Did you know that last mile delivery comprises 53% of overall shipping costs? Despite covering shorter distances, last mile delivery is the most inefficient step in freight transportation.
Unlike fully loaded semi-truck trailers, last mile delivery vehicles are smaller and carry far fewer products. They also do not cover nearly as much ground in a day. Instead, they often make several stops in cities, where traffic can delay deliveries for hours.
So how can you make your last mile delivery more efficient and cost-effective? Let’s explore some solutions.
Owning Your Own Vehicles vs Third-Party Operators
When you own your vehicles, you have total control over your supply chain and dispatch. However, you also have to foot the bill for everything, from truck maintenance to benefits for your drivers. This can make third-party operators more appealing.
So, when deciding whether owning or outsourcing is right for you, consider your needs. Do you need constant communication with your drivers, or would you prefer that someone else deal with the stress of deliveries?
Your choice will also depend on whether you’re a logistics company or a freight forwarding company. Logistics companies (the majority of trucking companies) generally own their own trucking equipment while freight forwarding companies often don’t.
That said, you don’t have to choose one method over another. Many companies own their own vehicles and also use third party shippers, so they get the best of both worlds.
Even when you own your own trucks, you can’t control traffic or road conditions. Thus, reducing bottlenecks at shipping facilities will guarantee your success.
Cross-docking is a method of shipping where you take items off an inbound truck at a facility, inspect the items, and then, place them on an outbound truck.
This keeps a steady flow of products through your facilities and eliminates the need for excess storage space. This also reduces spoilage among perishable products, since they’re not kept in storage for days/weeks/months.
Without all the time wasted in storage facilities, you give yourself a bigger window for making on-time deliveries. So you should definitely incorporate a cross-docking facility into your supply chain.
Automation is an ever-growing presence in every field, and it is no less relevant in logistics. From automated software to automated trucks, the future is here, and you should take advantage of it.
For example, autonomous vehicles can move cargo 24/7 and don’t need to sleep. This benefits you, your employees, and your customers.
Your customers get their products faster; your employees won’t have to work insane hours, and you get to make more money!
Now, of course, automation has its own cons, such as replacing jobs that would otherwise go to people. However, if you find ways to incorporate your employees into a new, automated process that improves their quality of life, both parties will benefit.
Solving Last Mile Delivery
There are several links in the supply chain that you can’t always control, but by taking some of these steps, you can leap ahead of your competition. Overall, this will help you solve your last mile delivery issues.
For more solutions, you should consult Genex. They own their own trucks and heavily utilize time-saving methods such as cross-docking!