Physical products of any kind go on a long journey from their producers to purchasers, and last mile operations are a final and arguably vital stage of it. Over half of all shipping expenses fall on last mile logistics. In the meantime, online shopping is prospering, and its sales will only grow exponentially, so corporations need to fulfill high shipping standards that lie at the core of modern eCommerce.
More than that, customer expectations are constantly increasing: While before, 5–6 days were regarded as an acceptable shipping period, but the customers of today rely widely on same-day delivery.
All of that makes last mile delivery software development not only extremely valuable, but required. Dedicated digital platforms upgrade final mile logistics, resolving existing last-mile delivery challenges, and facilitating procedures at each stage, while giving you full control over your products’ journey, all the way from the storage facility to the recipient’s front door.
We’ll explore extensively the practical workings of the last mile delivery process, the great improvements that software can contribute, and how this aids enterprises in delivering flawless shipping services, thereby fostering customer commitment.
Last mile delivery logistics encompasses delivering an item from a storage facility to a buyer (either in B2B or B2C format) after a company receives an order. While several preceding stages lead up to the final mile delivery, it’s the latter that rightfully holds the title of being fundamental to the entire product journey.
This is a moment of direct contact between the buyers and the company – one of the rare ones when looking at how isolated and independent customers are in the age of internet shopping.
That is why the last mile delivery service is central to the company’s prestige, overshadowing any other aspect of the company’s services and products. In fact, 84% of customers would likely refuse to be a client after a bad delivery.
The potential success of final mile delivery puts at stake the whole experience of client-company relations and can cause irreversible brand damage, so it’s crucial to identify what makes this stage so challenging for most businesses.
When dealing with last mile operations, you can face the following difficulties:
- Increasing delivery expenses – Fuel expenses, labor costs, vehicle maintenance, changing routes, but also customer wishes may influence the final mile delivery cost. Almost half of online shoppers tend to abandon their cart if additional costs are required, which burdens businesses with even more expenses on delivery.
- Long delivery time – Customers count on precise delivery time frames. Meeting these requirements is often difficult, especially when faced with traffic, meteorological conditions, or other circumstances that cannot be pre-calculated. As already mentioned, late deliveries are disruptive to the customer experience.
- Counterproductive route building – Last-mile delivery route optimization can be confusing for different reasons, including unexpected roadblocks, jams, weather, etc. If the route is planned inefficiently, it leads to shipping delays and higher costs.
- Transparency needs – From once a highly appreciated bonus, last mile delivery tracking has turned into a requirement. Customers are actively seeking real-time updates on the current situation with the order, making delivery visibility another hurdle to overcome.
- Delivery failures – Lastly, even if final mile delivery is arranged flawlessly, it can fail due to unforeseen reasons. While it’s not feasible to predict every event that might impede prompt delivery, businesses should focus on mitigating the adverse impacts of factors like inaccurate addresses.
Last delivery management software helps firms systematize and conduct deliveries properly, avoiding or resolving most challenges associated with this procedure. Last mile transportation solutions are customizable, which means they can adjust to delivery procedures and cases of certain businesses. Most importantly, these apps can improve every aspect of final mile delivery, leaving no room for customer dissatisfaction.
Here are the main delivery aspects that can be improved through the utilization of a last mile logistics solution.
Route planning and navigation
It’s fair to claim that it’s impossible to build and control routes for all deliveries with human capacities only. Luckily, there are enough technologies that help to create the most efficient route to the end-customer, given his or her location, time of the day, traffic situation, etc.
Modern last mile delivery solutions give drivers an opportunity to promptly adapt to any on-road developments, whether it’s an unexpected roadblock or a change in the recipient’s address. Through the integration of last mile delivery technology, they can use a route that optimizes costs, time, and energy.
A huge part of last-mile delivery software aims to help customers keep track of their parcels. Drivers usually have GPS devices that continuously transmit the location of the delivery vehicle. Using a tracking link, buyers can see how far along their order is and how soon they will receive it.
