E-commerce trading more and more gets popular in modern circumstances triggering a fast growth of on-demand delivery services and making the last mile transportation niche boom. Logistics business runners currently meet new challenges and turn to custom last mile delivery software development to keep their companies relevant and cost-effective.
In this post, OpenGeeksLab is going to tackle last mile transportation software development, current market trends, and niche renowned leaders. What’s more, we will unlock challenges associated with last mile logistics, benefits a business runner gets after last mile software implementing, issues to mind while last mile delivery app development, and its must-have features.
What Do We Understand Under ‘Last Mile Delivery’?
‘Last mile delivery‘ is a term usually applied to the process of transporting things from the distribution center to the customer’s door. Last mile transportation stands as the final step in the delivery chain, being though time- and labor-consuming. Its coverage may vary from short distances (a few blocks within the city) to long ones (up to 100 miles to distant rural areas).
Last mile logistics has a significant role in assuring a positive user experience in ordering things via the Internet. Its key objectives include not only delivering packages safe and sound but also meeting customer expectations concerning delivery time and additional services.
Current Last Mile Transportation Market State
Last mile delivery services have already taken a strong position on the modern e-commerce market and showcase a distinct tendency to expand in the nearest future. In 2019, the last mile transportation market amounted to $3,020 billion, and it is forecasted to grow up to $5,403 billion by 2025. According to researchers, the predicted CAGR for this period will constitute 10.5%.
Niche giants like UPS (United Parcel Service of America), FedEx Corporation, XPO Logistics, DHL International, Schneider National, ArcBest Corporation, SEKO Logistics, and others have long occupied dominant positions, providing their services almost all around the globe. Despite the abundance of ready-made solutions presented by market leaders, there is no unified transportation standard, and you can always find free place for the unique last mile delivery app suiting your peculiar business case.
However, entering the last mile transportation niche, a business runner should be ready to meet and overcome a range of common challenges.
Challenges to Overcome While Dealing with Last Mile Delivery Services
While custom last mile delivery platform development, you may run into the following niche challenges:
1. Delivery Process Flexibility
Constantly changing customer service standards lay a firm basis for success in the delivery sphere, though keeping up with user expectations is a real challenge for transportation companies. Ordering now last mile delivery services people actually mean the delivery being not only fast but flexible as well. The customers expect deliverers to provide so-called ‘intended experience’, which turns out problematic to keep cost-effective for companies themselves.
2. Customer-Delivery Person Interaction
Ensuring proper interaction between customers and couriers stands among the most frequent problems delivery companies meet. Customers may be absent at the destination place or out of reach when it is vital, so you must care about providing several communication channels between a receiver and a deliverer.
3. Delivery Optimization
Delivery optimization always appeared challenging for last mile transportation businesses. You must constantly adjust your delivery routes to circumstances and be ready for unexpected situations like traffic jams or vehicle troubles.
4. Skilled Unpacking & Installation
Proficient unpacking and installation are becoming more and more popular among customers. Buying bulky or prefabricated things people usually expect to receive them ready-to-use. In fact, many items are kept and transported disassembled to avoid damages and optimize spare space. Thus, customers expect unpacking, assembly, and installation included in the delivery itself making it another challenge for a last mile transportation company.
However, a business runner can easily overcome all challenges listed above, deploying the last mile transportation technology.
What is a Last Mile Delivery Software?
Under ‘last mile delivery software’ we commonly mean a system implemented to ensure easy delivery process management. It provides diverse opportunities to optimize and improve your transportation services via delivery route optimization, analytical dashboards, tracking, advanced dispatching.
Last mile delivery logistics solutions are usually applied by delivery businesses or company departments occupied with delivery routine management. A properly-developed custom delivery system helps to make business more cost-effective and improve its image.
Adopting last mile transportation technology for their company, a business runner also gets a wide range of other benefits.
Main Advantages Last Mile Transportation Solutions Bring to Your Business
Last mile fulfillment promises diverse advantages to your business, the main of them being:
1. Adaptive Delivery Process
Adopting last mile software for your business, you eliminate troubles connected to adjusting up to the client’s requirements. Modern customers tend to request delivery terms updates (changing delivery time or destination place) even after the package was sent. With a last mile delivery app, you should not care about informing drivers, rearranging routes, optimizing vehicle resources, as the system does it by itself, making transportation smooth and flexible.
2. Increased Productivity
Last mile transportation system implementation significantly improves overall productivity. It automates routine time-consuming processes, redirecting human labor on more complicated tasks. It also helps in building optimized delivery routes allowing to expand the average number of deliveries per day.
3. Boosted Profitability
As productivity is boosted, profits grow as well. Improved delivery services constantly attract new customers improving the company’s image and bringing additional profits. Besides, with automation and working labor redirection, operational costs significantly decrease, making a company even more cost-effective.
