5 Common Last-Mile Delivery Shipper Challenges and Solutions

EMERYVILLE, CA, Nov 4, 2021 – Last-mile delivery service provider AxleHire has put together a list of five common last-mile delivery challenges that retailers often face when trying to keep up with ever-growing consumers’ demands for fast and reliable shipping. A growing concern for environmental impact and sustainability combined with increased expectations for same-/next-day shipping and live communication updates about orders is driving shippers to rethink their last-mile delivery strategies, especially during peak season. With so many options for online shopping, on-time, reliable deliveries play a considerable role in maintaining customer loyalty.

Challenge #1: Integrating Technology
Upgrading a last-mile strategy, whether adding a new route or a new carrier, is not easy because a shipper must integrate systems with a carrier to enable communication.

Solution: Carriers who provide a rich suite of APIs to enable information exchange between one system and another are key to a seamless and successful integration. In addition, evaluating and integrating all technology, including a shipper’s current transportation management system, customer relationship management software, and enterprise resource planning software, is critical.

Challenge #2: Attracting and Retaining Drivers
The pandemic has exacerbated the labor shortage, resulting in additional challenges attracting and retaining “gig economy” contractors. As a result, the competition for delivery drivers is fierce, with a finite pool of reliable drivers available.
Solution: Like regular employees, contract drivers crave flexibility, competitive pay, and an easy way to get their jobs done efficiently. They also want to do something more meaningful than just work for a paycheck. In addition to paying drivers higher wages, a delivery platform that can enable dynamic batching to optimize delivery routes provides drivers with a more reliable, consistent schedule (rather than just giving them point-to-point deliveries). Though perhaps not obvious, it can go a long way in attracting and retaining talent by being up front about your company’s mission and vision and sharing the pain points you are solving in the industry.

Challenge #3. Operations
The common challenge of adding a new carrier to the mix can cause even the most well run company’s logistics to go haywire. Cost, on-time delivery, carrier specialization (like cold-chain or pharmaceutical) can become challenges when choosing a new carrier.

Solution: Evaluating last-mile needs upfront, involving all parties impacted, and doing the proper research will help guarantee that your new carrier or route will be part of the solution and not the problem. Once you have added the new route or carrier, it is critical to be completely transparent and to share your company’s current and forecasted package volume forecast, regional growth plans, customer expectations, and anticipated changes. Taking the proper steps to ensure a solid initial kick-off can help with long-term success.

Challenge #4: Communications
Consumers do not want to wait around for their packages and want to know when their packages are on the way to their homes. Giving consumers transparency into the status of their packages in real-time, like seeing where a truck is en route, can make or break their last-mile delivery experience. It sounds simple enough, but there is no way to provide real-time tracking and communications for most legacy shippers.

Solution: Choose a tech-forward last-mile delivery partner who can ensure that customer communication is seamlessly integrated into a company’s website or app to provide real-time updates and communication during the delivery process.

Challenge #5. Sustainability
Humans’ impact on the environment is increasingly driving consumers to care about sustainable deliveries. Deloitte’s 2020 Holiday Survey found that 71% of consumers prefer to shop at retailers who adopt sustainable practices. In addition, IBM reports that 57% of consumers are willing to change buying habits to reduce their environmental impact. However, consumers still want their packages delivered as quickly as possible.

Solution: Utilizing a delivery provider who is taking the necessary steps to reduce unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions. Finding a new sustainable shipper should not be difficult if you ask your new carrier to employ electric vehicles, robots, remote-controlled and autonomous vehicles, or sustainable practices, like dynamic batching — all of these help create a greener supply chain.

With no sign the growth of e-commerce is slowing down any time soon, today’s companies need to look to the future and choose a carrier that can provide delivery solutions that will benefit their consumers’ delivery demands today and for the future.

About AxleHire
AxleHire combines innovative technology and superior logistics to deliver cost-effective, reliable same- and next-day delivery services to industry leaders such as HelloFresh, Deliverr, Freshly, Pet Food Express, and more. AxleHire was purpose-built to support companies whose businesses rely on trusted and consistent delivery services to get their customers what they need when they need it. AxleHire has multiple locations in cities across the U.S., enabling high-volume shippers to cater to the needs and growing expectations of their customers.

For more information about AxleHire, please visit axlehire.com.