For many e-commerce companies, delivering parcels is the most important task. But this process is quite tricky to manage and can prove to be eating up the profit margins.
Are you one of those e-commerce companies facing similar issues?
If you have been looking for an alternate, yet effective, way to manage the delivery process, last-mile delivery route optimization is your answer.
Not many businesses bother to understand the concept of optimizing last-mile delivery routes. But this small step can change a lot in your business.
Table of Content
- What is Last-Mile Delivery?
- What is Last-Mile Delivery Route Optimization?
- What Is The Significance Of Optimizing The Last-Mile Delivery Route?
- How Can Last-Mile Delivery Routes Be Optimized?
- Delivery Route Optimization With Upper Route Planner
What is Last-Mile Delivery?
Last-mile delivery means delivering products from the nearest distribution hub to the required address, avoiding any time delay.
The term last-mile delivery is usually used for businesses that require instant delivery, such as food delivery businesses, enterprise supply chains, and businesses that promise one-day delivery.
Last-mile has recently gained popularity. It is predicted that by 2027, the global last-mile delivery market will grow to more than 200 billion U.S. dollars from 108.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2020.
What is Last-Mile Delivery Route Optimization?
Finding the best possible route that a delivery driver can take to deliver the product from the distribution hub to the destination is termed optimizing the last-mile delivery route.
Choosing the best delivery route can be a great option for a business trying to save extra dollars on last-mile delivery.
Delivering can be a crucial step as it involves a lot of significant factors like
- Time taken for delivery
- Cost of the process
- Fuel consumption
- Customer experience
Customer experience is the most important among all the above, as the customer is the gateway between you and your next lead.
But other aspects are of equal importance.
One cannot compromise companies’ profits for customer satisfaction only as there are other provisions to work upon, many upgrades to be brought up, and many maintenances to be made.
So, it is essential to maintain a balance between the delivery process and the delivery experience.
Customer expectations are to be addressed without affecting last-mile delivery efficiency.
It can be achieved by incorporating advanced last-mile delivery strategies.
Last-mile delivery optimization is one of the most crucial strategies to help you achieve the balance mentioned above.
How significant is it to optimize last-mile delivery routes? Here are some pointers to justify its significance.
What is the Significance of Optimizing the Last-Mile Delivery Route?
Last-mile deliveries can affect delivery efficiency. Route planning and optimizing strategies can change the whole game.
Let’s explore the key factors that make last-mile delivery optimization so significant.
1. Cost-effective delivery process
Are your delivery personnel following the most cost-effective route?
In some cases, management limits itself to providing addresses and pre-designed routes. Sometimes even the expert delivery personnel stick to traditional routes and skip on many multiple deliveries in the same locality.
Have you ever calculated what it costs your business?
Your time, profits, and resources while leaving customers’ experience at stake.
This is way more than just losing some bucks.
So, what’s the solution?
The solution to this problem is route optimization. Last-mile delivery operations can be closed smoothly by last-mile delivery optimization. This is the most affordable method to tackle delivery operations.
Delivering packages can be made cost-effective by last mile delivery route optimization. Here’s how:
- It will provide a clear picture of the most efficient route that can be taken to close most deliveries.
- It will save the extra fuel costs that might occur in case of a traffic jam or unnecessary long route.
- It will help in making multiple deliveries in the same locality.
- It will ensure timely deliveries; hence, failed deliveries will reduce.
- It will cover the high shipping costs involved in online order fulfillment.
- It will enable faster delivery and the ability to meet customer demands without affecting the overall cost.
Now that you know that optimizing routes can prove to be efficient, yet affordable, for your last-mile logistics, how are you planning to manage your time to optimize routes? Is manual planning saving your time?
2. Effective time management
Planning your delivery routes manually is time-consuming and hectic. Moreover, there is always some room for human errors.
Route optimization is one such last-mile delivery solution that opens many doors for some significant operations to provide you with the best solution to tackle delivery operations smoothly.
Every second counts in case of the delivery process. Timely delivery is beneficial for both e-commerce and the customer.
Manual route optimization was done when there wasn’t much advancement in the management of e-commerce logistics.
But now that digitalization has taken over many problems, it has become necessary for every business.
That’s why manual planning fails in front of the benefits that optimization provides. Here are some major advantages:
- It provides real-time data to check for traffic conditions and plan routes accordingly.
- Redirecting in case of a huddle is possible.
- It saves time by providing the shortest and most effective route.
- The error of taking a long route can be minimized.
- Since all the functions can be managed online, the time consumed in addressing each fleet individually reduces.
- This is how managing time becomes much easier by properly optimizing delivery routes. But how is the functioning managed online, and what are the benefits of having everything online when one can maintain records by the paper as well?
