The Last Mile:
Challenges and Solutions for Logistics
The last mile is the decisive part of the logistics chain and eats up 56% of the total costs of a product journey. The last mile will continue to become increasingly important in the future, as the volume of parcels worldwide is expected to double again in the next few years. The main driver here is e-commerce. Automated microhubs can significantly change the last mile.
What is the last mile?
The “last mile” of delivery is the final step in the journey of a product from the logistics center to the customer’s doorstep – the point at which the package finally arrives at the buyer’s door. The last mile is not only critical to customer satisfaction, but it is also the most expensive and time-consuming part of the shipping process and therefore of considerable importance for courier, express and parcel (CEP) service providers. As a result, the meeting point of the digital world and the end consumer at their doorstep is the most crucial part in the logistics chain. Automated sortation in microhubs provides a significant profit boost. It’s as if it was designed for cellumation: flexible solutions with a small footprint are required. That is our unrivaled strength.
What is the Last Mile? The Last Mile Step by Step
Challenges of the Last Mile
High CO2 Emissions
Cities and municipalities bear the burden of high traffic volumes and, as a result, high CO2 emissions. Simultaneously, traffic jams delay the delivery process, and the various traffic jostles occur at peak times, jamming the roads.
Customers’ dissatisfaction and second delivery trials turn the logistics chain into a business deficit.
Pre-Christmas business, promotional days such as “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday,” or pandemic situations increase the volume of parcels. This exacerbates the problem because all providers must increase their logistics performance at the same time.
Integration of local small business owners
Local retailers can only enter logistics chains with difficulty and at a high cost. As a result, an increasing number of different messengers drive through the streets carrying various goods. This leads to increased inefficiencies and, in turn, an increase in traffic volume.
Skilled worker shortage
Frequent delivery customers often experience messengers ringing the doorbell several times a day. The demand for messengers by bicycle, van, or e-vehicle is growing. Cooperation can lead to significant efficiencies in this case. At the same time, even the last mile still requires manual preparation through manual sorting. This can be solved through automation and give a little leverage.
After placing an order, customers expect prompt and dependable delivery. Just-in-time deliveries help businesses save storage space. Currently, the logistics chain frequently needs an overnight jump in order to economically reship within 24 hours.
In a centrally located microhub, parcels are delivered, consolidated, sorted and distributed on intelligent routes. From here, the parcels are sent on their last mile.
In the cities, this reduces traffic and thus emissions. At the same time, consignees benefit from the “one-stop shop” principle.
Everyone benefits! The problem of last-mile economy is solved by central consolidation and automated sorting.
CO2-neutral vehicles are not only good for the climate, they are also small and maneuverable in the tightest of city neighborhoods.
We asked ourselves the question:
How practical would it be to collect, bundle and sort parcels for the last mile in microhubs and deliver them using intelligent routes in a climate-neutral manner?
It would be extremely useful! That is why we intend to enable microhubs with fully automated sorting solutions on a very small scale. The celluveyor BULKSORT is ideal for this. These microhubs are small logistics centers that are about the size of an average supermarket. There, the parcels can be sorted in a fully automated manner and distributed to environmentally friendly delivery vehicles, such as cargo bikes or small e-mobiles.
In microhubs, automated sorting replaces manual labor!
The patented celluveyor technology enables high-performance automation in even the tiniest of spaces: a prerequisite for inner-city logistics. Microhubs are small, functional logistics hubs located in the heart of urban centers. Their goal is to reduce the number of trips significantly over the last mile in half. Parcels can be delivered, singulated, sorted, and distributed in an environmentally friendly manner there. The environment, the economy, the recipient, and inner-city traffic all benefit from this.
Dreams of the future: the one-stop shop principle
If different logistics companies and retailers work together, the last mile could become even more efficient. Collaboration eliminates duplicate structures, saves money, and is very customer-friendly because the recipient receives all ordered goods simultaneously from a single source. This also allows for simplification in the matching accuracy in terms of location and time at the house and apartment doors.
Speed of delivery drives the competition
Fast delivery is no longer a “nice to have” as consumers increasingly turn to e-commerce for their shopping needs; it has become an expectation of any online shopping experience. This can be accomplished through the integration of retailers, and it is also an opportunity for local businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic. Local retailers may be able to deliver goods to customers’ doorsteps faster through a local microhub than large mail-order companies.
For the planet’s sake by saving CO2.
The international youth movement Fridays for Future has paved the way: environmental awareness and sustainability are increasingly shifting away from personal lifestyles and consumer trends and toward social movements. As a result, they are increasingly important in economic decisions and business activities, as consumers and employees establish a new logic and value system. (vgl. Megatrend Neo-Ökologie – Zukunftsinstitut)
Future purchasing decisions will be influenced by the sustainable delivery of goods. Furthermore, political stakeholders and society are increasingly advocating for increased climate friendliness. Simultaneously, changing consumer behavior is leading to increased parcel volumes and, as a result, higher logistics volumes. This is now frequently handled by larger vans equipped with powerful combustion engines. To solve the problem, the logistics chain, particularly the last mile, must be rethought and made environmentally and economically viable.
Last Mile Facts
order online because they find retail stores as crowded as public transportation during rush hour
of companies say they will no longer be able to offer free delivery if automation does not reduce delivery costs.
of satisfied customers would increase their purchases from their preferred retailer by 12 percent after a positive delivery experience.
of consumers rank a delivery service as a must-have for grocery shopping.
Are you also passionate about the last mile? Then get in touch with us. We look forward to discussing our ideas with you.
Denis Krist, Sales Manager