Although the United States Postal Services (USPS), United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express have long been the big names in the customer-facing last-mile delivery game, a steadily increasing utilization of eCommerce by shoppers everywhere is pushing even these giants to the limit.
There are times when package volumes are so great that their massive networks get bottlenecked or completely overwhelmed. Because of challenges like this, businesses that lead in last-mile delivery (and those that want to) are changing the landscape of last-mile entirely. It’s more important than ever, especially to busy people looking to take advantage of these options to help squeeze more time out of their days.
What Makes Last-Mile So Important?
Fulfillment in a week or less can be a challenge for a warehouse and distribution facility, but when a company is looking to compete with certain giant online retailers, that week-long window has to shrink as much as possible. The entire last-mile is as much a part of the delivery experience as is the moment a package arrives at the door these days.
Last-mile is vital to your success, and these examples illustrate how:
Keeping it local. Courier delivery was the original white glove last-mile handoff and it continues to be important today.
Rather than mail ordering everything because a customer has a busy life and no real time to shop, several startups are now offering local delivery for just about anything, and in short order. These last-mile efforts keep money in the local economy, something enormously important.
Bringing new types of products to front doors everywhere. You can get a pizza, a box of books, electronics and lots of other things delivered to your front door, but except on a limited basis, grocery delivery didn’t really become a big thing until recently.
Now, with the right app and a great team to help photograph, describe and collect orders, grocery delivery is all the rage. Last-mile delivery on produce, meat and other staples may literally be less than a mile but has changed the game for plenty of households.
Giving Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools plenty of information. You may not realize it, but you’re a data point every single time you have a package delivered. It’s true. You’re helping to train a whole new generation of tools that are going to revolutionize delivery, whether that’s by drone or via a more traditional route.
An AI is only as good as the data it’s fed, so they get fed a lot of data in order to learn how to navigate the world. That last-mile is not only important for you, but it’s also important for science!