Last-Mile Delivery Solutions: A Comprehensive Guide

Everyone is aware of the pace of the market, especially after COVID. The change in the last-mile delivery market, unlike other changes, was even more rapid. 

Everything today is focused on getting the job done faster and more efficiently.

The last-mile delivery market was 108.1 billion US dollars in 2020. But the growth has been rapid ever since and is expected to reach 200 billion US dollars by 2027

Unfortunately, market growth means higher cash flow and brings more competition and challenges.

Is there any solution to meet customer expectations without reducing business efficiency?

Let’s take an in-depth look into why.

What is the Last-Mile Problem?

Last-mile delivery means delivering products from the nearest distribution hub to the required address, avoiding any time delay. This is especially important for same-day delivery businesses, like food delivery businesses and enterprise supply chains, among others. 

Hence, the last-mile problem is when this need for instant deliveries collides with the realities of last-mile delivery being the most expensive and time-consuming part of the entire process — up to 53% of the entire supply chain cost, in the worst cases!

What are Last-Mile Delivery Challenges?

Before getting straight to last mile solutions, one must be well aware of the problems involved in last-mile delivery to solve them efficiently. The primary final mile challenges are:

1. Fulfilling customer demands

Fulfilling customer demands

Customer satisfaction is the key to making any business successful. The higher the active customer rate, the better the chance of getting new leads. But this also means tackling the changing demands. 

Customers nowadays demand quick delivery, and to meet their expectations, the company might have to face extra charges, especially in the case of last-mile delivery operations.

But last-mile logistics are well aware of the charges involved in the last-mile delivery processes. Hence, making this step efficient without affecting customers’ experience is the biggest challenge a logistics business faces.

2. Unpredictability on routes

You can always preplan the routes to be taken for delivery, but you can never be sure about smooth deliveries every time. 

Roads can be uncertain; traffic congestion can make it difficult to reach the final destination on time. 

On the other hand, the transportation hub might fail to maintain the delivery vehicle. This can lead to vehicle breakdown in the middle of the delivery process. 

A product’s journey is always affected by delays in deliveries, especially in the case of food and flower deliveries. 

To ensure faster deliveries, logistics companies should implement better route planning methods.

3. Miscommunications and failed deliveries

Scheduled deliveries ensure that the package reaches the customer’s doorstep on time. But there is always some room for errors while executing last-mile delivery operations.

In this process, if something is interpreted wrongly, things can be disrupted altogether. A wrong delivery location, wrong route taken, or any minor miscommunication can halt the whole delivery process. 

This can lead to failed deliveries. And the penalties for a failed delivery will make this expensive process even more costly.

Hence, last-mile delivery operations are to be handled carefully.

4. Frequent service issues

Frequent service issues

If your brand is unable to connect directly to its customers, the brand value will decrease rapidly. 

Last-mile delivery operations are the only moment of the whole delivery process when a company interacts with the customer. This is the moment to create a good impression. 

But delivery delays, the inability to fulfill consumer demands, time-consuming frequent calls, extra labor costs in case of failed deliveries, and hurdles in last-mile delivery operations can all affect your logistics. 

Your mile delivery services will not be trusted by the new leads you get because of poor customer ratings. Hence, finding a last-mile delivery logistics solution is necessary to avoid all the challenges.

The 3 Last Mile Delivery Solutions

Last-mile logistics can put the management through many challenges. 

The inability to handle these problems smartly can affect a company’s worth. But knowing the problems can help find solutions more easily. 

Now that we are well aware of the common problems that occur while carrying out deliveries, we need to know the possible last mile delivery solutions.

 Here are the 3 last mile delivery best practices that can help overcome the challenges:

1. Meeting consumer demands efficiently

One solution to improve customer experience is to meet all their needs efficiently.  

This means providing customers with the best delivery experience without needing to affect last-mile delivery costs. 

To achieve this, deliveries can be separated and executed according to their importance.

Last-mile logistics can always differentiate deliveries considering factors like: 

  • The location’s distance from the distribution hub and delivery type, and even consumer feedback from past deliveries can be considered for making improvements.
  • Same-day delivery can be kept on the top list, and similar scheduling can be done for the remaining deliveries. 
  • The receiver must be informed and provided with real-time access to the delivery tracking. 
  • In case of a failed delivery, open communication can be set up between the management and consumer to reschedule the delivery according to availability. The best last-mile delivery apps can help with this. 

All these steps will win the customer’s trust in your brand and increase your company’s net worth. Hence, the chances of getting new leads will increase. 

This last-mile delivery logistics solution can ensure an enhanced customer experience.

2. Making timely deliveries

Making timely deliveries

The eCommerce industry is growing rapidly, and finding adaptable logistics solutions is a must to survive despite the challenges.

One of the popular metrics to successfully execute deliveries is to make timely same-day deliveries. That means delivering the packages to the customers faster. 

If your logistics owns a fleet of delivery vehicles, you must be well aware of the hurdles involved in its management. 

