In a world increasingly obsessed with e-commerce and highly dependent on seamless logistics, it’s imperative to solve the last mile delivery problem.
It’s the trickiest and costliest part of logistics: the last mile of delivery. It consumes as much as 53% of total shipping costs and causes problems for even the world’s largest brands. In a world increasingly obsessed with e-commerce and highly dependent on seamless logistics, however, solving the last mile delivery problem is imperative for any company in the space.
We can point to multiple reasons this last leg of the process is so challenging, from driver shortages to supply chain complexity. But the biggest hurdle is simply that the industry has traditionally followed behind shipments, rather than tracking them in real time. This lag time sets up every response as a reactive one. Instead of addressing issues right away or even anticipating them in advance, workers have only been able to respond to problems after the fact.
The last mile is where all the moving parts come together: Shippers, receivers, and other stakeholders need current and constantly updated data to make smart decisions, anticipate problems, prevent delays, and smooth out the last mile delivery problem.
Harnessing the Power of Real-Time Data
Perfecting last mile delivery requires full situational awareness — meaning that everyone along the supply chain must not only have access to real-time data, but also be able to understand it in the context of how it impacts operations overall. This requires collaboration around shared data. Technologies that can bring disparate information from various sources into one place for easy sharability can make that happen.
Coolfire Core is collaboration software designed to gather mission-specific information in real time for the appropriate users in full context. For instance, Core provides logistics managers quick access to all necessary information for a pending delivery — including available drivers, real-time truck locations, client-mandated workflow, compliance forms, and past reporting — without the user having to make phone calls or send emails to collect this information manually. Core then provides updates in real time so every stakeholder along the supply chain can know immediately how new information impacts tasks down the line.
In our example, the logistics manager will open a Session within Core, which is shared with all stakeholders. A logistics Session will likely include a map of a truck’s delivery route. In addition to showing the driver how to get from point A to point B, it can also update the route based on weather events or traffic conditions.
Other users in the Session can then see that the truck has been rerouted and whether that reroute has impacted delivery times. Core also uses geofencing technology, which can detect whether a truck leaves an area managed by one team and enters into another. When that happens, Core will automatically hand off the task to the new team.
Technology that gives drivers, third-party logistics companies, fleet operators, customers, and any other parties along the supply chain full situational awareness informed by real-time data is the key to solving the last mile delivery problem. Equipping workers with current and constant updates enables them to make better-informed decisions, act proactively, and boost productivity. That can go a long way toward smooth and efficient delivery.
Want more information? Download our “Last Mile Logistics” use case here.