How to Scale Last Mile Delivery? We Bet You Didn’t Know This

keyKey Takeaways:
  • A complete plan that includes investments in infrastructure, manpower, and technology is needed to scale last-mile delivery.
  • Companies can maximize last-mile delivery by using a variety of transportation methods, such as bicycles or drones.
  • Sustainable delivery methods, such as riding bikes or electric cars, can lower expenses and enhance company reputation.
  • Businesses must continue to be flexible and adaptive as client demands and expectations change in order to stay ahead of the competition.

56% of the customers won’t purchase a product in the post-pandemic period if they feel your delivery is not up to the mark.

But due to the pandemic, there has been a significant rise in the online delivery demand. And it has exploited the loopholes in the existing supply chain.

Over 61% of the retailers believe that their last-mile delivery service is highly inefficient.

But if businesses don’t improve and scale their last-mile delivery operations, they’ll miss out on the massive opportunity in the market and slowly run out of business.

So, how to scale last-mile delivery? Are there tailored ways to achieve scalability and maintain a smooth, frictionless delivery flow?

Well, there is but before we jump on to that, let’s understand the why behind scaling your last-mile delivery.

Why is Scaling Important For Your Last-mile Delivery?

The spike in the global pandemic forced people to stay at home and adapt to the new normal, but the demand for essential items skyrocketed.

More and more customers wanted products delivered to their doorsteps fast and reliable. It means you need to scale your last-mile delivery business to fulfill the demand in the industry with no compromise in the quality of delivery service.

Because of the rising demand, customers also want an exceptional delivery experience. Over 55% of the customers in the United States want same-day delivery compared to a longer delivery time window.

Businesses that provide fast deliveries in bulk can get a competitive advantage in the delivery industry and increase their customer base.

But it’s not everybody’s cup of tea to scale and keep the quality experience intact.

Challenges in Last-Mile Delivery Scalability

There are multiple challenges that last-mile delivery businesses can face while scaling their business. One of the significant challenges is high operating costs.

  • Because of multiple inefficiencies in the logistics and transportation business, business owners face a rise in operational costs when there is an increase in customer demand.
  • The workforce’s inability to handle it gives rise to backtracking, misplaced or lost orders, failed or delayed service, and much more. All the issues result in increased delivery cost and shrinkage of business profits, and a poor customer experience.
  • Another significant challenge of last-mile delivery is its time-consuming nature. From planning the delivery process to executing multi-stop delivery with maximum efficiency and minimal time, you need a robust automated, and powerful last-mile delivery ecosystem.
  • But businesses cannot adapt and change their existing operations during pandemic times. The rise in the delivery orders resulted in increased work pressure on the on-ground delivery workers and discrepancies in the supply chain. It resulted in failed or delayed deliveries, unacceptable in the age where people want same-day deliveries.

So, what can be done to handle the rising demand and maintain a streamlined delivery flow for a quality customer experience?

Effective last-mile delivery scalability is your answer.

How to Scale Last-mile Delivery?

Amazon was the first in the last-mile delivery segment that ensured scalability while matching the customer demands by addressing the shark in the room.

It delivers over 10 million products in its same-day delivery offer to its Prime members.

One thing to notice about Amazon is its flawless logistics and transportation management. You cannot scale your last-mile delivery if you don’t have a solid foundation in your delivery ecosystem.

To scale your business and maintain efficiency and quality, you need to integrate the latest delivery strategies, best technologies, and quality workforce.

We have filtered the best ways to scale your last-mile delivery service and ensure your delivery is cost-efficient and optimized.

So without further ado, let’s get started.

5 Ways to Scale The Last-mile Delivery

1. Automation in the last-mile delivery

Automation in the last-mile delivery

Automation can help remove the errors and discrepancies to improve the productivity of your workforce and maximize your growth.

You can streamline the planning and management of your business operation using powerful last-mile delivery automation software.

Automation enables your delivery business to set up a robust and agile delivery ecosystem that can handle operational capacity in bulk.

You can create delivery routes within a few clicks, send automated notifications to the customers and in-house team, create in-depth performance and delivery reports, store and manage delivery data online, and perform multiple productive tasks within a click.

Automating different delivery tasks can make the scaling process faster and easier than manual pen and paper management or disconnected apps.

Automation helps boost your output by increasing the size of the delivery network or investing more money in your delivery business. You can reduce the cost per delivery and minimize additional expenses that can be utilized to attract customers to your online shopping portal.

2. Calculative outsourcing

Calculative outsourcing

Outsourcing your delivery operations is not a new trend. Businesses have been associated with courier companies like FedEx, and DHL, among others, to deliver the purchased goods on their behalf to the customers.

You can use outsourcing if you have just started offering an online delivery service, don’t have the resources to build your delivery ecosystem, or have no experience managing logistics.

Multiple businesses are switching to local carriers to handle their last-mile delivery operations to deliver the products in the urban localities quickly. But there is a trend of retailers creating their small-scale delivery fleet to deliver a quality experience without relying on the third-party delivery partner.

You can use a hybrid model to scale your delivery operations using your in-house delivery fleet and third-party associate to handle every delivery requirement without delays or failed deliveries.

If your business is experiencing a spike in delivery orders and doesn’t have the capital to create a broader delivery ecosystem, a hybrid delivery model is an ideal solution that can help you maintain the quality and efficiency of your delivery service. 

