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Last mile logistics – trends to look out for in 2021

It’s March of 2021. Covid 19 vaccination drives are happening all over the world and we are slowly moving to the ‘new normal’ of the post-corona world.

Like everything else that drastically evolved during the pandemic, last-mile logistics too has changed for the good.

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of new technology and now there are whole new standards for delivery than what was there a year ago.

But with the rise of e-commerce is to cause an even greater demand for last-mile logistics. Almost two-fifths of the total logistics costs are associated with the last mile today and more and more innovation and optimization in the last mile sector is the need of the hour.

Now, let’s look at some last-mile logistics trends to look out for in 2021.

Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles were just a concept until a few years ago, but now we are at this fascinating stage of spotting more and more electric vehicles on the Indian road.

In fact, in cities like Bangalore, one can witness the rare sight of Amazon guys making deliveries on electric scooters like ‘Yulu.’

Electric vehicles prove to be a much cheaper as well as ‘climate change friendly’ alternative given the horrendous rise in the price of petrol and diesel.

But for its sustenance, the infrastructure needs to gear up in terms of more charging stations.

Uber for logistics

Another disruption in the last mile delivery is a ‘uber for logistics’ kind of an app.

A Bangalore-based startup Blowhorn is connecting drivers with third-party 3pl logistics services providers (3PL) and other companies which are in need of transportation services.

This enables them to expand their last mile delivery capacity by hiring local drivers for one-off projects.

Increased Package Visibility

Customers are now used to end-to-end tracking and getting SMS alerts right when the delivery reaches the doorstep.

A dramatic dip in the cost of sensors along with enhanced data analytics and machine learning has made this possible.

By integrating GPS tracking data, traffic data, local weather data, and so on, e-commerce companies are now able to predict the exact time of delivery and are also able to give options to change delivery slots according to the customer’s convenience.

Real-time route optimization is also possible with this data. Last-mile delivery routes are planned such that they reduce the total haul distance but increase delivery volumes.

Drone Delivery

Drone delivery might take a little more time to materialize on ground, due to bottlenecks in permissions from the aviation department.

Many food delivery companies like Zomato and Swiggy are said to have started drone delivery trials in July 2020.

During one of the trials by Zomato, drone is said to have carried a load of 5kg, covering a distance of 5km in 10 minutes.

Drone delivery if started, can be a game changer, given the current demand for no contact delivery.

Navata provides AI optimized, cost effective last mile delivery services, along with E2E planning and management from our team. Contact us for more info.

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