What is the “Last Mile” and Why Does it Matter?
The “last mile” is a term often used in transportation planning and supply chain management, which describes the movement of products and/or people from a transportation hub to their final destination; simply put, it’s how we get our stuff.
Designed for retailers to get products to consumers as quickly as possible, current demand on last-mile logistics, and resultant concerns in the e-commerce and omni-channel supply chain, are increasing daily.
Encompassing nearly 28% of total delivery cost, the last mile struggles with inefficiency and has become exceptionally stressed by the continued growth of e-commerce. Its main challenges revolve around increasing efficiency, improving infrastructure, making delivery frictionless, and ensuring transparency, all while minimizing cost.
Overall, last-mile delivery has significant problems with:
· Retailers in business districts, causing safety concerns and traffic congestion
· Humanitarian relief supplies — when they can get to a centralized hub, they’re often unable to be distributed to those in need, due to lack of infrastructure
· Missed deliveries due to people being away from home upon package arrival
With retail e-commerce sales exceeding $2.3 trillion in 2017, the last-mile’s struggles continue increasing. In urban areas, parking regulations directly affect delivery routes and accessibility, adding additional fuel costs.
Consumers have become willing to pay for certain improved last-mile delivery services, such as instant or same-day delivery, as a means of bypassing the inconvenience of convenience. Delivery drones have been deployed by companies such as Alibaba and Amazon, while both Amazon and UPS have lockers in place to deter porch pirates, all in effort to address the last-mile problem.
Meanwhile, automated parcel delivery has gained momentum in Europe, and earlier this month Wal-mart filed a patent application for “Autonomous Ground Vehicles.”
There has to be a way to get packages to people when they’re not home.
NextPakk is working to solve last-mile logistics problems, its solution: scheduled package delivery.
Through this service, the end consumer may choose a 1-hour window in which they will be home to receive their package(s). No more missed deliveries, no more theft. And, because of the blockchain on which the scheduled delivery system is built, packages can be shipped without a consumer’s name and home address attached — convenient package delivery, hand-in-hand with data privacy.
Blockchain technology is often characterized as “disruptive” for revolutionizing societal interactions. In this sense, its distributed ledgers shake up antiquated business models in the same way parcels challenged the mailbox.
However, this new shift in technology can make deliveries more efficient and secure, utilizing transparent transactions. Maintaining data security, reducing last-mile delivery costs for retailers, and increasing prescription adherence are merely the tip of the iceberg.
Properly-applied, NextPakk’s blockchain can improve last-mile logistics on both a national and global scale.