A Comprehensive Guide to Last Mile Delivery Tracking

16 June 2022 |
7 minute read

The last mile delivery market is worth 18.7 billion, and this is expected to rise to 62.7 billion by 2027. A shift to online retail was taking place but the global pandemic spurred this on drastically. With consumer expectations rising, find out how you can improve your last mile delivery.
There are a number of ways you can do this. Read on as we discuss last mile delivery and how to improve it.

Detrack is smart delivery management software that helps improve your business and reduce costs.

Last mile delivery tracking is a system that tracks the progress of a package from the moment it leaves the distribution center to the moment it is delivered to the customer. This type of tracking is essential for ensuring that packages are delivered on time and that they arrive in good condition. 

Most last mile delivery tracking systems use GPS to track the location of the package as it moves through the delivery process. The system can also provide information about how long it takes for the package to be delivered, as well as any delays that may occur along the way. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss the different ways to track last mile delivery and what you need to know in order to ensure a smooth process. We’ll also take a look at some of the challenges and benefits of last mile delivery tracking. 

So whether you’re a business owner or consumer, read on for essential insights into this growing industry!

What Is Last Mile Delivery?

Last mile delivery is the final stage of the shipping process when packages are delivered to customers’ homes or businesses. It’s called the last mile because it’s often the most expensive and time-consuming part of the journey, requiring special expertise and equipment. 

Last mile delivery companies specialize in this final leg of the journey, making sure that packages are delivered quickly and efficiently. In recent years, last mile delivery tracking has become even more important as e-commerce sales have skyrocketed.

 With more and more people shopping online, there’s a growing need for efficient last mile delivery services. As a result, last mile delivery companies have seen a boom in business. Thanks to last mile delivery, getting packages from point A to point B is now faster and easier than ever before.

last mile delivery

Why Is Last Mile Delivery Tracking Important?

Technology has made last mile delivery tracking one of the most important parts of the customer journey. This can be traced to the move to online retail as opposed to physical store sales. While people could previously mail-order products, it was not with the choice and ease with which they now can. 

Competition in this sector has meant huge improvements to delivery methods. Mobile applications allow the customer to track the package at all points in the journey. Expectations for faster and cheaper shipping have also increased. 

In short, the market is hugely competitive. If your final mile delivery is not as good or better than the competitors, your customers will go elsewhere. 

How to Optimize Last Mile Delivery Tracking

There are several ways you can optimize your last-mile delivery tracking. You can choose to incorporate all or some of these into your operation. 

Offer Flexible Delivery Options

Many customers will want the option of same or next day delivery. In many cases, they may even want free delivery. Getting this right involves partnering with the correct companies. 

Keep in mind that not everyone will want this, and some would rather have a cheaper product. This means you also have to consider delivery based on method, location, and even budget options. All of this complicates the last mile delivery process. 

Provide Tracking Information

Just as important as delivery time is keeping people informed. This involves notifying them about every step of the process. From receiving the order to shipping and arrival, people need to know every stop on the route.

Improve Supply Chain Communication

If a problem occurs, the best way to find a resolution is to have efficient communication in your supply chain. This makes the process quicker and easier. Buyers, suppliers, and delivery drivers should know about any problems as and when they occur. 

Share Expectations

If you are outsourcing delivery to a third party, they become the face of your company. It is important that they understand your policies, practices, and expectations. This also comes back to increasing communication between your supply chain, letting them notify you of damages and returns. 

Use Technology

Final mile delivery is almost impossible without technology. From GPS systems to designated final mile software solutions, there are effective solutions to help you improve. Use these to the fullest and watch the results. 

last mile delivery

How Much Does Last Mile Delivery Cost?

Last mile delivery is the most expensive part of the whole process. On average, it costs around $10 for the delivery of a small package. Many businesses subsidize this by taking some of the cost from their product profit margins. 

Costs can be brought down by doing last mile delivery tracking at scale, but even then, it will remain expensive. Keep reading to find out why it is so costly.

