Last Mile

The "last mile" represents 30% of a delivery's total cost, and it's difficult to navigate. From rural locations to short distances, last mile delivery is a problem faced by all transportation companies. Here are some companies to watch in this space. These companies are creating innovative solutions for last mile delivery. But can they compete with existing companies? Read on to find out! Weigh your options before deciding on a last mile solution.


Flowspace offers an integrated platform that allows for inventory management, replenishment management, and real-time visibility across the entire fulfillment process. Its comprehensive solution can help brands address the increasing demands of online shoppers for product and service delivery. The Flowspace platform allows brands to easily manage their fulfillment operations and minimize shipping costs. The company's +130 fulfillment centers deliver products closest to customers and improve the post-purchase experience. To learn more about the benefits of Flowspace, download their free white paper today!

With a third-party logistics provider, Flowspace offers granular shipment tracking and visibility. Its technology also allows merchants to only pay for space that they need. Pricing options range from per square foot to per pallet. The Flowspace last mile solution is available in every consumer market, and the company's inventory management software makes it easy to manage and track inventory. A subscription-based model allows businesses to access inventory at a fraction of the cost of managing inventory on their own.


As the costs of mail delivery continue to rise, the U.S. Postal Service has looked for innovative solutions to cut costs. The organization has lost $69 billion over the past decade, and its costs have risen to $21.1 billion in fiscal 2018.

With the rise of ecommerce, large retailers are seeking new ways to deliver directly to consumers, while delivery giants have begun to compete for last-mile deliveries. Some are already testing autonomous drones and ground vehicles to provide this service. As last-mile delivery represents 50% or more of the total cost of parcel delivery, the companies are focusing on this area as a competitive advantage. As a result, the USPS faces major challenges.

Niche market carriers

Niche market carriers are companies that specialize in the last mile delivery of items that can't fit on pallets. This service is a growing trend as a cost-effective means for retailers to get items to their customers. Less-than-truckload carriers stop at distribution centers and backrooms to pick up and deliver smaller pallet orders. These carriers make on average 2 million deliveries each year. There are a number of ways to improve this service.

The last mile delivery process is inherently inefficient. Unlike LTL, last-mile delivery routes are usually based on specific addresses, which means that drivers need to plan their routes around each address. The result can be a delay in delivery, especially in busy cities. In rural areas, however, the address locations are spread out, and there is less traffic. In addition, last-mile carriers generally make empty trips back to their base, which is a waste of fuel.

Technology companies

As consumers become increasingly demanding when it comes to expedited delivery times, technology companies are emerging to provide the solutions that make this process more efficient. The last mile of the product delivery chain accounts for 53% of the total delivery cost. Technology companies are developing last mile solutions that improve efficiency and lower costs while improving customer service and experience. Here are some of the most exciting opportunities for last mile technology. Here are three:

First, last mile technology improves communication. With telematics and other forms of technology, the driver and customer can communicate better and more efficiently. In e-commerce, for example, this technology allows for real-time driver tracking. Moreover, automatic status updates let customers know how their packages are faring. They also reduce the number of package damage and theft. This makes last mile technology a highly sought-after solution in the industry.

Robots and drones

While traditional delivery methods provide customers with an approximate 15 to 20-minute delivery window, robots and drones offer a more detailed timeline. In addition, autonomous vehicles can double as mobile lockers, making them ideal for multiple drone deliveries. Furthermore, more drones could be deployed, meaning more deliveries in remote areas. But, even in cities, robots and drones are still years away from meeting mass demand.

A growing number of companies are working on aerial drones for the delivery of goods. These robotic devices include personal assistant delivery robots, mini-vehicles, and autonomous aerial vehicles. Although these robots still need human operators, the industry is moving toward fully autonomous versions. By 2025, McKinsey estimates that autonomous vehicles will deliver eighty percent of the world's goods. In the meantime, drones and robots will be the new norm for the last mile.

Exception management

Exception management for the last mile (DEM) is a powerful solution that combines customer experience and logistics capabilities to help retailers control last-mile delivery and boost customer satisfaction. Today, 12% of shipments encounter issues. As eCommerce grows, this number is bound to rise. In fact, eighty percent of customers will never purchase from the same store again after a bad delivery experience. And with most legacy systems lacking reverse logistics functionality, it's almost impossible to keep up.

Exception management for the last mile can help retailers avoid costly rework and increase customer satisfaction by identifying and resolving issues early. Exception recovery software can help retailers track and communicate with carriers to resolve issues before they become a customer-facing nightmare. Exception recovery solutions can also be used by brand companies to improve collaboration with carriers. Ultimately, last-mile visibility is the difference between proactive and reactive delivery management.

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