Also, choosing local couriers can help you get better rates, streamlined communication, quick local deliveries, and no wastage of resources or delays.

You need to utilize outsourcing in the most optimized manner to scale your delivery business to new heights.

3. Strong distribution network

Strong distribution network

Creating a solid distribution network can help you handle the scale of the orders fluently and save your delivery time to deliver a quality delivery service.

Urban warehousing is becoming efficiently popular in the last-mile delivery space where businesses are creating small local urban warehouses in different parts of the city.

It minimizes the distance between the destination and helps the delivery drivers to reach the delivery spot within the promised time. Businesses are shifting from setting up large warehouses in the suburbs or rural areas and coming close to the target audience.

You can categorize different products based on the collected data into different locations. Data sets can indicate the popular products in a specific region and help businesses increase the capacity of the particular products in the region.

It makes it easier to plan drop-offs and picks by categorizing products into different urban warehouses.

A strong distribution network enables businesses to handle the complexity of delivery businesses or rising demands during a holiday season seamlessly.

 4. Quality customer experience

Quality customer experience

You need to deliver a holistic purchase experience to the customers by providing real-time visibility updates about the delivery order.

Customers demand more than just a free delivery to decide whether or not they want to make a future transaction with your business. You need to provide a personalized delivery experience by sending timely delivery notifications and enabling them to get in-depth information about the order in transit.

You need to use robust route planning and optimization software that gives you the freedom to get a bird’s eye view of the delivery process and share detailed information with the customers.

Enhancing the quality of customer experience builds trust and a solid relationship between the brand and the customers. It helps retain your customers and entice new prospects to purchase from your brand.

5. Route planning and optimization

Route planning and optimization

Proper route planning and optimization play a vital role in scaling your last-mile operation. Analyzing the most optimized and shortest route using multiple parameters like traffic, ETAs, shipping, or delivery location, among others, can help you streamline your business flow.

Route planning focuses on enhancing your team’s productivity and helps minimize operational costs.

But using a traditional route planning method or Google Maps is not suitable to handle the scalability knocking at the door of the delivery industry.

The inefficiencies of these methods can result in delayed or failed deliveries that can minimize the effectiveness and deliver a poor delivery experience.

Using dedicated route planning and optimization software can assist you in achieving your scalability goals and deliver a premium delivery experience to the customers.

How Can A Route Planning and Optimization Software Help In Last-mile Delivery Business Scalability?

A route planner using the latest technologies, like GPS tracking, machine learning, and geocoding helps you increase your business efficiency and achieve faster delivery.

It analyzes real-time delivery factors like weather and traffic conditions, the efficiency of the vehicle and drivers, priority of deliveries, among others, to deliver an optimized and enhanced delivery route.

You can simplify the dispatching process and achieve maximum delivery output within minimal time. 

You can create a robust communication ecosystem that can help fleet managers communicate with on-ground delivery drivers to solve dynamic issues during the delivery process.

A route planning and optimization software enable you to get in-depth performance and delivery reports to help you make well-informed decisions to scale your business and fix the flaws in the existing workflow.

You get centralized control over the operations using the powerful dashboard of the tools. Your team can use the software on their mobile devices to remain in sync with the delivery ecosystem.

But not all route planners are designed and developed with these features. There are a few top route planners in the industry, and we have filtered the best for your business.

CTA image

Upper Route Planner

A Simple-to-use route planner that every one is talking about.

  • Save up to 95% of planning time
  • Save up to 40% of time on the road
  • Plan 500 stops at once


Optimizing a last-mile delivery can be done using robust route planning and optimization software to deliver accurate and efficient route optimization results and help scalability.

The last-mile delivery can use the ‘Held Karp’ algorithm to give the delivery drivers the exact solutions using dynamic programming techniques and sub-path.

Yes, it is profitable if managed using the right strategies and tools. If not, then it can result in a loss-making business segment.

The primary issue with last-mile delivery is the rise in inefficient workflow management which can result in high operational costs and time consumption that can crumble your business.

The best last-mile delivery software is Upper Route Planner, which can simplify the last-mile logistics, enhance the delivery speed, and minimize the last-mile delivery costs.

Upper Route Planner Can Assist You With Your Scalability

Upper Route Planner is an easy-to-use delivery management software with advanced features that can help you streamline your business flow.

It delivers highly accurate and optimized results and helps you communicate and add flexibility with your customers and in-house team efficiently.

You get access to its powerful dashboard to access different features and explore its user-friendly UI/UX for optimized delivery fulfillment. Your drivers can store information about the proof of delivery and achieve contactless deliveries.

  • It reduces the route planning time by 95% and optimizes last-mile processes.
  • It improves the workforce’s productivity by 40% and streamlines driver schedules.
  • You can export up to 500 delivery addresses from Excel sheets within a few clicks and achieve operational efficiency.

So what’s making you wait?

Get access to the 7 days free trial and improve your delivery operation and create a robust last-mile delivery strategy to fulfill customer satisfaction.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel, author of two defining books on reverse geotagging, is a trusted authority in routing and logistics. His innovative solutions at Upper Route Planner have simplified logistics for businesses across the board. A thought leader in the field, Rakesh's insights are shaping the future of modern-day logistics, making him your go-to expert for all things route optimization. Read more.