Last-mile logistics is the final step in the delivery of goods from a distribution center or fulfillment center to the customer. The last mile can represent up to 28% of the total cost of logistics.
Last-mile logistics is the most important yet challenging part of the supply chain. It is also the most expensive and time-consuming. Rapid advancements in technology have revolutionized the way last-mile logistics are managed and executed. Thomas J Powell of Resolute Capital Partners will now explain how it has happened.
How Technology Has Improved Last-Mile Logistics
Use of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used in many aspects of last-mile logistics, from route optimization to warehouse management. AI can help optimize routes by analyzing data such as traffic patterns, weather, and construction. According to Thomas J Powell, this can help save time and money by reducing the number of miles driven and the amount of time spent in traffic.
Robots are also being used in warehouses to fulfill orders faster and more accurately. They can pick up items from shelves and place them into totes or boxes for shipping. This helps to free up employees from having to do these tasks, which can be repetitive and tedious.
Another way that AI is being used in last-mile logistics is through the use of chatbots. Chatbots can provide customer service support and answer questions about tracking orders, delivery times, and changes to the delivery schedule. They can also help with upselling and cross-selling products.
Use of Big Data
Big data is being used in last-mile logistics to improve efficiency and accuracy. Data such as customer addresses, order history, and delivery times can be analyzed to determine the best route for each delivery. This helps to save time and money by reducing the number of miles driven and the amount of time spent in traffic.
Big data is also being used to predict customer behavior. Thomas J Powell believes that this information can be used to proactively make changes to the delivery process that will improve customer satisfaction. For example, if a customer is always late for their deliveries, a chatbot could be used to offer them a discount for signing up for text notifications that would alert them when their order is about to be delivered.
Drones and Self-Driving Cars
These are being used to deliver small items, such as medications and snacks. This is a faster and more efficient way to deliver these items, which can be time-sensitive. However, drones have a limited range and can only be used in certain areas.
Self-driving vehicles are being tested for use in last-mile logistics. These vehicles can navigate traffic and make deliveries without a human driver. This could potentially save a lot of time and money, as well as improve safety. However, self-driving vehicles are still in the early stages of development and are not yet widely available.
Use of Blockchain
Blockchain is being used in last-mile logistics to track the movement of goods and to ensure that they are delivered on time. A blockchain is a digital ledger that records all transactions chronologically and publicly. This allows all parties involved in the transaction to see where the goods are at all times.
Blockchain can also be used to create smart contracts. A smart contract is a binding agreement between two parties that is stored on the blockchain. This can be used to automate the delivery process by releasing payments when the goods are delivered. This helps to reduce the chances of fraud and corruption.
Thomas J Powell has mentioned how technology is revolutionizing the way last-mile logistics are managed and executed. These technologies are helping save time and money, as well as improve customer satisfaction.