Last-Mile Delivery: Winning Strategies for The Future

Delivering goods is an essential need for businesses worldwide. However, in more rural parts of the world, it’s what stands in the way of everyday life. It is commonplace to have a delivery truck blocking the street, preventing a pathway for people to walk as well as polluting the air. The truck could be there for long periods of time, causing even more of a nuisance. Plus, it is dangerous for those walking in and near the street.

When solving the dilemma of how to get delivery trucks off of the street, UCCs (Urban Consolidation Centers), proposed options innovated by start-ups. Yet none prevailed. The failures reached 107.

The one that did work directed the delivery trucks to meet at the last mile of delivery by using smaller transportation options such as bicycles, fuel efficient cars, and smaller trucks. To keep failure at bay, the inventor, Birgit Hendriks, decided to stake her business in a neutral stance and go NGO, or non-government operated. This approach appeased virtually everyone. The private sector didn’t feel a threat to their businesses through additional competition while the public sector was free to work with whomever they wanted.

Why was the 107th Time the Charm?

The last mile will be a hub that becomes a freight holding place. The customer can either keep the items there, which can bring in revenue by setting up a service fee, or they can have them delivered. A storage fee, as well as waste disposal and retail costs can factor into the cost of using a holding place.

The target group for this change in delivery are predominantly small business owners. They cannot waste a minute in terms of their business needs. They are counting on their products getting to their destination as quickly and efficiently as possible. Since they cannot order in large quantities, smaller orders were being delivered by larger trucks. With a large truck, it took longer to get to their customers and caused small businesses owners to lose money while customers waited on their orders due to traffic and other circumstances.

Last mile delivery not only benefits business owners and the government. Trucking companies are gaining time and money because of the gap closing on the time wasted while sitting in traffic. Hendriks got the local companies to agree with this new plan because they were the biggest player being affected. She also gave additional delivery options, something that was a first in the Netherlands where she started.

Currently, the last mile delivery plan is only operating in the Netherlands. The ideation is going to take time to sell and implement into American culture. America has gotten used to quick, instant gratification. Changing that thought into something more worthwhile will take time, much like that of the 107 failures before it caught on and was accepted there.

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