Last-mile delivery’s efficiency depends on factors such as retailer size, number of orders picked and packed per day, and order pickup frequency. Last-mile success can remain elusive for companies that lack the technology or partnerships, drop-off points, financial wherewithal or flexibility to deliver at non-peak times. They need the ability to gain from efficiencies of scale, get control of labor and delivery costs, and navigate congested cities. Last-mile delivery trends include the following:
Last-mile delivery solutions are unique to each retailer. Last-mile’s success rides on a mix of fulfillment strategies, improved technology, analytics, partnerships and employee training and retraining. Larger companies will need to take an active workforce approach to address increasing automation, and gear up to use technologies such as radio frequency identification for inventory visibility. Autonomous vehicles will have a role, but drivers will still be needed. Much last-mile automation will be about getting the right product on a truck.
Dave Scelfo is director of marketing and product development at UNEX Manufacturing.
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