This functionality significantly enhances the sense of trust and assurance for customers, as they are not kept in the dark, but rather have a sense of control. Furthermore, tracking is important for accountability during the delivery process but also enhances safety, as it helps prevent incidents of theft.
Contact with clients is an integral part of last mile delivery. In case of any changes in the delivery process or order destination, drivers and final recipients should be equally informed.
When it comes specifically to final mile delivery software, it provides opportunities to manage every facet of communication with buyers, as it can include the following:
- Notifications for order confirmation, informing customers about delivery times, updates, delays alerts, and successful confirmations.
- Communication channels that enable a driver to connect with a customer, such as his or her phone number, email, or any information provided by the buyer.
- Self-service options for rescheduling deliveries, providing delivery instructions, and changing delivery locations.
- Feedback collection in the form of automated prompts for the recipients to share their experiences.
Delivery efficiency & scalability
Last mile delivery software solutions aim to streamline the process of organizing deliveries. It automates such routine tasks as notifying recipients about updates on their orders, calculating delivery time frames, route optimization, and feedback collection.
This data helps delivery services allocate their resources more wisely, shortening idle time and maximizing resource utilization. This makes the overall productivity of final mile delivery skyrocket and facilitates future scalability.
Last mile delivery software collects a wealth of data during delivery: routes, driver behavior, customer choices, vehicle performance, order fulfillment rates, punctuality, fuel usage, and more.
Such information can be harnessed by enterprises to fine-tune their operations, enhance customer contentment, and make well-thought-out decisions. In particular, it can be applicable not only for estimating delivery performance but also for more practical aspects, such as market predictions and stock management.
Within the realm of the last mile delivery software market, some companies have effectively introduced their platforms and reaped the benefits of a streamlined delivery service.
If you want to get inspired for a successful project, these best last mile delivery service examples illustrate what it takes to become a global industry leader:
Tookan is a worldwide delivery management service provider that has been used by over 21 thousand companies of all scales.
Tookan offers final mile logistics systems for drivers, managers, and buyers. Delivery assigning and tracking is partly automated. Only the closest free drivers receive an order, and the routes are built with maximum efficiency, ensuring the swiftest delivery possible. In the manager app, it’s possible to receive orders, track drivers’ activity, and generate analytics based on collected data.
Finally, customers can see their orders coming live on a dedicated tracking platform. Moreover, apart from a last-mile delivery app for each party, Tookan offers additional features, such as ordering and payment platforms, as well as communication gateways.
One of the most popular last mile delivery software solutions, Onfleet has been assisting enterprises in delivery optimization since 2015.
Onfleet provides a simple and flexible platform for last mile delivery route optimization. The platform allows correcting the routes at any time without causing any harm to the end results. With a convenient filtering system, managers won’t get lost in hundreds of ongoing deliveries.
On top of that, Onfleet provides users with a secure communication platform for seamless interaction between all members of the delivery team. The app updates users about the current status of their orders through various channels, from notifications to a real-time tracking feature.
Bringg is among the most widely known last mile delivery platforms with over 15 million deliveries daily and such industry giants as Metro, McDonald’s, and Walmart in its client list.
The Bringg platform develops final mile logistics systems in line with the client’s individual needs. Powered by AI, it provides smart dispatching, automatically matching orders with an optimal driver and transport, as well as building perfect routes. Putting the accent on reaching the best final customer experience possible.
Bringg offers several options to satisfy customer expectations. Among them are self-scheduling which allows customers to select a suitable delivery time at checkouts, communication channels for connecting everyone engaged in the process, and a tracking feature.
Headquartered in the USA, LogiNext is represented in over 50 countries and covers several delivery branches, among them are e-commerce, food, retail, and express delivery.
LogiNext claims that its last mile delivery system can raise delivery productivity by over 20%. The company puts emphasis on its route planning and optimization service, which can be advantageous in terms of timely deliveries and cost-savings. The service allows allocating orders automatically and maintaining an excellent level of customer satisfaction through a tailored delivery approach.
On top of that, the LogiNext last mile delivery system provides users with comprehensive reports on delivery results with an opportunity to analyze it in contrast with earlier indicators.
