E-Commerce has boomed and we are increasingly dependent on last mile delivery. It is more important than ever for receiving virtually any product. The increase in this demand has resulted in a rise in competition in the sector along with growing consumer expectations.
So which tech trends are leading last mile delivery carriers adopting to stand out in a competitive market?
1. Mobile Data Capture and “BYOD”
Utilizing a smart device to scan data such as barcodes, IDs and serial numbers is one of the most affordable and simplest optimizations last mile delivery companies can make. This type of tech can be easily integrated into everyday delivery processes. Each member of the workforce has his or her own device, minimizing complications and speeding up activities. This makes it easy to scan and go.
The utilization of smart devices can also enable augmented reality. This allows for the data about any package or parcel or the delivery of it to become accessible to anyone who needs it. It can also be overlaid directly on the device screen to make that data easily accessible.
2. Augmented Reality
Deliveries are often hampered by inefficiencies, especially when it comes to unloading vans. These delivery vehicles are piled high with hundreds of boxes, and finding the right one is frustrating and time consuming. AR is working to improve this. Utilizing this technology on a standard smartphone, drivers can locate the package they need with a simple overlay indicating the correct box. By detecting the barcode of the delivery, the AR interface indicates in seconds which package the driver should choose.
Blockchain is a type of ledger that opens the door for transparency and creates opportunities for better security. It adds in speed to ensure transactional data is properly managed and maintained even in the most complicated of last mile delivery processes. With blockchain, it’s possible to better track shipping, contracts, and payment process, among other key data points.
Drones delivery is a dream of many, and of all the tech trends it is certainly the most eye-catching? In theory, they could provide a clear benefit – there’s no road, fuel expense, or driver to slow things down (or increase costs). However, a huge influx of drones into urban spaces could lead to increasing legal and regulatory scrutiny if they are viewed as a nuisance or a security risk. However, it’s likely that drones will be one of the best low cost methods for delivery, especially in rural areas.
5. AI and Machine Learning
Last mile delivery is notoriously inefficient, but both AI and machine learning promise to change that through route optimization. Utilizing GPS tracking and driver communication, these technological solutions can recommend route changes day-by-day and even minute-by-minute. This creates vital time savings, ensuring the best cost per stop, reducing fuel costs, and eliminating the empty run. That ensures each one of a company’s valuable drivers is making the most of their capacity and achieving optimum results.