The world of Courier, Express, and Parcel (CEP) delivery has undergone a significant transformation in recent years with the help of last-mile delivery management system software.
With the exponential growth of e-commerce and the increasing demand for more convenient deliveries, including same-day and next-day services, the last mile has attracted many new entrants and has become a critical battleground for express providers in Singapore. However, this surge in demand has also brought forth a new set of challenges due to evolving consumer expectations that must be addressed.
In this article, our logistics software experts at One Logis will share with you the growing pains faced by express delivery providers in handling last-mile delivery. Furthermore, we will discuss how a last-mile delivery software can help to address the various challenges!
What is Last-Mile?
Last-mile delivery refers to the final leg of the transportation process.
Parcels or packages are first picked up from the sellers and are consolidated at the distribution center or a hub – this is commonly referred to as the “first-mile”.
From the distribution center, the packages are then transported via different carriers (airlines, ocean liners, trucks, or rail) – this is commonly referred to as the “middle-mile”.
Finally, the parcels or packages are sorted and then dispatched by express delivery providers to the intended customer or its intended destination.
Rising Demand for Last-Mile Delivery:
In recent years, COVID-19 has accelerated the e-commerce boom in Singapore which has reshaped consumer behaviour and propelled express delivery providers to serve the rising demand for last-mile delivery.
Consumers now expect faster and more flexible shipping options, placing immense pressure on express providers to deliver goods within shorter timeframes, sometimes even within the same day!
As a result, express delivery providers are compelled to find innovative solutions to meet more demanding customer expectations and maintain a competitive edge.
Challenges and Opportunities in Last-Mile Delivery:
So, what are some of the difficulties that express providers face in their last-mile operations?
- Operating Costs: Last-mile delivery are costly operations due to factors like high fuel expenses, rising labour costs, and on-going vehicle maintenance requirements. Express delivery providers must optimize routes and minimize idle time to ensure cost-effective operations.
- Traffic Congestion: Urban cities like Singapore often suffer from heavy traffic congestion especially during peak work hours, causing delays in last-mile deliveries. Express providers need to navigate this obstacle by utilizing advanced routing algorithms and real-time traffic data to ensure timely deliveries.
- Customer Expectations: Customers’ growing demands for faster deliveries and flexible options, such as same-day or next-day service, require express providers to streamline their operations. As you can imagine, meeting these expectations while maintaining cost-efficiency is a delicate balance that express providers must achieve. Additionally, customers increasingly expect real-time status update of their deliveries, placing additional demands on your operational capabilities.
- Parcel Theft and Security: With the rise in online shopping, the risk of parcel theft has become a significant concern. Express providers need robust security measures to protect packages from being stolen during the delivery process. Furthermore, the traditional proof of delivery method using manual paper processes is subject to easy sabotage.
Digital Solutions Can Help Transform Last-Mile Operations!
Software solutions such as the Transport Management Systems (TMS) or Last-Mile Delivery Management System have emerged as a game-changer for express providers, enabling them to overcome the challenges associated with last-mile delivery. For example, the following features can help transform your operations for greater efficiency:
- Route Optimization: Advanced algorithms enable express providers to optimize delivery routes in real-time, minimizing travel distances, fuel consumption, and delivery times.
- Tracking and Visibility: Real-time tracking systems allow both express providers and customers to monitor parcel status, enhancing transparency and reducing customer anxiety. GPS tracking and electronic proof of delivery provide accurate and up-to-date information about package location and condition. Live tracking and real-time visibility also act as a deterrent to theft as it promotes accountability.
- Data Analytics and Predictive Insights: A comprehensive logistics Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software with TMS features can integrate last-mile delivery order management with accounting and financial reporting. By harnessing the power of dynamic reporting and data analytics, express delivery providers can gain valuable insights into customer behavior, demand patterns and financial performance to optimize their business operations and maximize profitability.
- Customer-Focused Applications: Mobile applications provide customers with a user-friendly interface for tracking deliveries. Drivers can also capture photos of the package at the time of delivery that serves as proof that the package was delivered to the correct recipient and in good condition. These applications facilitate seamless communication and enhance the overall customer experience.
Ready to Invest in a Last-mile Delivery Software with TMS Functions?
E-commerce shipping is here to stay. Express providers that provide last-mile delivery operations will require innovative investments to support productivity and growth.
Implementing a comprehensive logistics delivery software solution with TMS features is a wise move that will optimize cost efficiency and maximize profit growth.
If you are an express provider, discover how to transform your business today with technology! Contact our friendly team at One Logis today to learn how our customizable digital solutions can revolutionize your last-mile operations!