Last mile delivery is the final leg of a package’s journey from its origin to its destination. This critical phase can be fraught with challenges — more so than normal shipment issues such as traffic congestion or incorrect addresses.
It can be very helpful for businesses to understand what these challenges are so they can be addressed properly or avoided altogether. Let’s take a closer look at some common last mile delivery challenges and what you can do about them.
Common Last Mile Delivery Challenges
One of the main jobs of a logistics manager is delivering goods to customers without incurring excessive costs. It’s essential for businesses as well as courier services to keep shipping expenses as low as possible, especially for the last mile of delivery, which is the most costly leg of the journey.
Below are the primary challenges logistics managers must overcome to ensure packages are delivered on time and under budget.
Lack of Visibility into the Delivery Process
One of the main causes of last mile delivery challenges is a lack of visibility into the delivery process. Lack of visibility can be caused by inadequate planning and coordination between different parties involved in the delivery process or by poor communication skills between those parties. This often results in delays and missed shipments, which can cost businesses money in terms of lost sales revenue and increased shipping costs.
Inadequate Planning and Coordination
Another challenge facing last mile delivery is inadequate planning and coordination for the final leg of the journey when the package switches hands (often more than once). The courier service may run into costly delays if there is insufficient information about customer locations or package specifications or if any party makes incorrect assumptions about how long it will take to reach certain customers based on past experience. Incorrectly planned deliveries often require extra resources (such as more trucks or drivers) that could be used more productively elsewhere in the company’s operations.
Poor communication can also lead to last mile delivery challenges, as it can make it difficult for everyone involved in the process — from suppliers who need timely feedback about their products’ quality levels to truck drivers who need clear instructions about where they should deliver. Everyone must work together smoothly to achieve optimal outcomes for both sides.
Ineffective communication often arises because people speak other languages or use different terminology for their shipping process. This challenge can pop up anywhere in the shipping process, whether it’s a phone call, text, or email before or during delivery. If the driver or dispatcher is unable to communicate promptly with each other or the package recipient, delivery can come to a standstill.
One of the barriers to success in last mile deliveries is often inexperience on the part of drivers. When poorly trained or unqualified individuals are tasked with overcoming difficulties they’re not prepared for, they are more likely to encounter problems during last mile delivery.
Other Common Challenges
There are a number of other potential causes of last mile delivery challenges that are beyond the control of the driver and the delivery service such as traffic congestion, bad weather conditions, and limited access to customer locations. It’s best to plan ahead for potential hurdles like these and allow extra time for delivery whenever possible.
Solving Last Mile Delivery Challenges
Identifying and addressing common pain points in last mile delivery can help optimize the process and improve performance. Here are the steps shipping professionals take to overcome these challenges.
Utilizing technology to streamline last mile delivery operations can reduce workload for both sender and receiver, making for a more efficient and speedy delivery process. Different courier services use different technology for their operations, so it’s a good idea to be familiar with the software and hardware your service provider uses.
Implementing best practices to improve last mile delivery performance can increase efficiency across all phases of the delivery process, from receiving orders to delivering packages to recipients’ doors. Unfortunately, there is a long list of fly-by-night courier services that don’t understand the complexity of shipping logistics and aren’t able to provide the high level of service that should be expected for every delivery.
Anytime a challenge arises, it’s critical for someone to be able and ready to address the problem and provide a solution. A phone call with a customer service expert can help you troubleshoot tips when things go wrong during last mile delivery. They can provide help when unexpected issues arise along the way.
Let Service Express Solve Your Last Mile Delivery Challenges
The best solution for any last mile delivery challenge is to use a courier service that already understands the challenges and has systems and personnel in place who are prepared to solve those problems quickly and efficiently.
At Service Express, we understand that solving last mile delivery challenges is important for ensuring the speed and efficiency of deliveries — even with last mile delivery hurdles such as traffic, weather conditions, and lack of parking.
Your best solution for last mile delivery challenges is Service Express. We use the latest technology to streamline processes and ensure adequate communication between drivers and customers. We even track all the data to show you exactly how efficient your deliveries are.
Contact Service Express today to find out how we can ensure your last mile deliveries are handled as efficiently as possible.