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Unlock the Secret to Last-mile Delivery Success With GPS Fleet Tracking

By Verizon Connect November 12, 2020

The last mile is considered the "make it or break it' stage for any supply chain. This delivery stage has one of the biggest impacts on customers, drivers and the company’s bottom line. Retailers and manufacturers worldwide agree that reducing costs and improving margins are considered the most important priorities of last-mile delivery, while customers rank choice of delivery times/dates and real-time updates as their top priorities1.

An end-to-end fleet management solution can help companies keep their last-mile delivery costs low, coach drivers and meet customer expectations by supplying the necessary route, and delivery and safety data to complete deliveries safely on time and on budget.  

The impact of the last mile on customer experience

Customers want their shipments delivered on time and with as little interruption to their daily operations as possible. And during the last mile, drivers, delivery persons and technicians are the face of their company—everything they do during this critical end-stage is a reflection of the company’s level of service, putting its reputation on the line. 

To rise to the challenge of growing customer demands, drivers need to be prepared with information about things like the proper delivery routes, loading dock location and even parking restrictions or traffic flow. Fleet management technology can help make this happen with customizable route optimization, turn-by-turn directions right to the loading dock and geofences around customer locations to alert dispatch when the truck arrives.

The impact of the last mile on employees and drivers

With the pressure on during the last leg of the delivery process, unsafe driving behaviors like speeding, harsh cornering or rapid acceleration may happen when a driver takes a wrong turn or tries to make up time lost to traffic as they are completing their delivery. These behaviors are often exacerbated in more densely populated urban areas, where last-mile delivery is likely to take place. According to Wakefield Research, the rate of severe crashes in densely populated areas is increasing faster for lighter commercial trucks (27%) than for heavy-duty trucks (16%)2.

With a fleet management solution in place, it’s possible to monitor for these driving behaviors—and the situation that cause them—and coach drivers on how to avoid them in the future. Even after they reach their final destination, drivers may also need to navigate potential safety risks like turning into the wrong entrance or loading zone. With fleet technology, it’s easy to create a geofence or provide turn-by-turn instructions that help safely guide driver to entry and exit points at an unfamiliar location. 

Route optimization technology can provide the best combination of routes and deliveries in order to minimize miles per delivery and total miles driven.3 It’s also possible to adapt to last minute changes, re-sequence routes and provide better ETAs with route optimization software. This near-real time communication can improve driver safety and productivity, while providing customers with a better experience with accurate delivery time windows and ETAs.

Download this free ebook to find out how you can keep your last-mile costs down and meet your customers' expectations.

The impact the last mile can have on the bottom line

Not only does the last mile impact customers and drivers, what happens during this stage can have a significant impact on a company’s expenses. Last-mile fulfillment is only expected to increase as shortening supply chains create new freight opportunities and consumers continue to demand fast delivery speed, predictability and reliability. It’s predicted that the amount of the supply chain that is less than 50 or 100 miles is going to continue to increase in volume4—meaning inefficient driving behaviors like excessive idling and route deviations will only lead to unnecessary expenses. 

With the help of GPS fleet tracking, it’s possible to identify these inefficiencies and quickly coach drivers on how to avoid them, which can significantly cut down on associated costs—like fuel—and even make it possible increase the number of stops each vehicle can make in a day. The combination of these can certainly help lead to a more productive fleet overall. 

Going the distance during the last mile

A fleet management platform can provide visibility into routing, dispatching and what’s going on in the field. These insights allow dispatchers and fleet managers to work quickly if a driver is running late, going the wrong direction or is in the wrong location. This information can then be easily communicated to the customer, giving everyone peace of mind. 

Find out how businesses using fleet management to improve last-mile delivery, and every aspect of their fleet operations. Download the eBook “The Secret to Last Mile Delivery Success”.  


1 https://www.statista.com/topics/4383/last-mile-delivery/#dossierSummary__chapter4

2 Data based on a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted by Wakefield Research for Verizon Connect and official National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data.

3 https://www.futureofsourcing.com/b2b-last-mile-delivery-challenges-that-still-exist

4 https://www.ccjdigital.com/ccj-upshift-trucking-economist-predicts-rapid-post-covid-recovery/

Verizon Connect

Verizon Connect Staff represents a team of professionals passionate about everything telematics. Get to hear about the latest trends, product features and industry best practices from the desk of Verizon Connect Staff.

Tags: Dispatching & Scheduling, Customer retention rates, Productivity & Efficiency

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