In today’s logistics industry, last-mile delivery matters more than arguably any other stage. Last-mile delivery vehicles need the equipment and technology to keep up with increasingly fast-paced delivery standards.
Customers expect orders to be delivered in less than a week with detailed tracking every step of the way. The last mile is key to accomplishing this. Upfitting last-mile delivery vehicles with new installations and technologies can be extremely beneficial for shipping companies and drivers, as well.
Why IoT in last-mile delivery matters
Today’s most cutting-edge last-mile delivery technology is the Internet of Things (IoT). With IoT, shipping companies can track their last-mile delivery vehicles in real-time and gain detailed insights about performance, traffic conditions, and route efficiency. This information is vital for improving final delivery for both drivers and customers.
Adopting IoT in last-mile delivery matters because it can give shipping companies a serious edge over competitors. There are a few ways this can occur, starting with logistics benefits. By upfitting last-mile delivery vehicles with IoT monitoring devices, shipping companies can collect detailed data from the field showing how efficient delivery routes are. This data could reveal things like traffic bottlenecks or shortcuts that could save significant amounts of time for future deliveries.
It is also worth noting that real-world data collected using IoT-equipped delivery vehicles can be used for advanced logistics simulations. These programs use algorithms and modeling to optimize logistics as much as possible without disturbing ongoing operations. Once a peak performance model has been identified in the simulation, it can be applied in real-world operations.
So, tech-equipped last-mile delivery vehicles could help shipping companies develop all-around better-optimized delivery routes and processes.
Benefits for drivers and last-mile delivery vehicles
Upfitting last-mile delivery vehicles with better equipment and technology can have concrete benefits for drivers and vehicles, as well. For example, something as simple as a smart, connected GPS could help drivers find the best routes in real-time and avoid traffic delays.
Similarly, IoT devices could be used to monitor fuel consumption patterns and help drivers find more fuel-efficient routes and habits on the job. This helps ensure that last-mile delivery vehicles don’t need to take breaks on routes to refuel. Plus, optimizing fuel consumption is a great way to reduce expenses without compromising service quality.
Effective interior shelving solutions are critical, as well. There are many benefits to upfitting last-mile delivery vehicles with better interior storage, but improved organization and safety are key among them. When shipping companies are trying to accomplish industry-leading delivery times, every minute counts in the last mile. If drivers have the best organization solutions available in their vehicles, they will be able to carry out each and every delivery as fast as possible with the least likelihood of delivery errors.
Another major benefit of outfitting last-mile delivery vehicles with better equipment is the possibility of predictive maintenance, a smart maintenance model that uses IoT and analytics. IoT devices aren’t just good for tracking delivery vehicles or monitoring fuel consumption. They can also monitor vehicle performance.
Shipping companies can use this data to predict when a vehicle may be at risk of a breakdown. When performance begins to dip, the shipping company can give the vehicle a tune-up and inspection, then send it back out on the road. This is much less expensive and time-consuming than having a delivery vehicle out of commission in the shop for days on end.
Meeting customer and competitor standards
The way last-mile delivery vehicles are outfitted may not sound that important when it comes to the actual customer. They just receive the package; they don’t interact with the vehicle itself. However, outfitting vehicles for last-mile delivery matters to the customer in perhaps the most important way: it can help make sure their package is delivered to the right address in the right spot at the right time.
Proof of delivery has become a major concern in recent years, especially with the rise of “porch pirate” package thieves. In 2021, an estimated 64 percent of Americans reported falling victim to package theft in cities all over the country. While these thefts are of course unfortunate and distressing incidents for customers, all too often, delivery companies can be blamed for “not delivering” packages that were stolen. This confusion makes proof of delivery crucial for identifying when packages were stolen versus when they were delivered incorrectly.
By outfitting last-mile delivery vehicles with the best possible proof of delivery technology, such as IoT package scanners and vehicle tracking devices, shipping companies can easily ensure proof of delivery. Customers can use live delivery vehicle tracking to see exactly when their package will be delivered, down to the minute the vehicle stops in front of their home.
This is not only a great feature for ensuring proof of delivery, but it is also convenient for customers and a highly competitive feature to offer.
Making the last mile the best mile
Every minute in last-mile delivery matters, from the time vehicles leave the lot to the moment a package arrives at its destination. Outfitting last-mile delivery vehicles with the right equipment and technology is the key to ensuring the last mile goes as smoothly as possible.
Optimizing this final leg of a package’s journey can result in better performance for shipping companies, a better work experience for drivers, and a better delivery experience for customers.
Author: Emily Newton
Emily Newton is a technical writer and the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized. She enjoys researching and writing about how technology is changing the industrial sector.