Last Mile Delivery: What Is It & Why Is It Important?

The most important, and therefore, priciest, part of ecommerce fulfillment is last mile delivery. It’s the time in your delivery process that gets your product to the doorstep of your customer, meaning a poor last mile delivery strategy can lead to unhappy customers, poor brand loyalty, dreaded returns and, ultimately, lost revenues. 

That is why, if you have an ecommerce business or are a 3pl partner like us at Envoy Warehousing & Logistics, it is key to have a firm grasp on your order fulfillment game, and to do that, you need to understand last mile delivery: what is it and why is it important.

What is last mile delivery?

Also known as last mile logistics, it’s the final step of your logistics process where your product is taken from your location or its distribution centre to the front door of your customer, often by a logistics provider. The focus of last mile delivery is to get the right product to the right customer as quickly and cheaply as possible with zero damage. 

Suffice it to say, deliver the wrong product to a customer or a product in poor condition, and you’re going to have problems. Why? Because not only is poor customer satisfaction costly, but so is having to foot the bill for returned items. 

Why is last mile delivery such a challenge?

Because last mile delivery is essentially the dissemination of a large load of individual items to individual locations, the process is much more complex, time consuming and expensive than just delivering a bulk of items to one location, such as to a warehouse or fulfillment centre. In fact, last mile delivery is the most expensive part of the ecommerce fulifllment process for businesses and third-party logistics providers.

Also, having so many different packages going to different delivery locations leaves the door wide open for easy miscalulcations and mistakes, making having an efficient delivery process paramount. Specifically, the dreaded failed delivery is one common issue, and there’s various reasons why a delivery doesn’t make it to its final destination, including:

  • Incorrect customer address.

  • The customer getting no prior notification about the delivery and missing it.

  • Poor planning or unexpected events causing a late delivery where the customer is not present to accept the package.

  • No way for the customer to know the expected time window for delivery or schedule a delivery time.

Here are some of the other main reasons why last mile delivery is so costly in terms of time and money:

  • Delivery trucks are travelling slower speeds on urban and suburban roads, meaning longer road times and fewer kilometres per litre of gas.

  • Making more stops more frequently adds up in terms of idling time.

  • Lots of stops means more complex delivery routes, leaving drivers more likely to lose track of their route and add extra kilometres to get back on track.

What these issues all have in common is that, no matter the reason, they all make a dent in your profit margins and add to your operating costs.

What are some solutions to the challenges of last mile delivery?

If you’re an ecommerce business looking for optimized last mile delivery, then look no further than a trusted 3pl provider offering fulfillment services, such as Envoy

Knowledgeable and trusted 3pl providers like Envoy have spent years gaining experience in efficient shipping practices and route optimization for an effective last mile delivery process. 

With conveniently located warehouses in Canada’s shipping hubs (Toronto and Vancouver), we know what it takes to efficiently deliver your product on-time every time in perfect condition and at affordable costs from coast to coast. We also offer competitive shipping rates to keep your costs down and your customers happy. 

Contact us today or get a quote to learn more about how Envoy can help you master last mile delivery!

Have a question about our pricing? We offer cost-effective and transparent pricing.

Call: 1-905-831-0006