Last Mile Delivery – a small journey with a big impact
Emily Beadon
10x Industry

Last Mile Delivery – a small journey with a big impact

Last Mile Delivery is one of the most important and challenging aspects of logistics. With the world's growing need for immediate gratification, faster deliveries are no longer an option, but an expectation. So how can small businesses overcome these challenges? This article shows how UPS supports SMEs in ensuring their strategy for Last Mile delivery is right for them and their consumers

Last mile delivery is exactly what it sounds like – the last part of the journey of a package from a local distribution centre to its final destination, either a home, workplace or a pick-up point.

Although it may look like one of the more straightforward logistical aspects, particularly when you consider the complexities associated with international shipping, but in fact it’s one of the most challenging.

The introduction of same day delivery, and even one-hour delivery, by global e-commerce retailers means online shoppers increasingly expect to get their products delivered to a location of their convenience within shorter timeframes.

Where once a few days was an acceptable delivery time, digital technology has created a culture of immediacy and people no longer want to wait. Not only that, they expect real time status updates and the ability to choose when and where a package is delivered.

With the ongoing pandemic, e-commerce continues to surge and shows no signs of slowing down. Tackling the challenge of last mile delivery in an efficient and cost-effective way is going to be critical for small businesses to survive, let alone compete.

Small businesses also need to consider how shipping impacts their brand loyalty and repeat customers. A survey of consumers in the U.S. showed near-universal (98.1%) agreement by consumers that shipping impacts brand loyalty, so companies need to be aware that conquering delivery and gaining the trust of their customers is not only crucial for commercial success, it is also key to sustainable growth.

All of this puts significant pressure on small business owners to get it right, and with last mile delivery taking up an estimated 28% of the total delivery cost, it can be an expensive aspect of the shipping journey to get wrong.

A further complication is that consumers are not always willing to pay for speed. In a survey by SME10x for UPS, just 42% of respondents said their customers would be willing to pay an additional fee for expedited shipping – slightly more than half (51%) felt they would not.

So how can small businesses overcome these challenges?

They must have a strategy for how they can offer customers increased convenience and visibility by giving them control over when and where their package will be delivered, as well as transparency about any delays.

Working with an integrated logistics partner can pave the way for small businesses to deliver on these three critical elements for consumers.

UPS provides solutions for businesses to manage their deliveries and the deliveries of their customers, improving the user experience, visibility, and control over their shipments.

Small businesses face unique challenges and have unique needs, and UPS has tailored solutions developed with small business customers in mind. With so many challenges that can face a small business, the last mile delivery should not be one of them. UPS is committed to making last mile delivery a competitive advantage. All of UPS’s 528,000 dedicated employees worldwide take pride in moving the world forward by delivering what matters.

This piece is contributed by Renzo Bravo, UPS Head of Strategy and Marketing for Indian Subcontinent, Middle East and Africa.

Last Mile Delivery – a small journey with a big impact