Without any shadow of a doubt, there is a great boom in the logistics industry with an unprecedented demand for faster and efficient last-mile delivery. Last-mile delivery refers to the procedure in which goods and products are transported from the warehouse to the address of the customer. This is indeed a very crucial phase of the supply chain. Though it comes with many challenges. Even the top logistics companies in Australia face many issues related to last-mile delivery. 

What’s the Problem with Last Mile Delivery? 

The aim of last-mile logistics is to supply the package to the end clients on time without any unnecessary delays. The last mile problem underlies the fact that while customer needs their deliveries to be fast and free, the last mile turns out to be the most pricey and time-consuming part of the supply chain process amounting up to 53 per cent of the overall costs of shipping. Whatever added inefficiencies are there in the last mile process they tend to surge up the cost of the deliveries. 

Crucial Problems with the Last Mile: 

  1. Cost of last-mile deliveries
  2. Lack of transparency
  3. Poor granular tracking
  4. Failed Deliveries
  5. Inefficient routing and lack of route optimization
  6. Unpredictability in transit
  7. Lack of proper delivery infrastructure
  8. Outdated delivery tools and technologies

How COVID-19 Intensified the Problems with Last-mile Delivery? 

The outbreak of COVID-19 has led to an upsurge in online shopping, which has in turn increased the pressure on businesses to deliver goods quickly and efficiently. As the need for social distancing has become more important, more and more customers are preferring contactless delivery options. This has made the final leg of delivery more challenging for businesses to navigate.

Businesses have had to adjust their operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to following hygiene and sanitation guidelines, they have had to take extra precautions such as monitoring the body temperature of their staff to ensure customer safety and loyalty. Due to the high risk of infection from cash transactions, many businesses have switched to contactless payment methods. Furthermore, to meet the new demands of customers, delivery operations have been revamped.

How Do Communication Issues Lead to Flawed Decision-making in the Last Mile?

Most of the last-mile problems arise owing to communication issues between the different delivery stakeholders. Enterprises opt for options such as 3PLs and carriers’ physical infrastructure such as warehouses or transport systems to give a boost to their service quality without the need to make an investment or purchase them. However, issues escalate when warehouse managers find problems in maintaining enough inventory which leads to shipping and delivery delays. 

Businesses that offer last-mile solutions in Australia can overcome logistics challenges by utilizing a real-time information platform. For instance, if a vehicle encounters traffic issues, it can be promptly re-routed to avoid delays. Business intelligence tools integrated into the platform help analyze data and track performance based on parameters such as delivery journey time, order completion, transportation costs, and customer satisfaction. These platforms can be customized to access other systems like inventory or last-mile delivery tracking and display all data on a single dashboard in real time.

Resolve Last-mile Problems With These Effective Strategies:

1. Upgrade the Level of Customer-warehouse Proximity

Check the proximity of the customer to the warehouse. This is the main strategy that you need to look after. The last distribution centre or warehouse needs to be closer to the customer in the distance. This consideration would go a long way in saving money and curtailing delivery times, cost and fuel usage as well. If the areas with great orders are close to the warehouses then it would address the last mile problem to a large extent and can also be used as a pick-up or drop facility for the customers. This boosts the return on investment (ROI) of warehouse operations by making inventory management seamless and less time-consuming. 

2. Leverage Technology for Delivery Optimization

Cutting-edge technologies have the potential to help businesses enhance their processes by analyzing real-time information, which can lead to better decision-making. These technologies incorporate machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for tasks like route navigation and driver allotment. By doing so, businesses can increase their potential return on investment (ROI), save on operational costs, reduce the time spent on the supply cycle, and efficiently plan routes for multiple destinations in one go.

3. Refine Delivery Vehicle Routes and Dynamic Vehicle Routing

Efficient route planning can significantly reduce delivery times. With the help of software, routes can be scheduled automatically by considering various parameters such as time, location, vehicle capacity, and traffic. This way, the software can recommend the most efficient routes based on past routes. Besides, any real-time updates on traffic that are liable to affect delivery schedules can be conveyed to the delivery driver in real-time, which will make active routing of the fleet possible.

4. Communicate with Customers in Real-time

Modern consumers need their supplies to be delivered with flexibility as they are not always at home to receive their orders. Consumers should be informed with persistent notifications during the shipping process about what is happening with their package. This not only gives an edge to their customers but also to the driver as it ascertains that the customer is available at the time of delivery. 

5. Stick to a Streamlined Real-time Delivery Tracking System

Real-time delivery tracking is a beneficial tool for both companies and consumers. It allows them to keep track of their packages until they reach their final destination. This service enables companies to provide prompt updates on deliveries, which enhances the customer experience. However, missed schedules, route optimization issues, the lack of proof of delivery, and the inability to support contactless payments can create problems and negatively impact business operations. To overcome these challenges, it is essential to adopt an advanced solution that streamlines logistics operations and maximizes efficiency.

Victory Freight is a top logistics company in Australia that adopts efficient strategies to offer an extra edge to customers in last-mile delivery services.