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What to Look for in a Last-Mile Delivery Partner

In a time where there is a rise in online shopping trends, there has been a greater demand for businesses to meet the high demand. Companies are also facing greater competition, so businesses must find a last-mile delivery partner that will meet customer expectations.

Last-mile delivery benefits

  1. Route optimisation
    During the delivery process, many disruptions can occur, such as bad weather and sudden route disruptions that can slow down deliveries. However, last-mile delivery software is equipped to provide real-time data sent to drivers about traffic jams or bad weather with alternative routes that are more efficient.
  2. Flexible deliveries
    Customers are always looking for flexible delivery options to accommodate their schedules and needs, and with last-mile delivery, it is possible to offer each customer different delivery options. Customers will not only be able to choose a convenient delivery time, but they will also be able to change the time or location of their deliveries.
  3. Streamlined delivery process
    Last-mile delivery solutions enable you to automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks in the delivery process, which assists you in saving resources, costs and time. There will also be fewer human errors in the delivery process by eliminating manual tracking methods.

What to look for in a last-mile delivery partner

The delivery strategy that companies have in place significantly influences their image. Companies have been facing higher expectations from customers as they expect faster deliveries and failing to meet these expectations will lead to them switching to competitors. Therefore, logistics and supply chain companies must choose a good partner that will assist them in optimising the customer’s journey. We will look at some of the factors you should look for when selecting a last-mile delivery partner.

  1. Reliability
    Using a last-mile delivery partner means that you are handing off the most important part of the customer’s journey to someone, which is why it is crucial to ensure that they are reliable. You must choose a last-mile partner who prioritises efficiency and looks for the fastest ways to ensure deliveries reach their intended destinations. This will lead to customer satisfaction. The success of the partner you choose will also reflect directly on the success of your own brand.
  2. Technology
    Technology solutions are an essential part of last-mile logistics as technology assists in making the delivery process more efficient. During the delivery process, customers require real-time updates about the location of their packages. Therefore, when choosing a last-mile delivery partner, ensure that they use advanced technology to integrate their systems with yours. Ensuring that the partner you choose can integrate their systems with yours is crucial as it means that the last-mile partner will give you and your customers visibility.
  3. Flexibility
    Depending on your business, your last-mile delivery partner should be as flexible as you are when it comes to deliveries. Flexibility is critical for companies who might handle groceries or medication that require extra urgency, as, in some instances, customers might want to receive their order within 60 minutes. Therefore, the partner you choose should have the capacity to handle both ‘normal’ and urgent deliveries.
  4. Rates
    Last-mile delivery may be the shortest part of the journey of the product. However, it is also the most expensive part of the supply chain as research indicates that, on average last-mile costs account for 41% of the total supply chain costs. Therefore, you must choose a last-mile delivery partner who will assist in shrinking these costs. Using a last-mile partner may reduce some expenses you may have to deal with as they take on the overhead of resources, labour, fuel and other logistics requirements. So, when choosing a last-mile delivery partner, ensure that they not only charge reasonable rates but are also transparent about all the costs involved so that you do not incur any hidden fees.
  5. Customer service
    Ideally, the last-mile partner you choose should have a team that will handle technical and other questions that customers may have. The only point of contact you will have with customers is when they receive their packages. Therefore, your last-mile partner must be fast and agile. Suppose any issues were to occur in the delivery process. In that case, your last-mile partner should be able to resolve these issues efficiently and quickly so the end customer is satisfied with your business.
  6. Returns management
    The reality is roughly 18% to 40% of online orders will be returned by customers who place online orders. Therefore, the returns process is also an important aspect, and your last-mile partner must have the capacity to handle this complex process. They should smoothly manage the returns process while ensuring that customers are satisfied.

Conclusion

When it comes to last-mile delivery, you must choose a partner that assists in streamlining and reducing costs. Above are some things that you should look out for to ensure that they can meet all your needs.