Improving your ‘Last Mile Delivery’ and its future implications

For businesses looking to expand and rent a warehouse in the future, the need for quick and efficient last mile logistics is essential, but the landscape is rapidly changing. Here’s what you should consider.

With the rise of e-commerce as a medium for customer’s online shopping experiences, people are expecting to have their purchases on their doorstep in a matter of days, or less. This process of moving products from their transport hub to the end user’s door is called ‘Last Mile Delivery’ and is the costliest, least efficient portion within the delivery process. For businesses looking to expand and rent a warehouse in the future, the need for quick and efficient last mile logistics is essential, but the landscape is rapidly changing. Here’s what you should consider.    

Location, Location, Location…  

It all starts with your warehouse’s location. If you’re looking at warehouses to rent in London, try avoiding the inner city due to the massive amounts of traffic congestion and fees within the city centre. Greater London warehouse rentals are the better options when it comes to offering quick access to motorways at a lower cost per square foot. This applies to any warehouse rental because impeding your delivery times will inevitably be an inefficiency which you should try and avoid.    

Plan around your customer  

As consumers’ expectations of service rise, businesses must plan deliveries to optimise their transport windows. Their transport times are pressured to become shorter, and their routes more efficient. Surveying your customers to find out their preferred shipping options and pricing, will help you plan your deliveries and costs accordingly. Furthermore, allowing your customers to choose their delivery window, leads to a reduction in missed deliveries and an overall increase in customer satisfaction but will require more planning in terms of shipping route efficiency.     

The future of urban deliveries  

One of the biggest problems retaining to last mile logistics is the issue of urban deliveries, and planning can only do so much. Driving inefficiency is often blamed for both higher costs and environmental concerns associated with the ‘last mile’, much of which may simply be down to human error. As e-commerce giant Amazon has hinted at, the future of last mile logistical improvement may, in fact, be drones and robotics. Automatic, autonomous deliveries from zero-emission drones or driverless vans to your doorstep may seem like something from the distant future, but it is seriously being considered as a more affordable, efficient and environmentally friendly option to traditional human delivery systems. The main issues with drones today are their limitations in autonomy, capacity and range. However, these technologies are improving day-by-day, and we can expect to see drone deliveries to our doorsteps in a matter of a few years. This means a transition from hiring shipping vans and lorries to using shipping drones and driverless cars, if legally enabled by this time.   

While you can’t control the future of technology, one thing you can control is where your warehouse is located. 020 7355 3033 are real estate experts, offering a wide range of warehouses to let within the Park Royal, Heathrow and Greater London area, as well as further options around the UK. For more information regarding available industrial properties to let, call 020 7355 3033


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