The last-mile delivery logistics revolution & challenges faced


The last-mile delivery logistics revolution began some time ago, but as with all revolutions, it is not a stationary thing. In the beginning, it was focused on speed and choice. But more recently has also come to encompass environmental concerns. Commerce continues to search for a competitive edge and perfecting the last mile has become a brand differentiator for post, parcel and logistics operators worldwide.

Yet, it’s not without its challenges. For operators, taking control of the last mile means that you need to make your delivery fast, frictionless and create a transparent order management cycle. Simultaneously, there are cost, operational flexibility, governmental and environmental impact issues to tackle. 

So, how do you resolve or mitigate these risks? What challenges are faced and what different ways can HypaShip help you to compete in the final mile? We have developed an end-to-end technology that allows operators across verticals to increase efficiency in operations, reduce cost and of course, increase revenue and profit – enabling customers to transform their supply chain operations and economics for disruptive advantage.

At its root, the final mile has one broad goal: To deliver the product as fast as possible. Thanks to the rapid increase of online shopping – which is further compounded by companies such as Amazon – perfecting last-mile logistics has become increasingly challenging. The advent of covid-19 has also increased the challenge. 

Online shoppers now actively seek out more convenient options for fast and free delivery, which puts pressure on businesses to compete for the best delivery experience. After all, research suggests that 84% of customers won’t return to a brand that misses their delivery.

What challenges are faced in last-mile delivery?

Unfortunately, there are many challenges associated with last-mile delivery for carriers – not least because it can be challenging to measure, control and improve.

Here are some of them:

Customer expectations have evolved.

Essentially eCommerce has transformed the traditional shopping experience. Nowadays, shoppers expect quick and efficient delivery and even opt to use same-day delivery. Hence, operators are required to be an extension of the eCommerce brand’s presence. Customers are no longer just the companies with which you have a direct contract but, by extension, are also the consumer at the end of the process. The advent of social media also means it is easy to incur reputational damage on a single delivery poorly done.

The industry is full of contradictions; various studies prove that customers are willing to pay more for fast delivery, are becoming more and more environmentally conscious. Yet, the majority of online shoppers still prefer the cheapest modes of delivery.

So what do customers want? Quick delivery and they don’t want to pay for it, but they also want it to be guilt-free. To tackle these changing requirements and provide fast, environmentally friendly, low-cost delivery has fallen squarely on the shoulders of postal operators and logistics providers.

This demand is not slowing down; in 2019, the value of the same-day delivery market in the U.S alone reached 4.6bn USD. Several customer-related issues mean repeat delivery is a necessity, such as:

  • Incorrect address or name
  • Urban congestion
  • Remote locations
  • Customers unavailable to receive or sign for packages

Long journeys to your customers’ homes result in higher costs, especially where customers live in sparsely populated areas, taking even more time to get to each destination. These factors are further compounded by a lack of ability to consolidate orders, meaning that a single eCommerce order of multiple items using the same network results in numerous deliveries. Resulting in far higher final mile costs, increased emissions footprint and environmental impact. 

It has become increasingly difficult to estimate your total last-mile delivery costs, but these factors mean that even more time, money and resources are spent trying to resolve them.

A need for transparency

Today, customers want real-time visibility of their order shipping status, delivery status and last-mile delivery updates. Merely offering a parcel tracking number isn’t enough to stand out from the crowd. 

Customers expect, real-time updates utilising a range of text, push, email and application-based notifications, detailing when they can expect their delivery, where the delivery driver is currently and how many deliveries they need to get through before arriving at the customer’s door. It’s imperative that you implement a last-mile delivery technology solution that informs customers of their parcels’ whereabouts at all times.

Peaks and troughs in volumes caused by seasonality and significant events also make it challenging to plan for the appropriate level of driver resource, along with a growing pressure to reduce emissions and decongest town and city roads. Ultimately, focusing efforts on last-mile delivery is vital to stand out from the competition, streamline your order management process, and grow.  

Clear communication and full visibility between your customers and delivery drivers are essential. Leveraging the right technology is critical. This is where we play a part – HypaShip can help you improve operations, make more margins, drive up customer satisfaction, and provide you with the right technology to support operations.

Customer expectations aren’t showing any signs of slowing down. Postal and logistics operations need to meet these evolving needs to protect reputation, foster brand loyalty and encourage repetition. To achieve a profitable and sustainable operation, it’s imperative to improve last-mile logistics as it forms a critical customer experience element.

So in conclusion, the last mile is complicated and expensive, but with the right technology supporting your operations, that doesn’t need to be the case. HypaShip has created functionality that enables you to focus on 3 of your core products; Operations, Mobile and Analytics offering THE solution to the final mile. Want to find out exactly how we address all the above problems and tackle areas of friction? Find out in our next blog how HypaShip can fulfil the need for transparency and open communications in the postal, parcel and logistics industry, or simply get in touch, and we will show you a quick demo!

November 2020