Returns, Refunds, and Discounts 

It is estimated around 20% of eCommerce purchases are returned. If these come back to be changed for a different item, then you are expected to deliver it for free. This makes cutting down on returns and refunds a top priority. 

Failed Deliveries

Deliveries to the customer that fail are costly. Inevitably, the delivery needs to be redone, but this time it will come out of your pocket.

Luckily you can work toward minimizing failed deliveries by giving delivery time slots to the customer. Providing forward notification of deliveries is also something you would expect to be given, but this is not always the case. 

Fuel Prices

Fuel prices are always rising. While electric cars and hybrid models are becoming available, this is taking longer to transfer to vehicles that are involved in last mile delivery tracking.

Business delivery also involves the use of residential and city roads. This means vehicles are driving at lower average speeds and often stopping and starting. None of this is economical for your fuel and adds to increased costs.

Last Mile Tracking For Carriers

The last mile of a shipment’s journey is often the most important and also the most difficult to track. Carriers need to be able to track their shipments all the way to the final destination in order to ensure timely delivery and avoid any potential delays or problems.

Last mile delivery tracking solutions can help carriers keep tabs on their shipments throughout the final stage of delivery. Here are some of the benefits of last mile delivery tracking for couriers:

  • Proof of Delivery – The most important benefit of last mile tracking is the ability to provide proof of delivery. This is essential for ensuring that shipments are delivered on time and as promised. Without proof of delivery, it can be very difficult to hold carriers accountable for delays or problems.
  • Contactless Delivery – Another important benefit of the last mile carrier tracking is the ability to offer contactless delivery. This is becoming increasingly important as consumers become more concerned about their health and safety. Contactless delivery allows carriers to drop off shipments without coming into contact with the recipient, which can help to reduce the risk of transmission of any diseases.
  • Real-time Tracking of Deliveries – Another great benefit of the last mile carrier tracking is the ability to track shipments in real-time. This is essential for keeping track of where your shipment is at all times and for ensuring that it is on schedule. Real-time tracking also allows you to quickly identify any potential problems or delays so that you can take action accordingly.

last mile delivery

Last Mile Tracking for Customers

Today’s customers expect a lot from their online shopping experience. They want to be able to track their orders every step of the way, and they don’t want to have to wait long for their items to arrive. This is why last mile tracking has become so important for businesses that rely on eCommerce.

Here are some of the benefits of using the last mile carrier tracking for customers:

  • Real-Time Tracking – Customers want to be able to track their orders in real-time, and last delivery mile tracking can provide this. With last mile delivery tracking, businesses can offer customers the ability to see exactly where their orders are and when they will be delivered. This transparency is important to customers and helps build trust between them and the businesses they purchase from.
  • SMS Alert – Another great feature of last carrier mile tracking is SMS alerts. Customers can sign up to receive text updates about their orders, so they always know where their shipment is. This can be a great way to keep customers updated and reduce anxiety about their purchases.
  • Ability to Communicate with the Driver Directly – In some cases, customers may need to contact the driver directly. With last mile shipment tracking, businesses can give customers the ability to do this. This can be helpful if there are any issues with the delivery or if the customer needs to make a change to the delivery address.

Future Trends in Final Mile Delivery

There are a lot of trends predicted for last mile delivery tracking, some more likely to happen than others. The use of drones as a delivery method is often discussed. While the technology exists to implement drone delivery, the impact of legislation may mean it is still some way off.

One trend more likely to take off is the use of sensors. These may check the orientation of products, temperature, and other factors likely to impact the contents. Companies such as Shipchain have even integrated this with blockchain technology. 

Finally, many last mile delivery tracking problems can be alleviated by city warehousing. This cuts down on delivery times and fuel. If inner-city rental becomes cheaper due to the impact of the pandemic, this trend could appear quickly.

Get Assistance

With all the last mile delivery challenges, the key to excellent last mile delivery tracking lies in the people you partner with. Make sure you look around for a company that understands your business needs. 

Detrack should be your first stop. We are the smarter way to deliver, allowing you to track your drivers and deliveries on a simple app. Contact us here and let Detrack transform your last mile.

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