The Importance of Last Mile Logistics

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The Importance of Last Mile Logistics

Increasingly, consumers are choosing to shop online, and there has been enormous growth in e-commerce. Customer expectations include speedy and reliable order fulfillment, but unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges faced by business is last mile logistics.

What is Last Mile Logistics?
This is the final stage of the delivery process when the parcel has left the warehouse and is due to finally arrive on the customer’s doorstep, whether that is an actual mile or the last fifty or one hundred miles.  The last mile can be the most difficult and expensive part of the entire shipping process. Last mile delivery costs can equate to over half of total shipping costs, which is an issue as customers increasingly expect free delivery as the norm. With e-commerce anticipated to double in value over the next decade, understanding last mile logistics and how technology can improve this process is essential for growth and profitability.

How are Companies Addressing This Problem?
Well-established e-commerce giants have already conquered these problems, but challenges remain for small to medium-sized shippers. Increasingly, companies are shipping from the store to overcome the logistical difficulties of that crucial last mile. Part of the problem of last mile logistics is that frequently the final leg of a shipment will involve multiple stops. Traffic congestion and parking regulations can hamper urban delivery, while world delivery can affect fuel costs.

Another challenge is the complexity of large or complex loads or larger products. Sometimes these products require unpacking and skilled assembly on arrival, or white glove delivery. Delivery start-ups are beginning to disrupt the more traditional delivery model, and businesses can connect to couriers who can deliver the order straight away. However, this will not work in all situations, and this is when packing software can be useful.

Software Solutions
Ensuring orders are packed using the right boxes can reduce shipping costs significantly. Also, customers greatly prefer receiving their goods in an appropriately sized box. Ensuring the orders are loaded correctly reduces the risk of damage to more fragile orders and can help to streamline the delivery process. Our BlackBox software produces excellent results, order after order, and is easily integrated into existing systems.

There isn’t a single, perfect solution to the problem of last mile logistics, but shippers need to act to ensure companies continue to grow and can meet consumer demand more efficiently and cost-effectively.