THE E-COMMERCE INDUSTRY GROWTH RATE MEANS THAT EVERY SUPPLY CHAIN STRATEGY NOW EXTENDS TO LAST MILE DELIVERY.
Consumers are expecting to receive their packages quicker than ever before. They are also expecting to be able to keep track of them 24/7. Consumer expectations of fast package delivery not only puts pressure on retailers and suppliers. It must be achieved while increasing revenue without increasing expenses.
A crucial element involved in providing last mile delivery services today is route optimization.
- Is key in meeting consumers’ demands
- Ensures packages are delivered efficiently and in a timely manner
- Allows companies to know where each driver is/how many deliveries they have for the day – this is key to determining the most cost-efficient routes
- Enables delivery companies to save money when it comes to fuel/labor costs
- Increases driver productivity by maximizing delivery driver hours
Another element to incorporate last mile delivery into your supply chain is having the ability to keep track of packages. By using tracking technologies, carriers are able to know where shipments are and when they will be delivered. Very often multiple individuals are involved in delivering an item, so visibility also applies to those who have custody of a shipment at each leg of the journey. Furthermore, in those instances where important items are in transit, it may also be desirable to know who has custody.
Establishing a chain of custody typically involves capturing data such as:
- Individual’s name & signature
- GPS co-ordinates
- Time and date details
Carriers may also have an interest in sharing shipment visibility with other stakeholders. For ecommerce applications, delivery companies will share tracking data with their customers (retailers) as well as their customers’ customers (online shoppers).
PROOF OF DELIVERY
Finally, obtaining proof of delivery is the last key element of last mile delivery. This ensures that items in transit were successfully delivered to the right recipient. To avoid any complications between the customer and the supplier, proof of delivery confirms that the package has arrived in good condition. Not only is this beneficial for the customer, but by securing proof of delivery you also get the opportunity to reduce paperwork. By reducing paperwork, carriers eliminate lost documents, reduce the number of errors that occur as well as the number of damaged documents. Proof of delivery provides real-time information and as a result, much quicker invoicing. .
When it comes to increasing productivity, last mile delivery is the direction shipping couriers should be heading into. The reason being because it not only allows a more efficient experience for consumers but for the retailers and couriers as well. As the e-commerce industry continues to grow the efficiency will need to grow with it, therefore incorporating last mile delivery is certainly something that can speed up that process.