Fulfillment & Third Party Logistics Blog

Memphis Warehousing:  Beating the e-Commerce Last Mile Challenge

Memphis Warehousing:  Beating the e-Commerce Last Mile ChallengeOver 72 holes of a golf tournament it is quite astounding how the last few strokes can be shaped by the hours and days spent before.  A lost ball here, a penalty there, a long putt when it matters most; while these events can seem insignificant at the time, their impact on Sunday’s leaderboard can be substantial.  E-commerce fulfillment is very similar.  All of the automation, visibility, and supply chain management that goes into fulfilling an order ultimately depends on what happens during that last mile.  While avoiding the water on 18 can be a challenge on the links, last mile delivery can pose a threat to a successful e-commerce supply chain.  Here are a few challenges that remain for last mile delivery.

Cost of Last Mile Delivery

Like with any process or procedure, cost is a major consideration.  E-commerce fulfillmenthas a wide variety of cost considerations such as: same-day delivery, next-day delivery, and seasonal volume.  An efficient supply chain that streamlines everything from order placement to delivery is the ideal solution.  Trimming costs throughout the supply chain makes the expense of last mile delivery more manageable.

Efficient Last Mile Delivery

Consumer demand for faster and cheaper, if not free, delivery has forced supply chains to find new and better efficiencies.  While automation and streamlined operations can improve performance throughout the supply chain, technology is the key for more efficient last mile delivery.  Ensuring that an order goes to the right place at the right is not only essential, but an efficient way to execute this final step.

Transparency During Last Mile Delivery

Transparency technology is vital throughout each stage of the supply chain.  It is also an essential element of the consumer experience.  While tracking codes provide a level of visibility, for effective last mile delivery customers and supply chains need more.  Providing real-time updates, delivery forecasts, and full visibility creates the information desired by the end consumer as well as the ability to mitigate any delays or additional costs.

These are only a few of the challenges that face the growing e-commerce sector.  This year online retail is expected to account for 10% of all purchases.  As this trend continues, the focus on a streamlined supply chain and effective, efficient last mile delivery will only grow.  Barrett Distribution Centers leverages technology to create customized supply solutions for a variety of industries.