The Next Generation of Last Mile Delivery

Logistics Tech Outlook | Thursday, November 25, 2021

While the final mile has always been a critical component of the supply chain process, its importance has grown exponentially since the retail sector adopted the technology.

FREMONT, CA: Market dynamics and consumer behavior changes have also significantly impacted last mile delivery operations. Every ecommerce firm and online seller is in a state of intense rivalry, where delivery quality has become as critical as the goods themselves. Consumer behavior has been profoundly transformed by the convenience of having food, groceries, and anything else a consumer may require delivered to their doorsteps. They are no longer willing to wait weeks for a product they ordered online and demand to be kept informed at all times about the progress of their order. With firms like Amazon delivering same-day delivery, there is an unprecedented need for improved last mile operations.

Last Mile Delivery in the Future

Delivery without Contact: Contactless deliveries have become the new normal due to the COVID 19 epidemic. According to a Salesforce survey, nearly 40 percent of consumers in the United States prefer contactless delivery over traditional delivery methods due to safety concerns. Currently, delivery organizations are complicated at work devising solutions to ensure a safe and satisfactory delivery experience for consumers. For instance, Tookan's last-mile delivery software includes handy digital solutions such as electronic proof of delivery and digital payments to eliminate physical touch. With social isolation and minimal physical touch becoming the new norm, businesses will need to continue developing strategies to safeguard the safety of both delivery personnel and consumers.

Increase in Urban Warehouses: Typically, warehouses are located on the outskirts of cities due to a lack of available space and excessive rents within the city. However, as customers want same-day delivery, firms will be forced to locate warehouses and fulfillment centers closer to cities. Businesses can take advantage of urban warehouses' accessible location to expedite delivery by lowering transit times and increasing access to delivery agents. One standard option for setting up an urban warehouse that many businesses consider is leveraging physical storefronts as fulfillment hubs and delivering orders directly from these locations. For example, numerous news organizations have reported that Amazon intends to convert Sears and JCPenney locations into fulfillment hubs.

Drones and Self-Driving Delivery Vehicles: The latest innovation in last mile delivery is the employment of robots and drones to make deliveries. From self-driving cars to autonomous delivery robots, e-commerce enterprises are actively pursuing robotic delivery experiments. For instance, Amazon is leading the charge, having invested more than $500 million in Aurora, an autonomous technology developer. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, used wing delivery drones to transport components to ships at sea. Numerous businesses are investigating delivery bots as a last-mile delivery alternative, while others partner with autonomous robot delivery firms. Any of these new-age delivery methods will require clearance from the local government and other appropriate authorities before implementation.

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