These days, telling customers they’ll receive their package in “3 to 5 business days” is a great way to lose their business. Rush delivery is no longer a convenience. It’s the new standard.
According to a recent survey, the share of consumers willing to wait more than five days for a package has declined to 60%. That’s down from 74% four years previously.
Large e-commerce companies like Amazon can offer customers same-day delivery for a fee. But what about smaller companies who don’t have a global network of warehouses and shippers?
Keep reading to learn how last mile delivery logistics and same day delivery are changing.
Warehouse optimization is a process that helps save time, space and resources. It utilizes automation, retrieval systems, storage placement, and best practices. The key benefits are a reduction in errors, more flexibility, and more customer satisfaction.
If supply chains were perfect systems, there would be no need for warehouses. But supply chains aren’t (and may never be) perfect. Therefore, warehouse efficiencies play a vital role in fast delivery.
The key challenges facing warehouses are:
- Space utilization
- Inventory accuracy
- Inventory location
- Process redundancies
- Picking route optimization
- Cost cutting
Automation is perhaps the most innovative area of warehouse optimization to date. There are five key types of warehouse automation currently being deployed:
- Label scanning automation
- Picking automation
- Electronic inventory and cycle count automation
- Back-office automation
- Automated equipment
Warehouses that still rely on legacy systems and outdated inventory management methods, like pen and paper, must adopt new automated technologies to comply with the latest trends in delivery and logistics. Today, most warehouses use analytics tools to measure their efficiency.
These tools can also be used to identify areas of improvement.
IoT and Streamlined Fleet Management
Logistics and delivery operations are only as effective as their fleets. And nothing has been more revolutionary to fleet management than IoT technology.
The IoT (internet of things) refers to the network of vehicles and electronic devices that are connected to the internet. In other words, the IoT is made up of devices that “talk” to each other.
These range from giant shipping vessels to a smart toaster in a someone’s kitchen.
IoT technology is an important step for fleet management in facilitating same-day delivery and more efficient logistics. Typical IoT technologies for fleet management include:
- Driver tracking & monitoring systems
- Vehicle tracking & monitoring systems
- Fleet analytics systems
- Automated route management and GPS solutions
- Fuel management solutions
- Proactive maintenance tools
- Remote diagnostics and field services
With fleets talking to each other in real time and analytics engines crunching the numbers in the background, delivery fleets can more effectively manage their workloads and fulfill the promises of expedited and same-day delivery.
The global IoT Fleet Management market is expected to record a CAGR of 22.2% in the forecast period up to 2023.
New Delivery Technologies
There’s a lot of excitement around electric and fuel-efficient fleet vehicles. But they aren’t the only delivery technologies changing the logistics landscape.
Automated vehicles and 3D printing technologies have the potential to dramatically change the way consumers receive goods.
Drones, Robots, and Self-Driving Vehicles
At present, most automated delivery systems are still in development. There are numerous challenges to overcome before we’ll see self-driving trucks on our highways and delivery drones in our skies.
The laws that regulate these systems are one piece of the puzzle. But full, cost-effective deployment will be another challenge in and of itself.
Nonetheless, there is currently a race to build automated delivery systems. These include drones, robots, and self-driving vehicles. But new innovations are destined to become available as more and more companies invest in this technology.
According to one report, autonomous vehicles will make up 85% of last-mile deliveries by 2025. This will make it cheaper and easier for companies to provide same-day delivery. However, there’s no denying that autonomous vehicles will cause a seismic shift in the industry.
Currently, any type of data purchased online can be delivered quickly by electronic means. This is thanks to advancements in fiber optics and global wireless networks.
But soon, companies will be able to deliver physical objects by electronic means through 3D printing.
Most people don’t have access to a 3D printer. It’s also unlikely that 3D printing technology will become commonplace in our homes anytime soon.
But 3D printing has the potential to replace entire logistics networks, delivering product directly to consumers without any need for shipping and handling. 3D printing also has dramatic implications for fleet maintenance.
3D printers can now use a range of synthetic materials and metals to print spare parts. If a vehicle breaks down, the company can print the part they need instead of sourcing it from a manufacturer.
Of course, this comes with its own challenges.
Intellectual property (IP) would require the part manufacturer to make agreements with other parties regarding the printing of its products. 3D printing technology is not cheap, either.
There are currently very few use-case scenarios where the technology has been deployed in a cost-effective way.
Nonetheless, 3D printing has the potential to revolutionize the delivery and logistics industry.
Last Mile Delivery Logistics
Small businesses and individuals don’t typically have a large network of distribution centers to ship from. They may not have access to the same level of technology as other businesses.
Furthermore, last mile delivery logistics is one of the most important segments of the delivery chain. It’s here that determines whether parcels and packages reach their destinations on time or off schedule.
According to a survey by Deloitte, consumers are willing to pay up to $4.80 more for same-day shipping. This may seem like a small amount.
But with more and more customers demanding fast delivery, it can lead to significant revenue increases for every segment of the supply chain. Currently, rush courier companies and other business delivery services are the best solution for same-day delivery and last mile delivery.
Do you need more resources to execute same-day delivery? Contact Lexington Logistics to learn how our services can help.