3. Real-time tracking
Papers were a great way to save the information, and it still is, but not in every aspect. Almost everything can be done online nowadays. Right from saving notes to receiving alerts. This is because the response is supposed to be spontaneous. A driver on-field needs an instant response in case of any on-road problem.
Communication and tracking are the keys to fulfilling this need. Such is the power of real-time tracking. Last-mile delivery optimization will provide you with the real-time tracking of your delivery personnel.
Not just this, but the delivery man will be able to track the best routes, locate multiple addresses and get traffic alerts, all on his screen.
Real-time tracking provides benefits to businesses and adds up to customer satisfaction.
Let’s list down some significant contributions:
- Locating vehicles to keep an eye on fleet movement is feasible.
- Last-mile logistics can create transparency between the on-field delivery personnel and staff, managing stuff online and providing instructions.
- Real-time traffic updates are provided along with the route.
- The signs for the final destination are provided right by the screen so that delivery drivers can refer to the same page without getting distracted.
- Supply chain management becomes easier as the demands are updated automatically.
- The delivery vehicles can interact and get instructions through this interface, providing real-time visibility.
- Customers can get real-time ETAs (Estimated time of arrival).
- Real-time ETAs add to customers’ convenience of receiving parcels without disturbing their schedules.
- The chances of failed deliveries reduce. In a way, modern technologies have made the mile operations convenient for logistics businesses and customers. But is it helpful enough in solving the last-mile challenges that occur spontaneously?
4. Better handling of last-mile challenges
There is no doubt that route optimization can solve almost all the problems related to last-mile delivery operations.
Last-mile deliveries are the most crucial aspect. Taking proper last-mile delivery solutions can bring you more valuable leads and profits if tackled properly.
But if attention is not paid, the last-mile delivery performance can be affected badly.
Customers expect on-time delivery with complete visibility. And a business model needs to ensure that any last-mile challenge should not lead to unhappy customers.
So addressing the last-mile challenges with proper strategies is a necessity.
Optimizing the route is a reliable strategy that can help manage last-mile delivery operations and effectively tackle last-mile challenges.
The ways in which the challenges can be tackled are enlisted below:
- Route planning for every day of the week becomes easier.
- The problem of failed deliveries reduces as the receiver is provided with real-time tracking.
- The delivery process becomes easy to handle as all required information is available at the fingertips.
- The need to cover an extra mile to fulfill more deliveries is reduced as the optimal routes for delivery are provided. Hence route optimization is a process of diminishing your last-mile delivery challenges.
Now, it is important to address the main question: how to optimize the last-mile delivery routes?
It is as easy as counting the advantages of optimizing delivery routes.
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How Can Last-Mile Delivery Routes Be Optimized?
The best thing about modern technologies is that it has made almost everything a lot easier. Availability of all complex data right through the screen; the possibility of handling last-mile operations right through mobile apps is the biggest advantage of modern-day software advancements.
That’s where the solution to route optimization lies. One can perform all the required tasks and ensure same-day delivery by using good route optimization software.
An intelligent last-mile delivery software is loaded with the latest technological advancements. But this complexity is not supposed to make it difficult. This is why most intelligent route planners come with a user-friendly interface.
They provide you with all the required features and advantages, as mentioned in the significance of route optimization, without making the interface too complex to understand.
An optimization software provides real-time updates on traffic congestion and delivery fleets.
Some latest software also provides you with a portal that can receive payments and keep proof of delivery. The proof of delivery ensures a theft-proof delivery system, and most companies use this feature.
Hene the last-mile delivery app is the key to achieving the balance between gaining profits and satisfying customers with your services.
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Delivery operations can be effectively optimized by setting up goals for effective delivery and then finding methods to achieve them one by one. This could be through planning deliveries or optimizing routes.
The challenges to implementing last-mile delivery are:
- High cost of last-mile delivery
- Supply chain management
- Delivery fleet management
- Route planning and optimization
- Failed deliveries
Delivery service is made efficient by implementing strategies to tackle the challenges of making a delivery successful. One can prioritize the orders based on their importance and plan accordingly for the delivery process.
The final step of the whole process of the supply chain is referred to as the last-mile. When the order is placed, it goes through a lot of processing.
The final step of delivering that package is the last-mile delivery.
Last-mile delivery is the most significant and costly part of the supply chain. But with proper strategies to tackle the extra costs, one can make significant profits.
Last-mile delivery can be improved by checking the delivery route and delivery drivers. A strategic way to provide the drivers with an efficient add-on through optimization software can help in enhancing the process.
Delivery Route Optimization With Upper Route Planner
When we talk about the best route optimization software, Upper Route Planner is among the most trusted software that can come to your rescue.
Upper Route Planner is the most recommended delivery management solution for delivery businesses. It is used to plan and optimize the delivery routes efficiently.
Companies can focus on the core business operations with Upper Route Planner.
To learn more about the software, its features, and benefits, start a 7-day FREE Trial to take your business to the next level.