Making The Last Mile Greener: Four Best Practices For Logistics Service Providers

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Before we delve deeper into how logistics providers can make the last mile sustainable, let’s understand why sustainability matters now more than ever.

Dynamic delivery landscape, various economic benefits, evolving environmental regulations, and consumer expectations are increasingly influencing logistics service providers to embrace sustainable ways of moving and delivering packages. Disruptive technologies like automation, analytics and AI can make a winning difference in this regard by reducing distance traveled per package, prioritizing eco-friendly delivery means, increasing delivery success rates and partnering with other logistics providers with sustainable supply chain practices.

Logistics companies can simply implement automation and achieve their sustainability goals. Advanced last mile delivery solutions leverage technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to empower logistics services providers to streamline their delivery operations and reduce CO2 emissions. Here are the four ways such solutions can make the last mile greener.  

#1 Minimizing Distance Traveled

Reducing distance traveled per package empowers logistics providers to ensure sustainable delivery operations. A smart last mile delivery solution makes this possible with territory optimization, intelligent route planning and optimization, and dynamic order batching. 

The AI-powered last mile software helps courier providers plan resource utilization to serve their demand and cover geographies optimally. Smart route planning and optimization also contribute to minimizing distance traveled by finding the most efficient delivery route and maximizing the number of deliveries per vehicle.

Another excellent capability of a last mile delivery solution is dynamic order clubbing; it reduces the distance traveled by clubbing new orders and returns requests with already planned deliveries. Less the distance traveled, lesser will be the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

#2 Prioritizing Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles cause no tailpipe emissions, and by prioritizing electric vehicles over the conventional vehicles, logistics providers can shrink carbon footprint. However, it is challenging for a logistics service provider to ensure the same while managing delivery operations manually.

Integrating advanced last mile delivery software can help make this possible by automating the task. The smart last mile management solution automatically assigns orders to electric vehicles on priority by considering distance limits and other parameters. To ensure sustainability, the software assigns short-distance orders, say within 5 kms, to a rider using a bicycle.

#3 Increasing First-Attempt Delivery Rate

Poor communication between drivers and end customers is one of the common reasons for delivery failures that impact customer experience and lead to returns, which cause approx. 66% of the original product’s costs. Returns not only increase delivery costs but also impact sustainability due to additional resources involved in picking up the product and bringing the product back to the origin.

A smart last mile delivery solution automates the communication process by sending real-time delivery updates through WhatsApp, Email, and SMS. Moreover, it also shares the (masked for privacy) contact details of the driver to end customers and vice versa. Better communication ensures fewer delivery attempts and boosts the first-attempt delivery rate.

Another common reason for delivery failures includes the inability to locate the delivery address. The software offers advanced geocoding that converts text addresses into latitude and longitude to make it easy to locate the delivery address. Preventing delivery failures means improved first-attempt delivery rate and reduced number of returns. Using smart last mile delivery solutions, logistics service providers can ensure 18% lesser returns.

#4 Collaborating with Green Logistics Partners

To scale operations and expand geographical reach without investing in resources and infrastructure, most courier companies partner with other carrier providers. While choosing a carrier, logistics providers should ensure that the selected company uses sustainable fuel usage practices and technology-powered platforms to manage deliveries.

A logistics service provider partnering with multiple carriers also needs a way to manage and monitor them all to ensure timely and cost-efficient deliveries. A last mile delivery management solution also helps with the same by offering a unified dashboard for multiple carriers management and real-time order tracking.

Implementing smart last mile delivery solutions empower courier companies to use their resources optimally to reduce carbon emissions. It offers data-backed insights to improve delivery operations and ensure sustainability in delivery operations.

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