Did you know that one of the most important steps in any delivery you make happens at the end of the delivery? That's what we call the last mile delivery.
That's right! More struggles, delays and poor customer experiences take place in the last stretch of the delivery than while in transit.
But once again, the fine folks here at Redwood have got you covered. In this blog post, we are going to discuss some of the most common last mile delivery issues that shippers face. More importantly, we will talk a bit about how to best approach these pain points in the whole last mile process.
What are the Most Common Last Mile Delivery Hurdles?
Your customers have jobs, family time, and situations that may impact their schedule in unexpected ways. And it is that schedule that you and your carrier are expected to work around.
If the customer is not home or is otherwise unavailable when the delivery is scheduled to arrive, it creates a bit of a challenge. Of course, there is a way to resolve this situation.
The carrier could simply leave the delivery on the customer's doorstep in the hopes that they make it home soon. However, this could be problematic as thefts of deliveries that have been left outside are, sadly, a reality. And if it's a delivery that requires a signature, it cannot simply be left at the door.
Ultimately, this means the carrier must reschedule to perform a second delivery attempt. If they are unreachable at that point, a lot of carriers will simply send the goods back as undeliverable, and the process must begin anew.
The best option? Be proactive in your scheduling and be as communicative as possible with your customers and partners.
Sometimes things just come up. Be prepared to reroute the delivery or reschedule before your carrier makes it to the destination. Good communication between all parties involved can save a ton of headaches.
If your carrier's chosen route experiences frequent closures or high levels of traffic, you may be off to a bad start!
Everything that happens from the moment that shipment is scheduled for delivery affects the last mile.
Planning the route that your shipment will travel along is, by far, one of the most important factors to consider. Delays in the route could equate to late deliveries or reschedules before it makes it even halfway.
Integration of a well-rounded dynamic routing software platform goes a long way. These types of platforms help ensure that your products travel along the fastest routes right up to the last mile. Most of these systems also feature tracking and SMS notifications to keep your carrier and customer on the same page until the product hits their doorstep.
Improved Communication Systems
You may have noticed that throughout this blog post, a common theme has appeared.
This theme is... communication.
Communication skills and tools are important for any type of business. But when it comes to a supply chain operation, with all its moving parts, communication is absolutely vital.
One of the tools in every companies arsenal should be a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. This is generally a cloud-based tool that is connected to robust communication networks. It is capable of sending messages via email or SMS text notifications based on each recipient’s communication method of choice.
For example, if Mr. Jones cannot be available for his 4PM delivery, the communication network can send updated messages to the carrier, dispatch, and other important parties so that the shipment can be rerouted or rescheduled without an attempt.
Last mile logistics are generally very simple methods to employ. But don't let the simplicity fool you, giving your customer a phenomenal last mile experience can have a tremendous effect. At the same time, it can also tend to be complex in its own right.
Most shippers choose to work with 3PL companies like Redwood Logistics to help them get a handle on their last mile improvements. If you are aiming to give your customers the best possible shipping experience, reach out to us today to get started!