6 Last Mile Delivery Challenges and How to Overcome Them

6 Last Mile Delivery Challenges and How to Overcome Them

61% of the delivery business believe that the last mile is the most inefficient part of their supply chain.

But with the evolution in customer demands and the rise in global supply chain businesses, businesses need to streamline their last-mile operations to match the expectations.

But what are the hurdles that are causing these inefficiencies?

We dug and found multiple last-mile delivery challenges that hinder the smooth functioning of the last-mile process.

Go through them and figure out the solution to strengthen your last-mile delivery operations.

Why is Last-mile Delivery Becoming Important?

With the impact of the global pandemic affecting most business industries in one way or another, the global eCommerce industry witnessed a 44% rise in 2020, and consumer spending went skyrocketing up to $861.02 billion.

Staggering numbers, right?

But in reality, these numbers have brought the inefficiencies in the existing last-mile delivery supply chain into the limelight. The global supply chain was not prepared to handle the demand at such a scale.

With consumers looking at quick and cost-effective delivery options now, businesses must optimize their last-mile delivery services.

According to a study, 56% of consumers won’t purchase from a brand again if they feel the delivery service is not up to the mark.

You can’t afford to lose such a massive chunk of your customer base, right?

But the last-mile delivery segment comprises more than 53% of the shipping cost. It is considered expensive and most time-consuming, so how can you bypass the hurdles and deliver what the customer demands?

That’s where multiple businesses face last-mile delivery challenges and fail to achieve their desired business outcomes. 

Let’s understand the nitty-gritty elements of these challenges and figure out the solution that can help you overcome these hurdles and rise above all.

6 Last-mile Delivery Challenges

1. High-cost

high cost

Last-mile delivery segment is expensive for both the business and the customers. With the sudden increase in demand, businesses find it costly to integrate the infrastructure to handle the demand for cost-effective and timely deliveries. 

The lack of quality last-mile delivery software makes it even more difficult to streamline the complexities of the last-mile delivery process. Adding fuel to the fire, businesses need to allocate money for sophisticated routes, extra stops, failed deliveries, driver’s salaries, and robust fleet management.

If unfortunately, a package is delayed or fails because of friction in the last-mile delivery logistics or entire supply chain, the delivery cost doubles up and can result in severe losses.

Talking about the rise in delivery cost, 55% of the customers abandon their carts and don’t proceed further in the shopping process because of the extra shipping cost.

The inefficiencies in the last-mile delivery can result in a higher cart abandonment rate, and it becomes difficult for businesses to sustain their delivery business.

2. Real-time visibility

Giving tracking codes to check the status of the delivery package has become an old tradition in today’s modern era. Customers now want to witness different steps of the last-mile deliveries.

Real-time visibility has become a vital component to ensure customer loyalty in the long run because buyers demand complete in-depth information about their package and the time it will reach them.

Your workforce needs to be trained to handle the modern last-mile logistics that help your business match customer expectations with no hiccups. 

At every touchpoint of your delivery process, you need to integrate automated location updates of the delivery packages. Alerting the customers with notifications and messages via email or SMS can also help in enhancing the customers’ real-time visibility experience.

Increased transparency and real-time visibility can only be achieved with the help of dedicated delivery management software that can enable the customers to track packages from dispatching to their doorsteps.

3. Delayed or failed deliveries

delayed or failed delivery

One of the significant challenges your delivery business can encounter is the inability to deliver results on promised dates and stick to the predetermined timelines. 

Delaying or failing deliveries can increase operational costs and degrade your profits if you promise to deliver the parcel at a set price.

Apart from profits, delivery delays can increase customer churn, hinder your brand’s reputation, and slow down business growth. With the increase in the delivery industry and people demanding same-day delivery, you need to remove friction in your last-mile delivery process and fulfill the customer’s expectations.

Timely delivery of orders can only be achieved if you have an optimized and streamlined last-mile delivery ecosystem integrated into your business.

You need to use result-oriented strategies, a dedicated workforce, and robust planning and optimization software that can help you with your business operations.

4. Outdated technology

outdated technology

Using outdated technology can result in multiple roadblocks in modern-day last-mile delivery operations. The traditional delivery approach cannot provide you with the armor to tackle the high shipping costs and delays in delivery management.

Using a pen and paper or Google Maps for handling your delivery management cannot increase the productivity of your workforce. It cannot create holistic communication channels for improved work efficiencies.

Outdated technologies cannot satisfy the evolving customer demands and scalability in your last-mile delivery business. It can result in rising human errors, and failed, or delayed deliveries that can throw your bottom line downstream and impact your position in the delivery industry.

But replacing the traditional technology with IoT, GPS tracking, machine learning, and artificial intelligence can help you monitor and manage last-mile delivery, curate well-informed strategies, predict potential hurdles, and enhance the quality of delivery experience.

Adapting to the changing delivery ecosystem and empowering your last-mile delivery operations with the best technology available can give you centralized control over business operations, help your workforce communicate, and minimize the redundancies in the supply chain.

