Are we getting to the last mile?

What does the term “last mile” mean?

The term “last mile” in the context of logistics means the last link in the transport chain. Thus, for the B2C segment to which this article will be devoted, this is for example delivery of goods ordered by the customer through the online store.

Given that goods sometimes travel hundreds or even thousands of kilometres from the manufacturer, through various transhipment points and large logistics centres to smaller, regional warehouses, this is a relatively short distance in the classic logistics chain. Delivery within a specific locality is usually carried out by a postal courier, a courier of a transport company or directly by an employee of the store where the parcel was ordered.

Last mile logistics challenges

The last mile phenomenon is inherently associated with the high cost of a single shipment. While goods move relatively smoothly between major logistics hubs, last mile delivery faces many challenges:
● emphasis on customer delivery speed,
● the vehicle may not be perfectly filled,
● the number of packages per car is usually smaller,
● it is often necessary to deliver the goods in separate packages to many places,
● higher requirements for communication between the carrier and customers,
● some parcels are not delivered.

So the shipping cost of one batch is usually higher than in the case of freight transport, when boxes of the same size perfectly fill the transport container, and the cargo is loaded and unloaded all in one place.

Modern technologies and trends: will they help to solve these problems?

At the same time the demand for fast and high-quality delivery of goods to your home is growing. Customers are increasingly choosing to shop online-from furniture, household appliances, to food-and are interested not only in the quality of the product itself, but also in speed, price and ease of delivery.

Shops and logistics companies react differently to this trend. In cities, boxes for receiving parcels are increasingly being installed. Literally there is a revolution in restaurant delivery, where everything is ordered via a mobile app – from ordering goods to finding a free courier to delivery itself in minutes – while the customer is perfectly informed about the current status of the order. In logistics occurs thanks to modern technologies Extra Last Mile optimization.

However, whether last-mile logistics will eventually dominate, or whether a significant proportion of shoppers will continue to prefer shopping in stationary stores, will show the future.

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