There has never been a greater emphasis on the delivery experience that is offered to the customer than today. In the past, all that mattered was simply delivering shipments, but the increasing demand for online shopping for consumers has highlighted the importance of speedy fulfillment. Logistic companies need to be able to deliver this to make the customer’s shopping experience enjoyable and last-mile delivery is able to assist with doing just that.
What is Last-Mile Delivery?
Last-mile delivery refers to the movement of goods from the warehouse shelf to the final destination. This final destination is usually the customer’s doorstep. Last-mile delivery ensures that the customer has their items delivered as fast as possible. It has become more important due to the rise in online shopping. Last-mile delivery might be perfect for offering the customer the best possible service, but it has issues of its own. These issues are:
- Poor Infrastructure: Whether deliveries are for urban or rural areas, there will always be issues that arise. In urban areas traffic could be an issue and if the deliveries are in rural areas or remote areas, then the journey will be longer. Countries with poor infrastructure such as bad roads and no highways will end up costing a lot more money and time.
- Customer Challenges: Customers can create problems for the eCommerce industry. Challenges that can occur include them entering the wrong address, having no parking area, not being able to receive the order, wanting to return products and simply changing their mind.
- Less Transparency: Customers want to be offered real-time visibility of the orders as well as last-mile delivery. Companies that offer tracking codes to their customers might fail at this. They should aim to inform customers when their order will arrive and be more transparent throughout the process.
- High Fuel Costs: The costs of deliveries have always been something that customers covered, however having to deliver products quicker places more stress on the budget. Having to make longer journeys also increases fuel costs.
How TMS Improves Last-Mile Delivery
Last-mile delivery comes with some challenges of its own, but like most challenges in the supply chain, there is always technology to resolve these challenges. Transport Management Software (TMS) is one of the technologies that assist with planning, managing, and analyzing operations until the customer receives them at their doorstep.
Here are some of the ways that TMS is able to assist logistics companies in successfully delivering shipments to their customers.
- TMS supports aggregation and is labeled as an aggregation engine and because of this, there can be multiple trading partners involved to be able to deliver online orders. This assists in making the process a bit more competitive. This includes the aggregation of information such as IT systems or aggregating small shipments throughout multiple delivery routes.
- Transport Management Software helps you gain better visibility as it is able to provide real-time updates regarding modes and routes. It also eliminates the common issues that occur such as showing when stock is currently unavailable through the “out of delivery” status and it also informs customers about when their shipments will be delivered to them.
- Through last-mile delivery, you are able to see congested urban areas, remote locations, and areas that are in between. You can easily optimize the routes you are given through the collected data, which assists you in reducing direct transportation costs, fuel, and labor costs. This occurs because TMS offers you simulated route configurations that take the traffic conditions during the delivery into account.
- TMS helps you measure efficiency and whether third-party provides will be able to meet customer expectations. TMS uses analytics and monitors the performance of these providers, the things measured include the ability to increase productivity in the warehouse and the ability to meet service level agreements.
- TMS increases the accuracy as well as the timeliness of deliveries. This is not limited to same-day or one-day delivery. TMS also double-checks any risks that could delay the delivery process so punctuality is guaranteed each time.
- TMS includes cloud-based platforms or TMS trucking solutions that operate 24/7 and function regularly which increases the benefits offered.
- TMS offers cost forecasting of shipping to customers as well as more options to better customize the shipping process. Options available include paying for additional services and being able to choose a delivery time that suits them when ordering.
The growth of the eCommerce industry has brought about new challenges for most logistics companies. Though last-mile delivery is able to address the problems that come in the way of giving the best delivery service to the customers, TMS is able to assist them with raising the efficiency of last-mile operations.