannot see where their delivery is and when it will arrive.
Nowadays, only giving customers tracking codes to check their delivery status doesn’t cut it. In recent years more and more people need to witness the different steps in the last-mile delivery process. This means that real-time visibility is a must-have component as it ensures customer loyalty in the long run.
Solution: Training and Dedicated Software Systems
Fortunately, there are ways to improve last-mile delivery visibility. First and foremost, a business’s employees need to be trained to handle last-mile delivery tracking processes.
Secondly, to ensure visibility is improved, there needs to be a touchpoint at every delivery process.
Thirdly, there needs to be integrated automatic location updates on delivery packages that customers can access.
With the right dedicated delivery management software system in place, this is easy to do as customers will get alerts via SMS or email providing details surrounding where their package is and when it is estimated to reach them.
These alerts help enhance visibility and a customer’s overall shipping and last-mile delivery experience.
3. Challenge – Outdated Technology Usage
Outdated technology usage is one of the most significant challenges last-mile deliveries face. In fact, according to SOTI, it was determined that about half of all global logistics and transportation companies use outdated technology that negatively affects their last-mile delivery.
Often outdated logistics software systems and technology offer minimal help with combating delays and higher shipping costs. On the contrary, outdated technology decreases productivity, heightens costs, and causes significant delays in last-mile deliveries.
Solution: Apply Modern Technologies
Switching to modern technological system solutions and practices can significantly aid last-mile deliveries. For example, if a business installed GPS shipping systems on each delivery, they could monitor the entire last-mile delivery process.
Likewise, if more companies adopted the IoT (internet of things), they could monitor last-mile deliveries effectively. With this technology, a business would have the tools to forecast potential issues and develop winning strategies to deal with predicted problems.
4. Challenge – High Delivery Costs
High delivery costs are one of the key challenges hampering last-mile delivery processes. According to estimates, it is believed that roughly 53% of overall delivery operational costs account for last-mile deliveries.
Unfortunately, with a lack of quality last-mile delivery software, it is hard for businesses to streamline their process and ensure deliveries get to customers on time. Businesses often pay large amounts for extra stops, sophisticated delivery routes, drivers’ salaries, failed deliveries, and versatile fleet management.
Additionally, when last-mile deliveries are delayed or fail because of inconsistencies in the supply chain, the last-mile delivery costs can double and result in severe business losses. It has also been determined that other costs like warehousing, fuel, maintenance, and vehicle labor push up the costs associated with last-mile deliveries.
It can also be cost-prohibitive to set up supportive infrastructure to facilitate timely last-minute deliveries, which is why many businesses turn to companies like Pillow Logistics to minimize costs.
Solution: Streamline Operations with Software
Ultimately, one of the only real solutions for addressing the high costs last-mile deliveries often incur is for a business to switch to effective software that minimizes costs.
Logistics companies use software programs to plan and organize their operations in order to reduce costs. Armed with this information, businesses can strategically plan last-mile deliveries and make necessary changes to ensure better savings.
Speak With An Expert At Pillow Logistics To Discuss Your Last Mile Delivery Needs
Clearly, there are many issues associated with last-mile deliveries, but there are just as many solutions. If you need a company to handle your last-mile deliveries in Indianapolis and ensure your products reach your customers on time, you can count on Pillow Logistics.
Our team offers excellent last-mile delivery services alongside warehousing, routed services, freight, and on-demand courier services. If you contact us, we can help you meet your final-mile delivery needs.