Globally, e-commerce is expected to grow at more than twice the rate as offline purchases. Americans have taken to digital purchases of groceries, shoes, pet food and other goods over the past decade.
While there is no doubt that the focus of these major shipping companies in the future is on the areas of digitalization, sustainability, last-mile delivery, and supply chain resilience, the appetite for speedy and seamless package delivery is skyrocketing around the planet.
Operational challenges faced by shipping companies include adjusting schedules, adding vessels, and addressing potential congestion and shortages.
Key problems in the Last-Mile Delivery
The last leg of the supply chain, covering the short distance between the distribution center and the final delivery point, which is either the customer’s doorstep or a designated delivery location, has some prominent issues. Few of them are:
Missed or Failed Deliveries
Dissatisfied customer experience
Solving last-mile delivery issues is a high priority for both shipping carriers and fulfillment companies.
Possible solutions by Amazon
Amazon aims to control every link in the supply chain, from sourcing the product to warehousing and now delivery to the doorstep. However, last mile delivery is vulnerable to theft, when packages are left unattended at doorsteps or in common areas.
A few solutions to address last mile tech challenges in the e-commerce space by Amazon are:
Optimizing Delivery Routes - By making use of advanced algorithms to minimize the time taken for deliveries and increasing efficiency, Amazon has optimized delivery routes.
Amazon Lockers - By introducing self-service kiosks in various locations, from where customers can collect packages at their own convenience from these secure pick-up points.
Amazon Flex - is an on-demand delivery service that allows independent contractors to use their own vehicles to deliver products directly from Amazon warehouses to a customer’s doorsteps to handle peak demand and expand its delivery capabilities.
Amazon Scout - is a totally electric robot created to carry packages right to customers’ doorsteps. However, it is yet to be tested for feasibility.
Amazon Prime Air- is yet another initiative where drones can potentially provide faster and more efficient delivery for small, lightweight packages over short distances.
Optimizing UPS last-mile Deliveries
One of the top delivery companies, UPS has optimized its services further to meet growing consumer demands. UPS provides real-time shipment tracking and optimized routes to ensure timely delivery and control costs, plus other key features and benefits.
UPS is able to automate the sorting process, reduce errors, increase efficiency and has turned to machine learning and AI to understand how it could tackle inefficiencies of its delivery network.
Alongside by using computer vision and machine learning algorithms, UPS is now trying to predict where exactly in the delivery system the delivery demand will be most prominent and see if AI can decide if packages can still be delivered on time with minimal human intervention.
Measures undertaken by FedEx.
FedEx has taken to technology solutions to optimize delivery routes and ensure shipments arrive as quickly as possible. FedEx also uses automated delivery systems, which can notify customers of package deliveries and provide delivery options.
Customers have greater flexibility and control over their deliveries, thanks to the facility of being able to redirect packages to a different address or pick up packages from a nearby location. This in turn has resulted in higher levels of customer satisfaction.
By making use of GPS tracking technology and automated sorting machines FedEx is able to monitor packages real-time. Alongside this major shipping company is also able to process packages quickly and accurately with the help of the latest technology and equipment.
With all said and done, FedEx and UPS still face challenges due to inefficient routes and missed deliveries.
An Effective Solution for Seamless Last-Mile Deliveries
It is also important for customers to not completely rely on shipping companies once they see the status as “Out for delivery” on a tracking platform. Proactive measures need to be undertaken by consumers to avoid hassles related package theft and missed deliveries.
Making use of package receiving and package acceptance services is one such solution to avoid packages stolen and deliveries missed. Having packages delivered to your doorsteps in your absence can be potential targets for porch pirates. It is something that can be avoided. However, it may not always be possible for package recipients to make themselves available at the front door during a scheduled delivery.
Instances of Amazon missing packages, UPS lost packages and Fedex stolen packages can be eluded by having your packages from not just these carriers, but from any other courier company delivered to package acceptance services, who receive packages on your behalf at locations closer to you by working as your secondary address.
Stowfly is a network of trusted shops and stores where you can deliver your online packages for rentals starting from $4. Package storage services by Stowfly accept and hold parcels in a safe and secure ambience until you wish to retrieve them.
More about the perks of availing package receiving services in this blog.