Last Mile: Final and fundamental step of the supply chain
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Electronic commerce expands and increases more and more in the market, at the same time that consumers demand more goods and services more frequently.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the growth of e-commerce in Chile increased considerably, in fact, according to Americas Market Intelligence (AMI), e-commerce in Chile will show an increase of up to 28% taking the periods from 2020 to 2024. which, as there is a greater demand, the delivery of the last mile has gained prominence in the logistics industry.
What is the last mile?
The concept of "last mile" is the final part of the supply chain, when the order leaves the last distribution point, until it reaches the final customer or consumer, being one of the fundamental steps of the logistics process. This is generally a few mile stretch and may lead to a personal residence, warehouse, or warehouse.
How to optimize the last mile in the logistics process
The trade in general requires a fast and punctual delivery, due to the current high competition, being a decisive factor and maximum differential value to achieve the customer's preference. An efficient method to manage delivery planning is to have a general control to verify that everything is in optimal conditions to transport. Not only product quality control but also documentation in the legal framework.
Logistics route planning is crucial to optimizing this process. Carriers need to be informed about packages they have to pick up en route or if the consumer changed the last mile delivery address from one moment to the next. An example of this is the control of vehicle fleets with Excel spreadsheets. Through spreadsheets, you can manually control repairs, expenses, vehicle maintenance, and follow-up of logistics processes.
On the other hand, digital solutions are currently being implemented, such as real-time visualization of the process of each last-mile delivery automatically. This tracking allows you to take control by notifying in real time about shipment statuses, providing greater visibility.
Stages that make up the last mile
The last mile is usually the most expensive part of the logistics process, due to the five steps it comprises.
Orders and requests are entered digitally into a centralized system and are monitored by both the sender and the final recipient, who likely follows the status of their delivery through a tracking number.
Assignment to delivery staff
Orders are assigned to delivery staff based on routes and recipient addresses. Packages are strategically sorted and allocated for delivery, essential for an optimized and cost-effective last mile delivery logistics solution.
Orders are scanned before being loaded onto delivery vehicles. This updates the status of the order for the sender, as well as the shipment tracking for the final recipient. It also reduces the risk of packaged goods getting lost on the way.
Shipment of orders
This step begins the process of delivering the last mile. Companies must ensure that the order arrives from the transport center to the customer as quickly as possible, allowing real-time tracking thanks to the GPS included in the transport.
At this stage, the packet has reached its final destination. Delivery personnel then update tracking information to verify and confirm that the delivery has been completed successfully, sending proof of delivery.
Common problems in the last mile
As in any process, there are certain problems that can arise in the final stage of the supply chain. We present them below.
Delivery failure due to absence of receivers
A common problem in the last mile is that the receiver of the cargo is not there at the time of arrival at the destination, which translates into a failed or non-performed delivery, resulting in unforeseen costs. For the company that manages the shipments, there are usually up to three delivery attempts or it is returned to the sender.
Making deliveries in urban areas inevitably brings inconveniences related to mobility, that is, high traffic, pedestrian streets or a shortage of parking spaces to unload, so it is not surprising that this process is more expensive and has a greater environmental impact.
Strategically deciding the routes to be taken in the last mile is one of the most important steps. The efficiency of the service and the estimated delivery times depend on that, so planning the route is crucial.
What to look for in a last mile provider
To obtain maximum profitability for the business, it is essential to have a good last-mile provider. That is why before choosing one you should look at these aspects:
It is important to look at the professional path of the company that we choose for the last step of the logistics process. Looking for references and reviews from those who have already worked with them could help give you an idea of what their service is like.
One of the fundamental points when looking for a last mile provider is that it be safe. In addition to trusting your merchandise, you will be trusting your reputation with customers, since if there are delays in deliveries, your business is also delayed.
Speed and efficiency of service
When choosing a provider, it is necessary to look at the use of the technology they handle, since this is capable of offering very good feedback about where the transport is, allowing orderly and efficient instructions to be indicated to the fleet. The real-time tracking of the product is also a great added value, since the customer can see the exact location of his package, achieving consumer loyalty, achieving greater speed and fluidity in the delivery of the last mile.
Local transportation at KLog.co
At KLog.co we offer three additional services: Customs Agent, Cargo Insurance and Local Transportation. The latter allows the cargo to be mobilized upon arrival at the port of destination to be delivered to the final customer, either in a warehouse, warehouse or another place within an urban radius of Santiago.
It can be purchased at the time of making the purchase, and ensures that the merchandise successfully reaches its final destination safely and efficiently.
We present you the new way of living international cargo transport
KLog.co is the leading technology company for international cargo transportation in Latin America, which through its digital solution has managed to provide complete visibility and control of the import and export process for companies of all sizes.
Through KLog's intuitive digital platform, all the steps to bring or send a container are merged. Users gain full manageability and visibility of cargo transportation. They can book integrated logistics services online, track real-time, and measure shipment performance to optimize future shipments.
KLog.co today has more than 4,000 clients with operations throughout the Latin American region and hundreds of agents around the world. Their offices are located in Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Mexico and they are in the process of opening offices in Colombia and Panama.
Learn more at KLog.co