The global economy is truly that—global. Products are created and shipped all over the world to distribution centers and finally to businesses, storefronts and even people’s doorsteps. The amount of daily global freight is truly staggering (Amazon alone ships 2.5 billion packages a year), and even the smallest interruption to one delivery route can have a ripple effect that can delay other deliveries, increase carbon emissions and add to regional traffic.
This is especially true for what’s known as last-mile delivery, which refers to the last leg of a shipping journey as products are delivered to businesses and homes. It’s even estimated that 41% of all supply chain costs come from the last mile, which means boosting efficiency in this area can be a true game changer for any supply chain.
One of the ways distributors can make smarter decisions in this area is through IoT technology. IoT seemingly touches every leg of a delivery route, from location info, traffic data, navigation and even information on delivery vehicles. With that in mind, let’s look at a few ways IoT can improve last-mile delivery.
Enhance customer service
The recent pandemic forced many people to make more online purchases and rely on retailers to ship those goods directly to them. While this has been a boon to the freight industry, it’s also forced distributors to confront the traditional challenges of freight at scale, not the least of which is time. Many companies are offering low-cost 2-day, 1-day or same-day shipping options, and any company that doesn’t keep up risks losing precious market share. When it comes to customer satisfaction, the last mile is crucial to customer satisfaction. IoT systems can provide real-time data at every touchpoint of the supply chain, giving distributors complete visibility of every route and order. This means routes can be optimized continuously which boosts on-time delivery, and auto notifications can alert customers of the status of their delivery.
Boost quality assurance and efficiency
Customers want their products on time, and they expect a positive relationship and consistent communication from the companies they purchase from. The backbone of that sort of customer experience is built on ensuring the quality of delivered products and overall efficiency. When it comes to the last mile, IoT sensors and systems can track and provide real-time data on sensitive products to not just ensure they’re on time, but also intact. After all, what good is all this data if the products are damaged, lost or stolen in transit? One way companies are combating theft is via RFID coupled with IoT apps to ensure the authenticity of goods upon delivery. Beyond that, sensitive products, including medicine, devices or food can have their temperature and other environmental factors monitored and ensured throughout an entire delivery chain.
The future of last-mile delivery is shaping up to be a true example of technological convergence and innovation as a whole. From flying delivery drones to driverless trucks, the way products will reach their final destination is moving toward complete automation, and none of that is possible without a well thought-out, end-to-end IoT infrastructure. While the future will completely rely on holistic technology implementation, the same is no less true today. Delivery times, routes, location updates, efficiency, C02 emissions and more can all be improved by IoT.
For more information on how IoT technology can help your customers, visit our IoT Marketplace at https://iot.ingrammicro.com
or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.