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Last Mile Delivery: What Is It And How To Improve Your Service?

In the fiercely competitive e-commerce industry, last mile delivery is a crucial stage of the shipping process. With the growing role of customer experience, the demand for high quality, last mile shipping is rising.

What is last mile delivery?

Last mile delivery refers to the transportation of freight from a warehouse or distribution facility to the final destination, which is almost always a facility or residence of a customer. Despite it’s the final step of the supply chain, last mile is the most expensive, challenging and important stage of delivery.

Why is last mile shipping important?

No matter how good is your supply chain management, if you fail to provide proper last mile shipping, you may lose customers. The majority of shoppers not only expect you to meet their requirements in terms of shipping, but to exceed them. In fact, 62% of shoppers won’t buy from a retailer who has failed the delivery due date once.

On the retailer’s side, it is a burdensome and cost-consuming process. Managing last mile delivery can result in 20 to 30% of overall transportation expenses, and in some cases, can even exceed 50% of the budget. So it’s hard to overestimate why it is critical for e-commerce shippers.

How to nail last mile shipping?

The last leg of the delivery process is a struggle for both small and large businesses. Essentially, with the integration of advanced technologies and new management strategies, navigating the last mile became easier. Here are the main steps to master the last stage of the shipping process:

Planning

Probably the most useful strategy to overcome last mile challenges is advanced planning. Robust inventory management, on-time fulfillment and replenishment, and structured shipping strategy should become your top priority. Polishing your relationships and connections within distribution centers will also help enhance the speed and service of delivery.

Technology

Utilizing tracking systems and technology for inventory management will reduce time and costs spent on transportation planning. There are multiple options on the market that integrate with your systems or adjust to the company’s specific needs.

Analysis

At the end of the day, trying and constantly analyzing processes will help increase the efficiency of last mile delivery. With the help of technology and monitoring, you will be able to see the gaps and opportunities to improve. It’s important to make smart decisions since every mistake can cost you a loyal customer.

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