While many of us try to stay at home and limit traveling, the world of delivery is exploding with new activity and growth.
Digital sales for the first two weeks of December grew a staggering 45% this year, according toSalesforce, when compared to the same weeks in 2019. And on December 5th, global digital orders peaked to a whopping 71% increase year-over-year.
Completing one-and-a-half times the amount deliveries made just a year before, shipping carriers around the world are overloaded and struggling to keep up with accelerating consumer needs. And if that isn’t enough, “The Amazon effect” has forced companies to achieve narrow delivery windows in order to stay competitive.
With these factors in play, a fierce focus has gripped the world of e-commerce delivery over how to quicken the process and adjust to the surge. In order to keep up with competition, it’s critical that you find ways to optimize every step of the delivery process: from distribution centers, routes, and exact delivery locations.
Each minute you save determines if you will thrive or get left behind in today’s evolving and quick-paced marketplace.
1. From fulfillment centers to trucks
To start cutting down on delivery time, look to where the day begins — at the distribution center. Drivers who have their trucks loaded according to their route simply grab one package after another with swift ease. Alternatively, trucks loaded without a defined plan waste a driver’s time, increase frustration, and cause them to fall behind schedule.
Vikram Sekhon, a FedEx Contractor, knows the problems disorderly trucks can create. “A driver could potentially spend more time inside the vehicle looking for a package than driving from point A to point B,” he said in an interview withOne Hundred Feet Inc. “It’s not just about routing from one stop to another, you also need to make sure packages are placed in the right location within a vehicle.”
Strategically packing a truck requires a bit of help from technology and not every routing and dispatch solution offers optimized truck-loading algorithms.
Ideally, you want your routing and dispatch provider to automatically generate truck-loading plans based off the routes created for each truck. Third-party vendors that provide loading optimization will require more work on your end or an integration with your current routing and dispatch provider to access created routes.
2. From one address to another
For years, the main focus of deliveries has rested upon the logistics of moving packages from one address to another in the quickest way possible. There are hundreds of companies that specialize in optimizing routes as a result. The high level of competition amongst routing companies means better products at better prices. As such, you should expect more from your chosen routing and dispatch provider than just route optimization.
For example, rigid and predetermined routes used to be the norm for package delivery. But due to the speed at which packages must move within a changing environment, this software model no longer works. Car accidents, traffic, and other delays can cause setbacks that companies can’t afford.
In a survey found inConvey’s Last-Mile Delivery report, 51% of consumers said that they expect a refund on shipping if a package arrives late and an overwhelming 98% said that delivery impacts their brand loyalty.
To avoid having your drivers waste time on the road and get behind schedule, find a flexible routing software that can adjust a driver’s route based on remaining stops and outlying factors. Routing software that gives drivers the ability to modify a route as they see fit helps them complete more stops per hour and avoid upsetting consumers.
3. From truck to doorstep
The last 500ft of a delivery is often overlooked, but it plays a critical role in ensuring efficient deliveries. Almost every routing software available offers no guidance to drivers on how to get from GPS’s marked address to the actual front door of a delivery. In residential areas, this may be fine. But drivers who make deliveries within large apartment complexes, college campuses, hospitals, etc. can end up wasting hours each day trying to locate the correct delivery location.
Take apartment #5301 at250 W El Camino Real Sunnyvale, CAfor example. Typical GPS, like Google Maps, will direct drivers to the apartment’s leasing office — 1000ft. away from apt. 5301. Not only will a driver need to spend time searching for the correct apartment, but they will also need to walk back to their truck once they finally complete the delivery.
Precise location data as seen in the image above is rare. As of now,Beans Routeis the only routing and dispatch provider that takes drivers within 10ft. of a delivery’s drop-off or pick-up location. Pinpoint location data enables your drivers to make more stops per hour and reduces driver churn by making their route easier to complete.
Providers who optimize all three steps of delivery for you
Most routing companies only fulfill step two of the three steps outlined above. In today’s fast-paced climate, it’s simply not enough. Trucks need to be optimized to match a driver’s route and once a driver arrives at complex destinations, like hospitals or apartment complexes, they need to know where to park, enter, and how to find the exact delivery location.
Mentioned in the previous section, Beans Route is currently the only complete routing and dispatch solution that offers precise delivery location along with truck and route optimization. In fact, Beans Route even optimizes routes within large apartment complexes when multiple deliveries are present.
According toAkash Agarwal, One Hundred Feet’s Co-Founder and CBO, Beans Route “reduces the time on the road by up to 15% compared to other available software.” By optimizing every step of the delivery process, Beans Route remains your best and quickest routing and dispatch solution.
Other key benefits Beans Route offers include:
Integrated Lytx VEDR technology
Scanning to let drivers optimize unscanned packages to current route
The impacts of COVID-19 are not going away anytime soon. Many people are becoming accustomed to online shopping and will likely continue to make purchases online even if safety concerns over COVID-19 decline.
“Consumer behavior has changed.” Sekhon said. “People who were not previously shopping online, like someone’s grandma, realized they don’t need to leave their house to go shopping. From everyday basic essentials, like groceries and pet food, to less common items, like furniture and so on.”
With more people gravitating towards the internet to complete their shopping, you can expect consumer demand to stay high for years to come. So take the time to optimize your delivery process now and you’ll reap the benefits moving forward.