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The growing expansion of technological innovation within the logistics industry has resulted in sweeping changes to the last mile delivery market, which has surged in popularity over recent years. With a rise in emerging app platforms offering a more agile approach to last mile delivery that has been enforced from a shift in consumer demand and behaviour, more and more courier drivers are moving away from traditional supply chain and courier services to become self-employed. In doing so, they can benefit from a higher rate of pay and flexible working hours, rather than fixed hours and set routes. But, how can businesses leverage new technologies to their advantage?
Firstly, last mile delivery is a term used in the industry to describe the final stage of the delivery process, where the product eventually reaches the customer. Ultimately, this relies on the essential role of a courier driver, but unlike one might think, this doesn’t solely relate to van drivers as couriers have adopted the use of cars, bikes and motorcycles as a means of fulfilling short range jobs. While ecommerce and fast food delivery markets continue to grow, there’s a complementary growing need for more courier drivers to fulfil last mile deliveries for new delivery apps.
Currently, there are a number of challenges to contend with throughout the final stage of delivery, which might be considered as ‘teething problems’ given the emergence of new markets. For example, the sheer demand and increase in orders that customers are currently placing on companies has put a huge amount of pressure on courier services, which has resulted in many courier drivers struggling to keep up with the volume of deliveries per days. Consequently, this impact has had further knock on effects such as missing parcels and issues locating delivery locations, but with access to the right technology, so many of these issues can be avoided.
Advances in technology have become far more accessible in recent years and, given that this can be harnessed through mobile applications, it’s a befitting solution to combat the rise in consumer demand for faster, and more on-demand deliveries. In turn, this has resulted in a wide number of companies – including courier companies – integrating technology systems into their operations to simplify and improve efficiency offering greater control and visibility over shipments.
Throughout the delivery process, from product ordering to order fulfilment and delivery, companies are making use of the latest technologies in order to speed up the process and get this right for customers first time to provide a hassle-free experience. For last mile delivery this resulted in a rise in the use of technology like GPS tracking, electric vehicles, route optimisation technology, and even delivery robots, which helps to reduce overheads and retain competitive pricing as well as fair pay for drivers.
The benefits of technology are endless, including improved efficiency, lower running costs, and reduced emissions. As a prime example, technology that optimises the route to cover the shortest distance decreases time spent traffic or congestion, which helps to ensure goods are delivered on time making the journeys far more economical.
With the use of GPS tracking, this means that fleets can be far better managed, with customers and companies alike, having the ability to track the movement of goods as they progress through the final stages of their delivery journey. Moreover, applications such as What3Words, which offers drivers precise information relating to pick up and drop off points, can ensure that drivers are able to make efficient pick up / drop offs to minimise waiting times.
As we head further into the mature stages of a digital revolution, predictions for the future (although they almost sound crazy for now) present the opportunity for some incredible developments within the courier industry. Many people have already toyed with the idea of delivering packages with self-driving vehicles. While we have already seen demonstrations of delivery robots hitting the streets.
Just think, electric cars and smartphones would have seemed impossible to our grandparents’ generation, at the time. Which is why suggestions such as deliveries being completed using drones and self-driving cars can not be disregarded. The technology is available to us to improve the industry, and the potential is huge! It’s exciting to simply imagine how this could change the landscape of last-mile delivery. Plus how this could improve customer experience and customer satisfaction.
At DeliveryApp we are committed to improving our service, both for our customers and courier drivers. With the integration of several applications just this year, we are excited to offer our drivers simple solutions to address the various challenges of last mile delivery.
This includes integrating what3words into our mobile app to make it easier than ever before to locate the right delivery address. We’re revolutionising the logistics industry! Join us by signing up today and join our network of courier drivers fulfilling deliveries up and down the country.