Logistics companies refer to it as the “last mile” – the final stage of dispatch, when the item goes from the local depot to the customer’s address.
The last mile is often the most complex part of the journey, and probably the least cost-effective, for obvious reasons:
- the delivery vehicles are large and yet the parcels are small, making each delivery relatively expensive; and
- the vehicles often have to traverse narrow, winding streets, covering much less ground using the same amount of petrol as when traveling much longer distances on a typical motorway, for example.
These factors, and many other difficulties, are why a lot of companies have been researching and developing a wide variety of interesting solutions for that tricky last mile. And with e-commerce growing so fast, the solutions can’t come fast enough.