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The best last mile delivery software guarantees that managers have a full overview of each step of the process, drivers can reach their destinations promptly, and end buyers receive their packages timely.
To fulfill all these requirements, a solid last-mile delivery app should include the following features:
- Route planning – Building optimal routes proceeding from the current traffic situation, weather, etc.
- Real-time tracking – The utilization of maps for informing users about their parcel’s location.
- Delivery scheduling – With this feature, customers can choose appropriate time slots, aligning with their availability and preferences.
- Notifications – Push notifications or SMS alerts that inform users about changes regarding the delivery status and estimated arrival times.
- Proof of delivery – This feature allows capturing electronic signatures, photos, or other forms of verification to confirm successful deliveries and mitigate disputes.
- Communication platforms – Chatbots and messaging systems assist users with inquiries, order changes, and issue resolution.
- Returns and exchanges – This feature allows easy returns and exchanges within the app, creating return labels and coordinating reverse logistics.
- Reviews and ratings – With this feature, you can rate delivery experiences and leave feedback, helping improve your service and accountability.
In order to provide excellent service, businesses should choose the latest developments while building final mile logistics systems. Luckily, if they hire a team of professional app developers, the latest technologies become available for them to be applied to their products.
Here are some of the current trends that shape last mile delivery software development that will be used in the following years.
By replacing traditional vehicles that use fossil fuels with electric alternatives, delivery companies can reduce emissions and operating costs. Their quiet operation and lower maintenance requirements make them an ideal choice for urban areas.
Robots and drones
Robotics and drones are often seen as a foundation of automated delivery. Drones offer rapid, point-to-point deliveries, particularly to remote or hard-to-reach locations. Additionally, they may be helpful in periods of skyrocketing demand, like on holidays.
In recent years, people had a chance to experience contactless delivery and now often give it priority. This safe type of delivery helps avoid physical interactions between personnel and recipients. Doorstep drop-offs and digital signatures guarantee both convenience and safety.
Such systems utilize GPS to accurately provide information about the location of packages. This transparency helps customers monitor their deliveries, reducing uncertainty and allowing them to plan accordingly. For delivery companies, smart tracking helps optimize routes and anticipate potential delays.
This technology provides a secure and convenient way to receive packages, especially in scenarios where recipients are absent at the moment of delivery. These lockers allow recipients to grab their parcels at an appropriate time, without rescheduling deliveries.
This technology is vital in optimizing last mile delivery logistics. It can predict delivery duration, dynamically adapt and customize routes and schedules. AI-powered chatbots have also become a regular part of customer support.
Internet of Things
The function of IoT is connecting various devices used in last mile delivery. Smart sensors help track environmental conditions, monitor package integrity, build better routes, and streamline overall operations.
Today, final mile delivery lies at the core of the business operation, and so is building a last mile delivery app. And it may be challenging, too. Yet, the result of this complex work lies in customer contentment and spotless brand prestige – and that is what most businesses are hunting for.
Eastern Peak can lead you through each stage of last mile delivery platform development, helping you create an optimal solution for your business. Reach out to our managers to learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is last mile delivery software?
Last mile delivery software is a kind of app or any other digital platform that accompanies delivery services at every stage, whether planning, following and tracking routes, or estimating the quality of delivery.
How does last mile delivery work?
First, a driver gets assigned to bring an item to its purchaser. Then they follow the pre-planned route that aims for the shortest delivery time possible. After getting the order, the client can assess the quality of the service through feedback. Each step can be assisted through software.
How much does it cost to develop a last mile delivery software?
The cost of last mile delivery platform development varies depending on the technology stack, the platform, the features, the complexity of the design, and other aspects. The ultimate expenses on last mile delivery app development are calculated at the discovery stage.
What are examples of last mile delivery?
Today, there are several successful projects in the last mile delivery software market. They provide their unique approaches to managing final mile delivery, aiding in different types of delivery, from retail to express deliveries. Tookan, Onfleet, Bringg, and LogiNext are the most well-known providers of last mile delivery software solutions.