4. Optimized Transportation Process
Last mile delivery technology improves the transportation process rearranging repetitive operations into more productive sequences, thus reducing the time and effort needed for vehicle loading and shipping. Besides, optimization eliminates idling and delays offering the most productive transportation strategy in your business case.
However, getting all these benefits is impossible without proper last mile transportation niche research and KPI analysis.
Basic Issues You Must Consider Before Last Mile Software Development
Before starting delivery software development, business runners should consult niche experts and consider key points of interest to get a realistic view of their own competitive chances. The essential issues include:
1. Business & Market Analysis
Every successful project starts with conducting profound business analysis and market research. Exploring the current market state, global/local leaders, trends, and tendencies, a business runner gets the necessary background knowledge for designing their own productive business strategy. Business analysis, in turn, helps in detecting all possible strengths and weaknesses of the current project plan and improving it before getting into pitfalls at first hand.
2. Legal Compliance
Working with last mile transportation a business runner should not forget about keeping up with local laws and regulations. The legal system varies from country to country and often even from state to state, so one should be careful with local differences if they run business in more than one location. Legal compliance may be applied either manually (for small companies) or settled within last mile logistics software (for enterprises).
3. Efficient Tracking System
Applying an effective tracking technology is of prior importance, as it improves the overall last mile logistics management process and makes it more transparent, significantly reducing the possibility of package damage or theft. Regular tracking models include checkpoint updates, tracking via bar codes, RFID (radio-frequency identification), GPS tracking. GPS trackers are considered to be most precise and reliable, though if you have limited costs, tracking throughout checkpoint may become a cost-effective substitute.
4. User Data Protection
Data security stands among important issues you must care about before developing your own last mile delivery system. Take into consideration the latest cybersecurity guidelines and standards to assure user data being well protected. Offer several authentication models for your clients: entering the system via login/phone number & password, biometry (fingerprint, face or voice ID), or Google/Facebook/other social media account.
5. Reliable Software Vendor
Partnering with a reliable transportation software vendor ensures half of your app’s success, so be attentive while choosing a development team for future cooperation. Mind the company’s previous experiences, look through case studies, and do not feel shy to ask a representative for additional information if you have any concerns.
OpenGeeksLab has expertise in logistics software development. Our team has developed Shift — the last mile delivery app for diverse loads in the UK. It supports the transportation process from planning and packing to loading and delivery because of an elaborated payment, tracking, and feedback system.
Pay special attention to the feature set you are going to implement in your solution, as it greatly affects the essential properties of the final product.
Essential Features to Include into Your Last Mile Transportation Solution
Common feature set for an end-to-end last mile transportation solution includes:
1. Delivery Route Optimization
Implement a delivery route optimization feature (possibly with GPS navigation) enabling your drivers to easily orient and rebuild the routes in cases of emergency (vehicle crash, traffic jams), or on customer request.
2. Automated Order Processing
Automated dispatching simplifies and accelerates user order processing, assigning correspondent tasks to drivers at once as they received with no additional employee needed.
3. Delivery Verification
Delivery verification ensures additional security level, so deliver persons send or require proof of package being received in proper condition on time. It may be implemented via signature proof, photo/video report, bar code verification, and more.
4. Delivery Status Updates
Regular delivery status updates help customers stay tuned about their orders. Commonly the last mile delivery platform automatically changes order status according to several checkpoints (packed, on way, delivered) though users can also request the information about packages’ current location if needed.
An efficient tracking allows getting accurate data on driver current location and status to improve vehicle management and distribution.
6. Analytical Dashboard
An advanced analytical dashboard is vital while developing a delivery app, as it serves as the main tool for overall company management and improvement. Analytical dashboard usually includes such metrics as success rate, on-time rate, average distance/common locations, feedback score, service time which may be sorted according to date, service type, employees engaged, and other options.
7. Real-time Reports
Real-time reporting ensures workers always stay informed about current events that optimize overall workflow and reduce monotonous routine. What’s more, automated reporting makes working procedures more visible and transparent.
Build an End-To-End Last Mile Transportation Solution with Our Team
Last mile transportation remains one of the most important delivery processes. Ensure you use a proper last mile delivery system to keep your business competitive and cost-effective.
The market is full of appealing offers, though going for custom logistics software development guarantees a higher level of compatibility and alignment with your peculiar business goals.
Contact our team to build a custom transportation solution that will perfectly fit your specific business needs and objectives. We have all necessary tools at hand for developing custom last mile delivery software solutions that will meet your boldest expectations. If you still hesitate or want to get additional information concerning last mile logistics, make a 15-min appointment with our experts to clarify dubious issues together.