In the supply chain, courier service management provides an essential means to ensuring pickup and delivery within the final mile.
Unfortunately, the traditional approach to courier management rarely works at optimal levels with a legacy tech stack. And since couriers are the life force of final mile logistics, shippers need to understand the top challenges of managing the process and how a world-class TMS can help.
High Final Mile Delivery Costs
Last-mile delivery is among the most complex aspects of logistics and is more expensive than any other stage of transportation.
According to Accenture, “Last-mile delivery accounts for 53% of the total cost of shipping—and 41% of total supply chain costs. With no interventions, we can expect a 32% jump in carbon emissions from urban delivery traffic by 2030. Consumers are watching. They have a tall order: convenience, speed, and sustainability at the right price.”
A courier service that lacks access to real-time data faces an uphill battle to meet customer needs and mitigate the risk of returns due to late deliveries. That increases costs by effectively leading to an eventual decline in total profitability.
Limited Courier Service Visibility
Visibility in the delivery process is vital to ensure customer loyalty within both business-to-business and direct-to-consumer transactions, and visibility within the courier network helps shippers identify where and when to adjust routes.
This is one strategy businesses have taken. However, with technology constantly evolving, couriers need and want real-time information on new packages ready for pickup and changes to delivery schedules.
World-class features within a real-time, final-mile inclusive TMS provide visibility while letting courier service providers leverage cloud-based, centralized controls to continuously optimize routes without sacrificing real-time data.
Many Stops and Multiple Touchpoints
Last-mile couriers must deal with many stops and touchpoints that can cause confusion and increase the risk of missing deliveries or pick-ups. Over time, this results in falling behind competitors and losing profit.
For a courier service without advanced technology and real-time communication capabilities, managing and scheduling deliveries while keeping customers happy seems impossible. That is even more true when considering the continuous flux of goods and changes that may occur in the course of small package pick-up and delivery.
Ultimately, a TMS can provide supply chain visibility to enhance the overall success of the network and the final mile.
Working with outdated technologies contributes to an increased risk for errors. Moreover, outdated technology and low visibility result in slowing the entire delivery process, which might result in losing customers and profit.
Using loT-enabled devices can reduce confusion and delays by providing real-time status updates regarding location and other factors to preempt issues that may develop. Courier services that lack the connective aspect of IoT-enabled devices, such as GPS tracking and automated notifications of ETA, will inevitably experience more errors and delays.
For the final mile, shipment-level visibility through advanced technologies like the IoT provides the data and tools necessary to always deliver on time and in full.
Changing Courier Routes
Inadequate route planning leads to delayed deliveries, an increase in customer frustration, and higher costs. Courier services once required considerable time to delegate order segregation, order allocation, select the proper vehicle and plan delivery routes, but that has changed with the increased demand for same-day, fast and free shipping.
Using a TMS to assist in routing and optimization will help shippers reap the benefits of schedule reliability and provide proactive freight management for all packages, including parcels within the final mile. The final mile in delivery can make or break the customers’ experience and strongly influence whether they make repeat purchases.
Unpredictable elements may occur, such as bad weather, traffic patterns, or vehicle issues beyond the driver’s control. However, companies can easily mitigate these risks by knowing when to change the driver or reroute courier packages to avoid disruption
If the process lacks efficiency, delayed deliveries and unsatisfied customers occur, especially with handling larger order volumes.
While courier services are not necessarily high-volume, they do have the volume of scale across many deliveries to consider. Using delivery software for the final mile can streamline the process from the warehouse to the customer’s doorstep. In case of last-minute rerouting or circumstances beyond the company’s control, a solution can easily be made to create a new route, notify customers of changes, and keep the courier service functioning without disruption.
Partnering with a world-class TMS can provide the best solution for any final-mile difficulties and provide supply chain optimization along the way.
Different Systems for Different Courier Fleets
Not all courier services use the same system of record. With different systems and thousands of vehicles in use within varying fleets, communication can crumble and result in missed deliveries and customer complaints.
Upgrading technology and relying on a system that’s easily accessible at any time helps with ensuring visibility. With the TMS benefits of dynamic routing, real-time scheduling, and collaboration, courier services can operate smoothly. The final mile having the correct updates and reports for the customers is vital and achievable with everyone on the same page. There is a solution through a TMS like MercuryGate that can unify disparate systems to restore harmony
Improve Courier Service Management With a TMS suited for Final Mile
To provide the best service for customers and have the data and insights for final mile delivery efficiency gains in your courier service, an advanced TMS is the way to go. Monitor the last mile journey across your courier service with real-time data and dynamic rerouting, predict any potential hurdles, and devise proactive strategies for dealing with them by leveraging our TMS.