Many supply chain organizations have had to deal with the challenges that emerged because of COVID-19. These changes that the pandemic brought about will continue to influence trends in 2021 for Last-Mile Delivery. In the following article, we will analyze some of the key trends to watch out for.
Last-Mile Delivery describes the final process that a product goes through delivery when it is moved from the transportation hub to its intended final destination, which usually refers to the customer’s front door. Last-Mile Delivery is known as the most challenging and most expensive aspect of the delivery process. The challenges encountered often include traffic and bad weather.
Due to the rise of online shopping, there is also likely to be a growth in Last-Mile Delivery. Here are some key trends that we can look out for this year.
1. Same day delivery
Customers in this day and age require nothing more than quick deliveries. Amazon has been primarily responsible for the trend as it introduced one-day as well as same-day delivery services. More and more companies will look for methods to ensure that they deliver products to customers as fast as possible.
There is a huge market for quicker deliveries; therefore, greater emphasis must be placed on offering customers more delivery options so as to meet their different lifestyle needs. Same day delivery ensures that customers receive a convenient shopping experience that is enjoyable for them. It also improves the chances of customers leaving more positive reviews, increasing sales and the chances of customers making a repeat purchase.
2. Greater transparency in real-time
Technology is going to play a major role in Last-Mile Delivery. It can offer solutions to address some challenges that occur during the delivery process. With the use of technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), businesses will be able to receive real-time alerts about deliveries which can be used to choose better routes, especially if there are disruptions or there is traffic. Customers can also be offered these updates, which will inform them about the package’s expected arrival time. Receiving these kinds of updates provides customers with greater transparency, and you can tell customers earlier about disruptions that might occur, reducing the number of calls they make to track their parcels. Customers receiving real-time delivery updates is the most effective way to reduce failed deliveries and guarantees customer satisfaction.
3. Insourcing Last-Mile Deliveries
Outsourcing Last-Mile Deliveries can be pretty expensive, and you are not in control of how the delivery service provider chooses to handle the delivery process. In order to save costs, many companies have started to use their own vehicles to handle Last-Mile Deliveries internally. Insourcing Last-Mile Deliveries is done by establishing their own local delivery services using their vehicles or hybrid fleet of vehicles to ensure that they meet delivery demands. Reasons to insource Last-Mile Deliveries can be owed to eCommerce companies wanting to use trucks to fulfil local deliveries to reach their local consumers. Insourcing ultimately might not be possible for some companies as they might not have enough vehicles to do so.
4. Contactless delivery
The pandemic has brought safety concerns during deliveries. To address safety concerns, contactless deliveries have become the most viable solution. Last-Mile Deliveries have to offer contactless deliveries, and it can offer plenty of benefits for the business. Customers will also have better trust in your brand as they will see that you prioritize their safety.
Through digital solutions such as Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePOD) and contactless payment like tap and go, there can be minimal contact between delivery agents and the customers during delivery. The reduction in touchpoints when there is contactless payment decreases the chances of the virus spreading and speeds up transactions. Contactless payments also increase customer convenience as electronic payments are more convenient and reduce the chances of catching the virus compared to a cash transaction.
5. Rise in urban warehouses
In an effort to bring quicker deliveries to customers, eCommerce companies have started looking at having warehouses and fulfilment hubs that are closer to the city. Having warehouses and fulfilment hubs in urban areas ensures quicker access to products, leading to customers receiving faster deliveries. The main reason why this method leads to quicker deliveries is due to experiencing less transit time, and there is more available access to labourers and delivery agents. Another technique that can be used to create fulfilment hubs is by turning stores into micro-fulfilment centres and delivering packages from stores as fewer people are now physically visiting stores.
Last-Mile Delivery is predicted to experience exciting changes this year due to the rise and growth of the eCommerce market. Many of these expected trends will make the delivery process much more efficient.