Over the years, people’s consumption behaviour has changed, especially when it comes to people who shop online. Most consumers expect cheap and, where possible, free and fast deliveries.
To emphasize, today’s consumers expect FREE and FAST deliveries.
In order to stay above the competition, companies need to find ways to improve internal efficiency and lower operational costs to get money to fund their shipping departments. Unfortunately, a big part of earning money to support shipping logistics usually demands that entrepreneurs streamline their last-mile delivery shipping process. This means that for most companies to stay afloat today, they must find ways to enhance efficiency in this area with a last mile delivery company.
This article will delve into the logistics of last-mile deliveries, how your company can identify the current and future challenges in this area, and, it will also discuss how your company can leverage technology to solve these challenges with a view to staying ahead of the competition.
What Does Last-Mile Delivery Mean?
Last-mile delivery is the final process of delivering products from the warehouses to the final destination, which is usually a retail store or the personal address of the consumer.
It is the most crucial step in the delivery process – one that your company should ensure runs as efficiently and quickly as possible. This ensures that your company can keep up with the ever-increasing demand for quick shipping solutions, primarily if you deal in the retail, e-commerce, or food industries. This stage of shipping also happens to be the most expensive.
Here’s how you can improve your company’s last-mile delivery efforts …
Plan Your Routes Ahead to Cut Back on Delivery Times
Every driver with packages to deliver usually has a pre-planned route.
In a perfect world, the routes followed by your company’s drivers should be straightforward, but this is only sometimes the case, especially when drivers have to make drop-offs in rural areas. The nature of most rural areas and the congestion in urban areas usually mean that drivers spend a lot of time on the road, which generally translates to higher gas consumption.
Swift can help your company’s drivers since it usually optimizes the delivery routes by factoring in the drop-off location, the expected arrival time, the capacity of the vehicle, and traffic before providing the most efficient route. Any unexpected changes in traffic along the routes used by your drivers are usually updated in real-time through SMS, which allows them to select the best routes based on the real-time information provided.
Use Auto Dispatching to Reduce Labor Costs and Service Time
Adding on point 1 above, using software to plan your company’s delivery routes not only helps reduce the time it takes to plan the routes manually but can also decrease the number of drivers your company needs to make timely deliveries to customers.
Delivery managers can automatically assign delivery rules to drivers based on the actual location of drivers and the distance of the route being travelled. It also helps limit the number of tasks assigned to each driver.
Ensure That Drivers Provide Proof of Deliveries Made
A study of the shipping logistics industry found that 56% of customers demand a high level of transparency when their goods are being delivered. To streamline your shipping process, you can ensure that all your drivers provide proof when they make deliveries. Proof can be in the form of a signature from the recipient of goods or a photo showing a package delivered to the recipient’s address alongside a time and date stamp.
Improve the Experience of Your Customers
One of the ways you can improve the shipping experience for your customers is to ensure that you are in constant communication with the customers during the delivery process. This means going above and beyond providing a tracking number.