How technology is aiding efficient execution of the last mile logistics


LogistCompare will be exhibiting at eCommerce Show North this year.


The transportation of the products to the delivery address and customer is typically referred to as ‘The Last Mile’; and is quickly becoming the most innovative and competitive section of the whole supply chain.

The drive to streamlining this section has increased significantly. Why? Namely because customers are becoming increasingly demanding, and this is largely due to the technological developments moulding them this way. Naturally, organisations are driving to meet this increase of demand for fear of losing customer trust and, most importantly, their repeat business. Innovative technology has recently made headway within last mile logistics. But what are these developments, and are they indeed making the last mile more efficient? 

Drones

A great example of innovation within the last mile is drones: for more information on drones and their future within the last mile you can read our blog here. Drones are perhaps the most attention grabbing piece of technology within the last mile. This is largely due to Amazon making significant progress within this area and, as a result, this development is causing both a stir and admiration. Drones are, unhindered by problems which face more traditional methods of transportation – such as traffic. The drone flies above this, both metaphorically and literally. Although a great technological leap towards making the last mile more efficient, drones are not without their critics. For instance, one such criticism is the possibility of drones being hacked, something which concerns enthusiasts and sceptics alike. 

Automation 

Automation is also aiding efficient execution of the last mile. Firstly, by automating both the picking and packing process of the supply chain, companies are able to get the products out much faster to their customers – while not the exactly the last mile, it is still crucial in order to enable a quicker lead time for the customer. Another way innovative automation technology is aiding the last mile is with the current exploration over the possibility of robots becoming delivery professionals. Whilst this, like drone technology, is being met with criticisms, it’s not entirely a new idea, as automation technology is already a key characteristic of most modern vehicles, such as the use of active lane assist, traction control, etc. While automation is appearing, and is ever-increasing in many areas, it is having a truly revolutionary effect in the world of logistics and arguably is the key for future efficiency within the last mile.  

Apps

Apps are a modern technological advancement which are helping the lives of many people, in many different ways, daily. This is also the case when it comes to logistics. The development of certain apps has enabled customers to be able to track their parcel’s delivery, and there are many benefits to this kind of technology. Not only does it help limit the opportunities for parcels to go missing, but also helps keep the delivery companies focused on efficiency, which yet again, aids in the execution of the last mile. 

Portals

With the current technology advancements, it’s becoming more important than ever to be able to give customers a great deal of visibility and control across the Supply Chain. Full visibility of last mile delivery is now crucial to retailers that need to meet demanding customer expectations. Portals can facilitate this operation; their complex algorithms can quickly get information that previously was harder to achieve. In the warehousing sector, LogistCompare is a new portal which links organisations who are looking for warehouse space with warehouse providers, and it’s currently free for retailers to use. Retailers will be able to find their warehouses and costs as well as review warehouses once they have used their services. 

The consistent demand, and strive to reach said demand, is paving the way for technology and innovative methods, ultimately leading to an efficient execution of the last mile. While the game and players may have changed, it seems the goal, to keep customers happy, has remained the same.