In the recent article titled “Five Digital Tech Trends That are Impacting the Freight Shipping Industry”, we explored how last mile logistics contributed to the technology seen in the freight shipping industry today. It is extremely important for freight shipping companies to stay up to date with these trends. This will allow for a better process for getting the deliveries to the customers and consumers much quicker, cheaper, and efficiently.

As consumer demands and expectation rises, 1/4 of consumers are now willing to pay extra for same-day delivery. With the e-commerce market contributing to these consumer behaviors (everyone wants their bought items much quicker), they are seen to be the driving force behind the sudden spike in last mile logistics. To be competitive in this aspect, freight forwarding and shipping companies will need to understand the 7 current trends that are impacting last mile logistics right now.

Insourcing within the Organization for Immediate Local Deliveries

The sudden spike that the industry has seen in last-mile logistics has influenced more shippers to look for delivery options within their own companies. Shippers are using their own trucks for immediate local deliveries. However, not every shipping company have more than 6 trucks, so outsourcing is still their only option. As we move forward, we can expect more companies to own their own trucking team.


Influence of Supply Chain Disruptors

One of the biggest concerns of supply chain disruptors points at the idea of ‘Uberization of Trucking”. Much like how the rideshare app, Uber, works, the idea is to allow individuals to pick up delivery orders and drop them off at the delivery point. Amazon is currently in works with developing an app for their own company to enhance their last mile logistics game.


Reduction in Costs with Information and Analytics

With information readily available from today’s technologies, it has become much easier to analyze the data to reduce costs where possible. These analytics allow for the isolation of the different costs from the shipment process. As a result, overall costs of last mile delivery can be pushed to infinitesimal limits, encouraging consumers to select the same-delivery and next-day shipping options.


Related: Major Advanced Tech Trends Affecting the Logistics Industry 


Drivers Become The Merchants

With the internet being an integral part of the buying journey, up to 65% of all purchases use the internet one way or another. Research remains to be the reason why the internet is often used, but when it comes to purchasing the item, there is a higher conversion when the information and product are put in front of the consumer. The roles of drivers will evolve as faster, better technology, such as driverless trucks, becomes a staple in this industry. Drivers will, in turn, become merchants, selling their products and goods from trucks. Although there are issues such as:

  • Who is responsible if the products are not paid for?
  • What is the return policy?
  • How do interstate or international laws apply?
  • How will the driver process payments?


Faster Fulfillment from Consumer Buying Behaviors

The millennials of our generation have become more willing to spend extra for same-day deliveries. On top of that, shipments that used to require no more than one hour process times are now being forced into a three-minute interval. This has influenced the changing of the fulfillment timetables. Consumers want their goods fast, requiring shippers to work at a much faster pace.


Autonomous Truck, Drone, and Robotic Deliveries

Self-driving vehicles will impact last mile logistics by providing a substantial amount of assistance to last mile delivery. Rather than waiting on the availability of human drivers, shippers can load up the shipment, put in the delivery address and let the automated systems do their jobs. Autonomous trucking will further streamline the freight shipping process, allowing for manufacturers to get their products out as soon as they’re ready, regardless of time and date.

This will be a much more reliable option for same-day delivery in both rural and urban areas.

last mile logistics robotic delivery

Robotic delivery will play a huge role in assisting to last mile delivery.


Related: Expedited Shipping Trends Impacting Shippers in 2017


Integration with Smart Technology for Tracking

By using the Internet of Things (IoT), shipments can be easily tracked and surveyed. Both consumers and shippers can receive updates real time, allowing for the consumers to know exactly when they are getting their goods. Notifications can be set to the receiver can get the news exactly when their items are coming.

last mile logistics smart tech

Consumers can now track and get precise delivery time.


Shippers are now in need of applying these seven trends to their freight company. With these exciting trends happening, it is up to the shippers to leverage these levels of technology for their own use. Failure to do so and they may lose their competitive advantage, especially against the likes of Amazon, Walmart, and Target. What would you like to see shippers integrate into their last-mile logistics strategy? How important is same-day delivery to you?


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