Every step of the logistics process is crucial from the moment it leaves the sender on its way to its destination. However, no step of the logistics is more pivotal than the last mile delivery. It represents the final stage of the delivery process wherein the goods are transferred from the transportation hub to its delivery address. This particular service has made an impact on the logistics industry and has helped the food service business evolve in recent years.
Last Mile Delivery Logistics Explained
Last mile delivery is something that you might have heard often especially if you are into ecommerce. This refers to the final step of the delivery process before it is delivered to the customers’ doorsteps. The evolution of last mile delivery came after the desire to quickly transport items to their recipients.
This logistics method is driven by the consumer demand for fast and efficient delivery. Oftentimes, the last mile delivery is plagued with inefficiency. This is because there are low drop sizes and multiple stops involved at this stage of the delivery process.
In rural areas, there is a challenge that the various delivery points are located at a distance from each other. On the other hand, urban areas are plagued by delays due to traffic congestion. This is why many technological solutions have been invested in order to facilitate efficiency in this step of the logistics.
One example of technological solutions implemented to overcome the hurdles of last mile delivery is with crowdsourcing. This is evident not just in the ecommerce retail industry but also in food service and transportation, among others. Food service and ecommerce businesses are working with low startup costs and asset-light operations in order to overcome last mile delivery woes.
This enables food service businesses and ecommerce businesses to connect with local couriers to make the deliveries on their behalf. This makes on-demand deliveries possible while ensuring that customers receive their items on time and with no need for repeat delivery attempts.
Impact on Food Delivery Services
There was a time when last mile delivery services were a perk; nowadays, it is a “must” for businesses to offer their customers. This is true, in particular, with the food industry. The pandemic accelerated the digital transformation of the logistics industry in that customers are willing to pay a premium to ensure convenient last mile delivery services. Unless food service businesses are able to deliver food to their doorsteps, there is no way for businesses to compete.
There are inherent challenges faced by food businesses. One of the most evident challenges right off the bat is for restaurants or any size of food business to have its own food delivery solution. If not, there is simply no way for you to compete with other businesses that can deliver.
Even with a food delivery solution in place, there are many possible problem areas.
- Trouble keeping up with customer expectations – With access to food delivery apps, customers expect food service businesses to meet their high expectations in terms of fast and efficient delivery to their doorsteps.
- Potential for missed deliveries – Missing delivery is probably the biggest perils of a food business. When orders are coming in at once, it can be difficult to keep track which orders had been delivered, and which ones are still pending delivery. There is plenty of room for human error and it can be costly.
- Inefficient management – The lack of proper management in handling orders is the root of the food delivery service perils. This can lead to not only delays in delivery but also compromised food and packaging quality.
- Tracking orders – Tracking is an essential part of food delivery solutions. Customers want to be able to do this in real-time so they know exactly when orders will arrive at their doorstep (or how long they need to wait for orders).
How does last mile delivery aid in addressing these problems?
The use of a last mile delivery solution can boost customer experience. In any kind of delivery service, food or not, an efficient last mile delivery will ensure that your customers can enjoy their food when they want it. By making timely deliveries, you can leave a good impression on them and also ensure a high satisfaction level.
Route optimization is another benefit that can be enjoyed through implementation of last mile delivery solutions. Not only will this help your food to be delivered on time, but also reduce fuel costs and other unnecessary expenditures that eat away your profits.
Other integral components of an efficient last mile delivery service include seamless communication tools and convenient payment methods. You can ensure customer satisfaction by providing variety in terms of payment solutions. At the same time, real-time notifications on the delivery status will also be highly appreciated.
As the logistics industry continues to evolve, food service businesses will largely benefit from these advanced solutions. It will facilitate higher customer satisfaction, which could translate to more business.