If you run a logistics or eCommerce company, mastering the last-mile delivery service is essential. To do so, you must understand the effect of technology on the last-mile distribution market as well as the prospects for this autonomous delivery model in the future.
The rate of technological advancement is outpacing expectations, and it is already changing last-mile delivery. Hence, we’re seeing the start of series productions and the scaling up of technology implementation by several companies.
Customers want more from their distribution companies, and a highly competitive market, coupled with customers’ high-cost sensitivity, has forced the industry to build technology that will help it meet these demands. These developments, taken together, necessitate immediate adoption of these emerging technologies by last-mile providers.
In the last-mile distribution and its advances, technology plays a critical role in resolving visibility problems. It helps to provide real-time insight into the last-mile distribution process in a variety of ways:
- Possibilities to address distribution problems before consumers become aware of them.
- Allows customer service representatives to be more proactive in dealing with distribution problems.
- Stops customers from calling you to check on the status of their orders.
- Makes you more cautious when dealing with customer delivery problems.
- Get real-time information on delays.
Innovations are entering the logistics industry at an exponential rate thanks to a truckload of available data through technologies such as artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, improved processing capacity, and seamless connectivity.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are now being used by some of the world’s leading logistics companies to develop their core business strategies and improve real-time decision-making on issues such as prices, carriers, availability, inventory, and labor.
However, given the ever-changing nature of technology, it can be difficult for logistics organizations of any scale to keep up with these advances. While switching from older technology to a more advanced one takes time, success in this competitive industry depends on leveraging new technologies.
Few technological developments that are reshaping last-mile delivery are mentioned below:
Live monitoring technology is now allowing for a clearer understanding of what is happening at every stage of the distribution process. This benefits customers as well, by providing them with correct delivery status information. In the last-mile delivery phase, tracking the field officer on the road with the delivery is critical. This real-time order tracking function gives product distributors visibility into the current position of the field officer during the distribution process.
Telematics is a rapidly expanding area that encompasses wireless communications networks that link remote applications. In effect, they provide last-mile delivery with end-to-end connectivity.
The Gig (On-Demand) Economy
Technology may sometimes do more than just help the industry innovate. It can disrupt – to open up entirely new possibilities. Uber not only introduced new technologies to the taxi industry but also introduced an entirely new business model.
The adoption of emerging technology by the last-mile distribution industry offers a wealth of new granular data. Predictive analytics software may take advantage of this information and uncover new opportunities for improvement, such as route optimization. Predictive analytics detects trends that can help businesses develop their operations. Forecasting future demand is one example.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become an important part of many companies’ daily operations. Machine learning and robotics developments have had a worldwide influence by revolutionizing the way we delegate tasks to boost productivity.
- It enables you to handle even the most complex data sets with precision.
- Allows for the use of data structures and the development of data sets to monitor patterns and phenomena.
- It creates data models that are geared toward predictive analysis.
Faster and User-Friendly Delivery Channels
Customers often choose a simpler and more user-friendly way to place an order online. If customers have a bad customer experience, they may refuse to order takeout. If the mobile app is not working well, customers can’t configure their orders, and they don’t get an immediate answer to their questions, they’ll have a bad experience.
Customers should be able to position orders across all available channels, such as smart devices, social media, virtual assistants, and so on, using order distribution systems that simplify the process.
By collecting and analyzing a vast amount of logistics data and optimizing the path for last-mile delivery in real-time, Big Data technology revolutionizes the online order and delivery system. The dispatcher may use the internet to monitor their product and driver, evaluate market products, deliver speed, check traffic, and display feedback, likes, and comments on social media, among other things.
IoT (Internet of things)
IoT offers real-time and more accurate data, as well as the ability to shield current device inefficiencies. Similarly, IoT revolutionizes supply chain processes by making them more efficient and effective.
Technology plays an important role in every stage of the logistics process. Artificial intelligence is used to automate the operation in connected warehouses. Artificial intelligence-based systems are being used by transportation companies to distribute equipment, track field agents, and optimize routes. Advanced approaches are now being used to enhance efficiency, such as location intelligence and geocoding.
It is difficult to keep up with the rapid advances in technology, but most companies are concerned that their rivals are implementing new technologies even faster than they are. In the last-mile distribution, groundbreaking technologies are setting new quality benchmarks. As a result, modern businesses that want to improve the productivity of their last-mile operations should look to ride this innovation surge.