A driver sits in his truck on a delivery

The Last Mile: How to Keep the Supply Chain Streamlined to Delivery

Logistics professionals already know to stay vigilant until a shipment reaches the final destination, but as online shopping continues to rise and customer shipping expectations become more demanding, zeroing in on the “last mile” or final leg of the shipment to the customer’s doorstep, is more important than ever.

The final mile may seem like the finish, the end of a long supply chain, but in reality it can be the most challenging part of the shipment. Let’s put it into perspective: it accounts for around 28% of overall logistics costs. The majority of customers want fast, free shipping without any hiccups throughout the transaction. This, of course, is putting pressure on the transportation industry to work that magic and speed up the supply chain. 

Right about now, beads of sweat may be dotting your brow, but there’s no need to worry. Implementing a last mile strategy with smart moves proven to make an impact will streamline the final leg of your supply chain and reduce stress. 

Here’s how you can do it.

The rise of technology

We’ve already talked about the importance of technological advancements in the logistics industry, but are you utilizing it in your own supply chain? For the last mile of a delivery, it’s absolutely crucial to have the right tech that best aligns with your needs, and there is plenty to choose from. From software that sends customers shipment updates to software that recommends the best carrier for a particular load, adding software makes planning fast, easy and automated.

Communication is key

Staying in close contact with the customer keeps everyone involved on the same page, and as stated above, technology is the best way to do this. For example, let customers direct the delivery time by giving them the option to pick a shipping window on the checkout page of a website. That way, both you and the customer know what to expect and can prepare accordingly. As well, you can keep the customer up to date every step of the shipment with SMS or another tracking program. Not only does the customer have peace of mind knowing where their package is, but you receive less “where’s my shipment” customer calls. 

Don’t forget the EPOD

You need to complete the order fulfillment process with an electronic proof of delivery (EPOD). This confirms the delivery was made (generally with a photo, ID or signature).

The Last Mile: How to Keep the Supply Chain Streamlined to Delivery
Courtney L.
February 27, 2020

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