Consumer buying behaviours have developed and changed over time and ecommerce has erupted. As consumers are increasingly turning to online purchasing especially since the pandemic the speed at which fulfilment is anticipated has increased. Customers demand to receive their products on time, and quite rightly in an acceptable condition. The hope placed on businesses for quick delivery has gone from a “nice to have” to an essential part of customer return and experience.
Research has shown 98.1% consumers considered delivery a vital part of brand loyalty. Additionally, it was found that 84% of consumers are unlikely to purchase from a business again after experiencing a bad last mile delivery.
This has resulted in business frantically tying to find better ways to implement technology and processes for this final stage. In order for businesses to stay competitive and keep customer satisfaction, new ways need to be found to improve efficiency, ensure transparency, and reduce costs.
What is last mile delivery?
Also known as last mile logistics, last mile delivery, is the transportation of items from the warehouse or transportation hub to the truck and lastly into the customers hands. The “last mile” being the delivery to customers hands. As well as being vital to a customer’s satisfaction, it is both the most expensive and time consuming part of the shipping process.
On average last mile delivery can cost up to 53% of the overall shipping costs. Add this to the expectations and costs of “free delivery”, customers are less willing to pay towards delivery. This forces companies to pay often amounting to 25% of the overall cost.
What is the last mile problem?
When tracking a delivery, in real time, often the “out for delivery” notification feels never ending. This is due to the fact the final stage involves various stops with low drop quantities. Unlike, large deliveries and shipping, last mile often covers smaller packages to several unique locations. Increased locations, more routes, increased idle time and time on the road.
Different areas have varying issues, frequently with more rural locations or places that are harder to get to, the distance between drop offs can be vast. Whereas urban areas although locations are closer together, there is often congestion and traffic lights. This leads to a lot more idling than other stages of shipping and increased the time between deliveries. Plus, companies have to pay drivers regardless of whether they are standing still or moving.
This problem has only been exacerbated by companies such as Amazon who offer same day and next day delivery. Increasing customer expectations and adding time pressures to businesses. For this to be effective, companies need to maintain a larger fleet of delivery vehicles and drivers.
Ways to improve last mile logistics
Gig economy is on the increase meaning independent contractors, on-call workers and temporary workers are readily available. People already use this concept perhaps without realising, platforms such as Uber and Airbnb all work on this business model. Consumers can now open a mobile app and readily book a hotel, call a taxi, order food, hire a handyman or even sends gifts.
This location-based crowdsourcing model has been prevalent across several industries such as logistics, retail, and hospitality for many years. Consumers can create on demand and scheduled deliveries which enable companies to get their goods to the end user when and where the customer wants. This has been found to increase customer satisfaction and also reduce the need for redelivery. With low start-up costs and ease of access many companies are using this model to reduce their last mile delivery costs.
Fleet management systems
Perfecting the balance between speed, on time delivery and customer experience is key. Having an effective fleet management system could aid this. Features such as route planners to cut delivery times, real time tracking from dispatch, and analytics.
With optimised route plans a company is able to set up for updates direct to drivers on information such as traffic delays, road blocks or accidents. It will then optimise and replan the desired route for drop offs, empowering drivers with real-time information. This also in effect saves times, reduces inefficiencies, and allows for dispatch to be all automated. This also benefits the customer with full traceability and automatic customer notifications setting their true expectations.
Proof of delivery
Proof of delivery software is also an amazing time saving, transparent addition to any business. Technology that enables the drivers to verify delivery, via their mobile, with a signature from the recipient or a photo of the package being left along with a date and time stamp.
ePower Electric Last Mile Delivery Vehicles
In conjunction with an ever-growing demand for fast and effective deliveries, last-mile logistics is becoming more important than ever for a number of businesses. As towns and cities becoming increasingly difficult and costly to access with large diesel vehicles, compact and efficient electric vehicles are the ideal tool for last-mile deliveries.
Furthermore, with sustainability and climate change being important for many business models, ePower Trucks last mile delivery vehicles can help. Making the move away from petrol and diesel engines in favour of zero emissions vehicles that are clean, cheaper to run, and easier to maintain.
Our range of street legal electric utility vehicles and vans allow distributors to deliver direct to limited areas and narrow streets of town centres. In addition, to having the ability to cut through pedestrian zones to reach their final destination.
ePower Trucks last mile delivery vehicles have load capacities of up to 4,000kg and speeds of up to 50mph across a range of up to 120 miles. Additionally, all have a battery with the capability of delivering to hundreds of thousands of miles, making them a smart investment for now and the future. Contact us today so we can work with you in providing you a solution for your electric vehicle needs.