Trends in Last Mile Delivery

While 2016 and 2017 have seen a rise in trends of last mile delivery, the industry is still ripe for disruption. Retailers and supply chains must set aside resources to perfect their fulfilment processes and discover more cost effective ways to deliver products to customers.

To kick start the brainstorming, here are six trends affecting last mile delivery:

Faster Fulfillment

There’s been an increase in on-demand or same-day delivery. Some customers even want a window of delivery within a few hours.

Visibility Focus

Intelligent carriers have made improvements in delivery traceability, providing proof of delivery and tracking information. Customers today can see exactly where the driver or their package is. This process isn’t yet standardised across the board, however, consumers will increasingly demand the e-commerce industry move in this direction.

Insourcing Deliveries

An increasing number of retailers are using their own resources for last mile delivery, and investing in infrastructure including trucks, drivers and their own delivery staff.

Salesman Carriers

Just as Amazon shows its customers what else they may like to purchase during its checkout process, so can delivery drivers. One of the new last mile trends is the driver now brings along additional items the consumer has ordered in the past or another product the company can predict the customer may need, potentially processing an additional order in the delivery process. This is especially apparent in food delivery.

Smart Tech Sensors

Aside from consumers wanting visibility in tracking the last mile, customers are now also wanting to track the temperatures of temperature sensitive items. This would apply mainly to pharmaceuticals, frozen foods or alcohol. Temperature levels and possibility humidity levels are something that may become an industry standard. Some fulfilment centres are using weather data to plan delivery journeys, and using speciality packing materials to account for weather variations.

Drones, Self-Driving Cars and Robots

While these delivery options have been tried, tested and reported about, they aren’t trending just yet, but that only means you should keep your eyes out for them in the future. Since the highest cost of delivery is labour, having automated delivery processes would change the logistics and last-mile delivery game in a huge way.

Whether or not delivery becomes automated, on thing is for sure – stakeholders of last mile delivery are increasingly looking at ways to perfect the process in order to keep up with increasing consumer demands.

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