Understanding last mile logistics is only really half the battle, shippers need to re-evaluate their existing last mile logistics processes and devise an effective last mile logistics strategy that aligns consumer and business expectation.
With this, shippers can safeguard their position in the market and continue to provide products to their consumer base.
In fact, an effective last mile logistic strategy must consider these nine key points.
1. Planning Is Essential For An Effective Last Mile Logistics Strategy
Any effective strategy must begin with effective planning. Shippers must evaluate current last mile logistics strategy processes and create plans for managing the creation or adoption of an effective last mile logistics strategy.
This includes prioritizing, planning, and establishing standard operating procedures for managing last mile.
2. Leverage The Right Technology
One of the first problem with creating a last mile logistics strategy is cost. Last mile logistics is seen as the least efficient length of shipping and it accounts for almost 30% of the total shipping cost of a product.
Last mile delays and problems during delivery can eat away fuel cost and seriously devalue a brand, but shippers can leverage technology to make small changes and improvements to last mile logistics processes.
Shippers considering implementing or upgrading technology to meet last mile logistics demand should also consider ease and speed of implementation prior to making any such decisions.
Ecommerce markets moves at the speed of light and unnecessary delays could result in customer loses.
3. Analyze Everything
Nothing should be off the table when considering an effective last mile strategy and implementation.
Shippers should analyze everything from the biggest to the smallest possible influences.
4. Manage The Whole Last Mile Delivery Process
Shippers must manage the whole last mile delivery process for effective last mile logistics.
This includes thinking about the driver, the shipment, the trucks, and the technologies used to track such shipments as well as what online platforms and consumer devices are used.
Obviously shippers cannot track what consumers use for their personal devices all the time but they can use metrics to track what consumers are doing on their respective ecommerce websites.
5. Be Consumer-Centric
An effective last mile logistics strategy must be focused on consumer needs. This is the cornerstone of all modern logistics strategies regardless of whether it is direct to consumer or business to business sales.
6. Think Outside The Box
Traditional standards of delivery do not work effectively in modern last mile logistics strategies. Companies must think of unconventional solutions to meet last mile delivery demands.
App based last mile providers are disruptors but they can’t enable shippers to meet consumers growing demand for faster and tighter delivery windows.
7. Measure Performance
Amazon sets industry standards for last mile delivery and the ecommerce giant’s free shipping services otherwise known as Amazon Prime highlights why shippers must measure performance.
With up to six percent of consumers in the United States willing to pay for same-day delivery and 28% of consumers are willing to abandon shopping carts due to excessive fees.
Shippers cannot afford to forego measuring performance. Performance measurement goes back to cutting costs wherever possible without sacrificing quality or service.
8. Manage Returns Thoroughly And Effectively
Managing returns and reversal logistics are another consideration in creating an effective final mile logistics strategy.
Retailer differences in SKUs and returns options for both ecommerce and brick and mortar store purchases can complicate the issue. As a result, shippers should consider the form, function, and placement of inventory including inventory coming in from reverse logistics channels in their entire warehousing and distribution network.
This will ensure the company has a product even if it is refurbished or returned, available to the nearest consumer.
Location, one of the final considerations of last mile logistics strategies goes back to how quickly a product can be mobilized and deliver.
It goes back to the location of the product and the location of the consumers. Shippers must create robust last mile logistics strategies that shrink the distance between warehouse and consumer.
This might include using a store as a distribution center. Ultimately, shippers that reduce this distance as much as possible and through as many means as possible will be able to create a tighter and more effective last mile logistics strategy.