Last Mile Logistics: A Comprehensive Guide

Last Mile Logistics: A Comprehensive Guide

By Nick Bartlett on August 28, 2021
In logistics, the last mile is moving goods from the fulfillment center to the end consumer. A major source of frustration for shippers.

Though logistics is quickly moving into the modern age, some areas still lag behind others. 

The rise of technology and expanding markets have both worked to speed things up in many stages of supply chain management. One facet that remains a challenge, however, is the last mile.

In logistics, the last mile is moving goods from the fulfillment center to the end consumer. Though it seems like a simple process, this last step is a source of major frustration for shippers and customers alike. 

Read About CBIP’s Global 4PL Logistics Services

So what’s holding things up at the end and, most importantly, what can be done to fix it? 

HOW THE LAST MILE PROBLEM AFFECTS YOU

Ecommerce, globalization, and the age of information have all lifted consumer expectations for delivery speed. More than half of online shoppers won’t make a purchase if they don’t know the date of its arrival.

While some areas of shipping have kept up with the pace, last mile delivery still often falls to the wayside.

Today, surveys show that last mile delivery makes up 41% of total supply chain costs.

A few factors that contribute to last mile inefficiencies include:

  • Poor communication (between management, courier companies, and customers)
  • Lack of access to warehouse and fulfillment centers near customers
  • Inability to react quickly to changes in a given delivery landscape
  • Out-of-date or unresponsive tracking visibility systems
  • Standardized routes that don’t take traffic or individual customer requests into account
  • Re-deliveries due to customers not being able to sign for goods and companies not implementing missed package protocols

SPEEDING UP LAST MILE DELIVERY

The last mile is ripe for innovation—and for good reason. Last mile delivery services are projected to reach a market value of $US66 billion by 2026.

Some potential solutions lie in new technologies, while others depend on communicating effectively with customers.

On the technology side, improvements are being made through:

  • Route optimization softwares
    • These can rely on automation and AI innovations that can predict areas of congestion and develop up-to-date delivery plans
  • Step-by-step order tracking and notification systems so customers are never left in the dark about their goods’ whereabouts, such as Aftership

At very least, customers like to be informed. Last mile technology works best when it comes alongside a responsive communication infrastructure. This can be done through automated systems that notify customers when parcels are out for delivery from fulfillment centers as well as by prioritizing customer queries. Keeping in touch through the shipping process goes a long way.

RELATED: What is 4PL & Why is it Making Logistics Unrecognizable?

A SMART WAY TO SAVE ON LAST MILE COSTS WITH CBIP

You should always check that your provider has the right capabilities to work through the last mile and that meets your customer and brand expectations. Adaptability and transparency are especially key to making sure your logistics plan sees success from the first click to the customer’s door.

At CBIP, we work with you to understand the unique set of challenges at hand for your shipping operations. 

After taking the time to learn about your business, we craft a complete logistics program for you. This ensures that you can handle ecommerce, global shipping, and cross-border transportation effectively. Our network of trusted providers understand your unique logistics environment and have the skills needed to get your delivery right, so you’re not left hanging.

We also use advanced software that is integrated with all major online store and marketplace providers to give you complete order tracking from start to finish. This way, you can keep customers up-to-date and avoid getting bogged down by unexpected hold-ups in the last mile.

Ready to make your ecommerce operation run seamlessly right down to the customer’s doorstep? Take the headache out of the last mile and chat with one of our specialists today.

About Author

Nick Bartlett

Nick Bartlett is CBIP’s director of sales and marketing. His expertise lies in marketing, supply chain management, and corporate retail experience. He honed his skills over 10+ years working across the Asia Pacific region and beyond.

Nick keeps a close eye on new markets and believes successful business operations come through value-based relationships.

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No, we do not charge the higher fee associated with long-term storage. No matter how long the goods remain in our warehouse. They are charged the same rate for inventory storage.

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