Fuelled by the change in shopping trends, the substantial increase in online purchases post lockdown, has resulted in a massive growth of the already soaring e-commerce sector. As every day more and more businesses go online, last-mile companies rush to fulfil the increasing number of deliveries.
While many retailers and CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) companies provide the same products, they need a distinguishing factor to stand out. The most appealing factor for a consumer nowadays is fast, reliable delivery services.
Recent trends in last-mile logistics like same-day delivery services, package transparency, and real-time package tracking are revolutionizing the e-commerce sector. For last-mile companies to make the delivery process seamless and maximize profit, they have to look beyond the conventional norms and start innovating. While every company is looking for a perfect solution to their last-mile problems. A few alternatives to conventional last-mile deliveries are given below.
Automated Parcel Lockers:
The online shopping boom all around the world has caused parcel lockers to grow in popularity. Nowadays it feels like they are slowly becoming a necessity. An automated parcel locker is a very safe solution to the last-mile problem. Automated parcel lockers can be made available in almost any building, from university campuses to retail stores. These lockers can be customized to store a various range of products from groceries, parcel packages, meal kits, to alcoholic beverages, and medications…
Once the package is delivered to one of these lockers it gives us the freedom to pick up the package at our desired time. With provisions to set up indoors or outdoors coupled with the security of electronic lockers, one need not worry about parcel misplacement or theft. The package is placed safely and securely in the parcel locker by a delivery agent who has a special access code. Once the package is placed, the recipient is notified of the same. The package can stay safely in the parcel locker until the recipient retrieves it.
Electric Two-wheeler deliveries:
With time being a crucial aspect in last-mile logistics, companies must carefully study their area of operations and organize their delivery fleet accordingly. Heavy traffic in urban areas and narrow roads in congested localities all hamper the delivery efficiency of packages. In these scenarios, electric scooters prove to be an important asset that every last-mile company can make use of. With sufficient payload capacity and the ability to easily navigate throughout congested roads. In a way, electric scooter deliveries are very similar to conventional two-wheeler deliveries. However, the fact that the carbon emissions of electric scooters are close to zero makes a very big difference. Many companies hesitate to adopt the electric scooter model because they fear it would hamper their profits. There are however several successful examples of electric last-mile delivery companies around. One of them is Zypp Electric. An electric last-mile delivery service provider based in Delhi, India. Zypp electric is a last-mile company based almost entirely on the electric two-wheeler delivery model.
Drone or Droid deliveries:
The use of Drones/Droids in last-mile deliveries are a breakthrough. Delivery drones are autonomous Ariel vehicles that are designed to deliver packages to designated areas with minimal human intervention. This revolutionary technology nullifies almost all the major challenges faced by conventional delivery services. From reduced delivery time to zero carbon emissions, drone delivery is something that can very well change the entire market. The major problem with this is that right now the idea of drone delivery is quite new. It requires a lot of research and development if companies want to turn this revolutionary idea into an evergreen reality. E-commerce giant Amazon is leading this sector with its Prima Air services, which will deliver products within 30 minutes. However, this project is way under development right now.
E-commerce growth is dependent on last-mile companies, which in turn is dependent on customer satisfaction. With an omnichannel order fulfilment system for last-mile operations, retailers and e-commerce giants can provide the customers with a wide choice of customizable delivery options. These options can be viable and cost-efficient. While alternatives like drone delivery may be way under development right now. The idea of delivering products on electric scooters is very well known around the world. With fleets and fleets of electric scooters, ready for deployment.