Everyone is looking for a better way to manage last mile logistics. Even freight forwarders suffer from limited communications in the last mile. Seasonality, volatility in the markets, rising fees, and other issues affect the profitability in the last mile, requiring more transparency into the costs of final mile logistics. While not necessarily a container, delivery vans can have problems like limited container transparency and capacity. For instance and according to The Boss Magazine, “containers are designed to be used at maximum capacity. If the container is not filled to its maximum capacity, the shipper must handle the cost of the remaining part of the container that is empty. This causes the cost of the goods being transported to increase as they carry the additional cost of the goods that aren’t there. So, if the container is not being utilized to its full capacity, this will increase the cost.” Thus, C-Suite executives need more efficient last mile communications to better oversee the most important stage of logistics.
Last mile communications continue to suffer from key challenges, especially as people grow more accustomed to innovative last mile services, including debris removal, equipment setup, and tutorials that form the basics of white glove service. Additional challenges in handling last mile communications include:
New technologies, particularly those that provide access to data, are paramount in last mile communications and transparency. Analytics, a transportation management system (TMS), integrated accounting and auditing services, and robotic process automation can improve management of the last mile without adding more manual processes to the activity. Moreover, logistics management efficiency requires complete transparency through all operations, including both procurement and the last mile. Of course, any technology must enable shareability of data with supply chain partners and streamline operations.
Shippers can improve transparency and visibility in the last mile by taking these steps:
The TMS is a must-have tool in the modern shipping toolbox. Failure to responsibly manage freight will lead to leaving money on the table, and poor use of carriers and modes will increase costs. Instead of suffering higher freight spend, shippers need to understand the issues of poor last mile communications, why technology improves last mile transparency and the steps necessary to improve data shareability.
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