Thursday, June 15, 2017

Why is the last mile so inefficient? | Supply Chain Dive

Highly customized service, complex routes and various stakeholders make perfecting the last mile a challenge

Editor's Note: This article is part of a series on perfecting last-mile delivery. All stories in this series can be found here.

The last mile is extremely inefficient. It is the final frontier of logistics, a cost so habitual yet burdensome to supply chains that it begs for futuristic ideas, e.g. drones, flying warehouses or self-driving cars, to capture our imaginations. 

Such dreams of a seamless delivery experience are hardly new. The United States Postal Service has been trying to perfect its process for centuries; and United Parcel Service (UPS) and FedEx, for decades. Only now, the digital age has pulled last-mile delivery to the forefront of retailers' minds as e-commerce and the Amazon effect require them to offer fast and free delivery, or become uncompetitive.

Consequently, the industry returns to an age-old question: How can we perfect this process? Except this time, the technology and intent to do so may finally be in alignment.

Read the full story here

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