But to attract more consumers, your delivery solutions must be aligned to tackle issues with last-mile logistics. 

Hence, one can implement a few solutions to ensure timely delivery:

  • Route planning and optimization

    Route planning is crucial to ensure on-time delivery.

    If the delivery driver is well informed about the route to be taken, there are fewer chances of delivery delays.

    Moreover, route optimization can help identify issues on the route, and rerouting can make sure the hurdles are crossed effectively.

    The final mile shall be executed smartly, and route planning and optimization are smart steps to make that happen.

    Route Optimization Tool to Simplify Your Last Mile Deliveries

    Upper Route Planner is designed from ground up to help you every step of the way in your delivery operations from planning to collecting proof of delivery.

  • Management of supply chains

    Managing your supply chain can make your delivery process a lot easier. 

    Arrangement of packages in the distribution truck beforehand can ensure fewer errors with the loading. This will also reduce extra labor costs.

    Further, the supply chain must be regulated for the multi-delivery routes.

    The total cost can be reduced if management decisions are taken after proper data analytics.

    The final mile of the deliveries must be well executed to ensure smooth last-mile deliveries.

    3. Automation of the delivery logistics

    Last-mile delivery logistics needs to evolve and upgrade according to the latest trends to ensure a strong position in the market.

    Automation is one of the most adopted last-mile solutions, as it comes with many benefits.

    Minimal effort in automating your delivery process can go a long way. Last-mile delivery logistics can benefit from automation and make the management process a lot easier.

    Using last-mile delivery software is the best way to tackle the final mile challenges.

    Essential Last-mile delivery management software features

    Last-mile delivery management software is loaded with features. The essential ones are: 

    1. Real-time visibility and tracking of the delivery fleet 
    2. Route optimization and planning with dynamic rerouting 
    3. Compatibility with PC and mobile devices
    4. Easy execution of automated processes 
    5. Reduced on-time rates with preplanned deliveries

    Hence, last mile delivery route optimization can ensure better performance of your last-mile delivery logistics.
    The above-mentioned last-mile delivery solutions are some common adaptations that can be implemented by a last-mile delivery logistics facing problems with efficient delivery.

    Upper Route Planner: A Solution to Your Last-Mile Delivery Challenges

    Upper Route Planner is unmatched automation software designed to tackle last-mile challenges. It’s helped businesses reduce delivery times by up to ten hours per week, and improved their turnover by as much as 3x.

    It is the best route optimizing software, helping create average increases in productivity between 40-60%.

    Upper Route Planner is the most recommended delivery management solution for delivery businesses. 

    In addition to the 5 essential features we mentioned above, it will also help:  

    • Plan and optimize the delivery routes efficiently
    • Provide real-time data 
    • Find what you need easily with a user-friendly interface.

    Last-mile logistics can focus on the core business operations carefree with Upper Route Planner, with a 60% increase in profits and a reduction of delivery times up to 75%.To learn more about the software, its features, and benefits, start a 7-day FREE Trial to take your business to the next level.

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    Upper Route Planner

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    that every one is talking about

    FAQs

    You can improve your last-mile delivery by automating the time-consuming management processes and using the right technology to maintain the balanced functioning of the last-mile delivery process.
    Some common areas to focus on are:

    • Route planning and optimization
    • Communicating with customers
    • Maintaining customer satisfaction
    • Finding challenging mile solutions

    To fix last-mile problems, one must:

    • Identify the key point indicators of the basic problems affecting your logistics
    • Plan strategies to tackle the problems effectively
    • Ensure strong communication with the last mile management team
    • Consider the customer feedback to improve the delivery experience

    The challenges involved in the final mile delivery process are:

    • Fulfilment of changing customer demands
    • Unpredictability on the delivery routes
    • Frequent service issues
    • Chances of failed deliveries

    The inefficiencies of the final-mile delivery can be blamed on the unpredictability of the delivery process. Numerous challenges can occur and make this process a lot more complex than it should be.
    These uncertainties lead to failure in the delivery process and issues with customer satisfaction, hence making the last mile elusive.

    Automation of the last-mile delivery business is possible with management software that can help in route optimization, scheduling tasks, performing dynamic rerouting, keeping records of customers and payments, and data analysis.

    Conclusion

    The last-mile problem can be tough to handle if you’re not armed with the right knowledge. Therefore, it’s important to remember that there’s no one last-mile solution, but rather a set of best practices that can increase your chances of success. 

    1. Meet consumer demands quickly and efficiently 
    2. Make timely deliveries 
    3. Smart automation of delivery logistics. 

    With these best practices—and the right app, like Upper—you can mitigate the risk of last-mile problems and start thriving during the most challenging aspect of the delivery business.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel is the founder and CEO of Upper Route Planner. A subject matter expert in building simple solutions for day-to-day problems, Rakesh has been involved in technology for 30+ years. Looking to help delivery businesses eliminate on-field delivery challenges, Rakesh started Upper Route Planner with the ultimate goal of simplistic operations in mind.

https://www.upperinc.com/guides/last-mile-delivery-solutions/