A supply chain is rarely a direct shipment from point A to point B. Modern delivery logistics often involve multiple legs and stops in hubs and warehouses, all important in making a supply chain run smoothly and efficiently. But the era of e-commerce has made one particular part of the supply chain more critical than others: the last mile delivery.
In logistics, last mile delivery refers to the movement of goods from a transportation hub to its final destination, usually a home or office. It’s not a new concept by any means. But the prevalence of online shopping has changed consumer behavior in such a way that its importance in the supply chain has reached new heights.
For example, think of how the Amazon shopping experience has evolved over the last decade. Next-day shopping used to be a pricey fee but now it’s usually the norm. In some cities you can even get certain products delivered the same day you make the order! Due to the huge influence of Amazon and other e-commerce platforms, the entire logistics industry has moved to making that last mile faster and more efficient than ever, even if you’re not in the retail business.
For shippers, meeting this demand requires flexible fleets and accessorial offerings that can almost seamlessly comply with increasingly quicker delivery timetables. But if you think we’ve reached peak efficiency for last mile delivery, think again! Innovation in this area is moving at the speed of light. There’s a boom in urban warehouses to cut down delivery distances. There’s crowdsourcing platforms that allow independent drivers to make deliveries. Even drones, robots and self-driving trucks are in the works.
The future is very exciting for last mile delivery and logistics in general. We can’t wait to be part of it!
Content creator: Pablo Torres