5. Decreased efficiency

The struggle to deliver a quality customer experience is one of the vital challenges requiring an efficient delivery framework. With an inefficient last-mile delivery, you’ll experience a rise in customer disappointment, delays in deliveries, and troublesome management of bulk orders.

You won’t be able to deliver multi-order deliveries with finesse, and your on-ground workforce will find it challenging to complete their daily shifts on time with maximum productivity. 

You need to transform your business operation to achieve a higher efficiency level to ensure significant order fulfillment and create a collaborative, productive workforce. 

It’s essential to streamline the process from dispatch to customer’s doorsteps using a powerful route planning software that cuts the flaws and loopholes in the process and automates multiple redundant tasks.

6. Inefficient route planning

Your last-mile delivery efficiency can’t reach its maximum potential if the foundation of your delivery management is not strong. 

The basics of improving last-mile delivery are cutting the operational cost and fulfilling customer delivery expectations. 

You can achieve your goals by planning your delivery route with maximum efficiency. It sets a solid foundation for your drivers to follow the most optimized and shortest path to achieve maximum deliveries in a minimal time.

Multiple businesses use manual route planning with the help of the local guide to plan the delivery routes resulting in inefficient delivery results because it doesn’t analyze multiple factors like traffic, and vehicle efficiency, among others.

Some businesses switch to Google Maps as their go-to last-mile delivery assistance, but Maps is not a dedicated route planner. It can deliver optimized delivery results for a maximum of 10 locations.

What if your driver needs to deliver 20 deliveries in a single shift on a peak weekend?

An optimized route can help you get optimized delivery paths within a few clicks and dispatch the information to different drivers for quick delivery service.

It minimizes the fuel cost, saves time to fulfill more deliveries in a single stretch, and streamlines your delivery operations with no compromise in the quality of customer experience.

But you cannot achieve efficient route planning and optimization without the help of professional software.

Why is Route Planning and Optimization Software Important for Last-mile Delivery?

A route planning and optimization software helps you bypass the roadblocks and hiccups because of the manual pen and paper route planning and help you integrate automation in your delivery process.

A route planner analyzes traffic and weather conditions, delivery priority, vehicle, and driver availability, among other factors, and delivers an optimized and shortest delivery route.

It can help you with the smooth communication of your fleet managers and the on-ground delivery drivers to collaborate and handle different dynamic problems during the delivery shifts.

You can utilize the in-depth reports from the software to fix the latency in the process and enhance productivity and efficiency. 

Within a few clicks, you can get instant access to real-time visibility of the packages and share it with your customers for a premium customer experience.

But not every route planner is equipped with advanced features. Only a few can offer you the best technology integration. 

So, which one is best for your last-mile delivery operations?

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Upper Route Planner

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There are multiple issues with the last-mile delivery services like high operational cost, time-consuming use of outdated technologies, inefficient route planning, and real-time visibility. The issues cause multiple hiccups in the scalability of delivery operations and hinder delivering a quality experience to the customers.

Last-mile delivery is considered difficult because it requires the integration of advanced technologies, the right strategies, and a professional workforce to manage the requirements and demands of last-mile operations. Most businesses cannot match the above prerequisites and consider last-mile delivery challenging to manage.

Yes, the last-mile delivery business is profitable because of the rise in demand for online shopping and the change in customer demands. Multiple retailers are switching toward the online business ecosystem, and they require last-mile delivery partners to handle the most expensive and time-consuming segment of the supply chain.

Logistics companies can use dedicated route planning and optimization software to streamline and optimize their last-mile deliveries. It adds automation to the process and helps save fuel costs that help to positively impact the bottom line of the business and serve the customers well.

The last-mile delivery operations can encounter multiple communication problems due to the lack of robust last-mile software. You cannot communicate the message to your team in real-time and cannot solve the dynamic issues of your delivery drivers in quick succession.

How does Upper Route Planner Assist You in Overcoming Last-mile Delivery Challenges?

Upper Route Planner is one of the advanced yet cost-effective tools packaged with rich features and easy-to-use functionalities. It provides you centralized control of your last-mile delivery operations and helps increase your workforce’s productivity by 40%.

You can save the route planning time by 95% to help you utilize your time for enhancing the core business efficiency. It lets you export up to 500 delivery addresses from your Excel sheet within a few clicks and create multiple optimized routes for your driver’s use.

The advanced machine learning algorithms deliver exact and accurate results that can help you streamline your delivery business operations. 

You can access detailed reports about the performance of your delivery process and the workforce for optimizing future strategies.

If you want to transform your last-mile delivery segment and remove the expensive and time-consuming elements, then Upper Route Planner got you covered.

and explore a range of features for your business.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel is the founder and CEO of Upper Route Planner, a route planning and optimization software. With 28+ years of experience in the technology industry, Rakesh is a subject matter expert in building simple solutions for day-to-day problems. His ultimate goal with Upper Route Planner is to help delivery businesses eliminate on-field delivery challenges and simplify operations such as route planning, scheduling, dispatching, take a proof of delivery, manage drivers, real time tracking, customer notifications and more. He loves sharing his thoughts on eliminating delivery management challenges via blogs. Read more.