Blog > Last mile delivery
Blog > Last mile delivery
Published on 11 January 2022 • Reading time: 6 min read
After the pallets of masks delivered by airlift in 2020, the traffic jams in the Suez Canal have left their mark on the news in 2021. Logistics, which has been downgraded for a long time compared to other areas such as finance or marketing, has definitely demonstrated its strategic importance.
When it comes to assessments and forecasts, these 8 major trends are going to guide transport and logistics professionals in their decision-making.
Table of contents
The logistics industry is undergoing an in-depth transformation. There are a number of factors driving strategic decisions by transport professionals. These include driver loyalty, shorter delivery times, environmentally-friendly deliveries and the use of supply chain optimisation software.
No driver, no delivery ; no delivery, no turnover. Across Europe, many operations managers have made this bitter observation, forced to turn down contracts or postpone deadlines. Far from being limited to the UK, where Boris Johnson had to rush out visas by the thousands, the problem is now felt throughout Europe.
In France, for example, the Observatoire Prospectif du Transport et de la Logistique considers 60% of driver recruitment to be difficult. The percentage reaches 73% for heavy goods vehicle driver positions.
In upcoming years, logistics managers will continue to increase the number of initiatives to retain existing drivers and attract new ones:
Whether you like it or not, the 24-hour delivery included in the Amazon Prime subscription has profoundly changed customer expectations.
According to a study carried out by Havas for Paris Retail Week, almost 9 out of 10 consumers want faster delivery from e-tailers. The speed of delivery, which has become as important criterion of choice as promotions and low prices, will even “structure the commerce of tomorrow” according to this study.
In response, transport professionals are expected to meet these new requirements, but are unable to pass on all the additional costs associated with this ultra-rapidity. In order to successfully meet these increasingly tight deadlines, the trend is therefore more than ever towards optimising each part of the supply chain:
To achieve tangible results in transport optimisation, software solutions have become essential. For many supply chain actors, especially those involved in the last mile, it is now impossible to do without it. But they are far from being the only ones!
In a recent study, the investment bank GP Bullhound announced that the supply chain management software market will reach 20 billion dollars worldwide by 2022. Here are the examples of supply chain optimisation software :
In addition to the software solutions themselves, automation, robotics and artificial intelligence are becoming increasingly important at every stage of the supply chain:
At the same time, companies are organizing themselves to recruit the rare profiles able to efficiently manage these new logistics tools – and the data flows that go with them. The positions of logistics data analyst (dataminer) or sales and operation planner should soon be making their appearance in the organisation charts.
One of the trends that will drive the supply chain of the future is ultra-flexible return policies for all online operations, according to the study commissioned by Havas:
It is again pure players such as Amazon or Zalando that have initiated these very generous return policies, some of them even lax. These have become over time a powerful competitive advantage. But with return rates exceeding 10% for almost all e-tailers, reverse logistics is becoming a market in its own right!
Greenhouse gases linked to transport account for more than a quarter of polluting emissions in Europe. But, as we have already mentioned, customers are increasingly keen on ultra-fast home deliveries… and therefore very resource-consuming!
Faced with this suffocating paradox for the planet, pressure on transport companies is increasing from all sides:
Offering more environmentally friendly transport routes is precisely the objective of “green logistics”. However, contrary to popular belief, green logistics is not limited to the use of vehicles that are popular with the general public, such as bicycles or trucks powered by renewable energy. The optimisation of routes and vehicle filling thanks to artificial intelligence offers possibilities for reducing the carbon footprint, which may be less spectacular, but are just as effective!
In order to quickly cover this famous last mile without increasing costs or carbon footprint, urban logistics is another solution that is becoming increasingly popular. This logistics element, which is essential to meet the explosion in demand from consumers and e-retailers, can take various forms:
Shocked by the shortages linked to the COVID-19 crisis, some players are finally building scenarios for the relocation or regionalisation of critical parts in the supply chain. From the place of production to delivery to the final consumer, the aim is to reinvent a more robust and resilient supply chain in the event of a new crisis.
To solve this delicate relocation challenge without sacrificing (too much) profit, different solutions can be studied:
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