High residential density and congested streets: Due to increasing urbanization, the logistics on the last mile are becoming more and more complex and important for the success of companies. Against this background, online retailers and their logistics partners have to pursue completely new approaches. This is the only way they can survive in the market and remain competitive. For example, e-commerce companies can improve inventory management through greater automation, better data management and more flexibility in the network, and make the last mile of logistics more efficient. Here are some tips on how online retailers and parcel service providers can optimize their performance in the last delivery step until the goods are handed over to the end customer.
Last mile: Sharp increase in inner-city deliveries
According to a study by DHL, around 600 million more people will likely live in metropolitan areas by 2030 than today. At the same time, new technologies make it possible to improve the range of services in the mail order business. As the report published in 2020 “The Future of the Last-Mile Ecosystem“Of the World Economic Forum shows, the number of inner-city deliveries on the last mile is expected to increase by 78 percent worldwide. This means that 36 percent more delivery vehicles will be on the roads of the world’s 100 largest cities than in 2019. The result would be an increase in CO2 emissions of six million tons to 25 million tons in 2030.
The conversion of the delivery fleets to low-pollutant or emission-free vehicles could reduce the expected increase in CO2 emissions by up to 60 percent. In order to continue to achieve optimal results in e-commerce and mail order in the future, it is worthwhile to coordinate the expectations and options for action of all those involved.
How should retailers and parcel service providers react?
In addition to the desire to receive an ordered product quickly, the need for sustainable processes dominates among consumers in online retail. According to a study by Seven Senders, 57 percent of customers would be willing to pay more money for sustainable delivery. More than 60 percent of consumers attach importance to the fact that as little CO2 as possible is emitted during production and transport. According to a Hermes study, 50 percent of consumers believe that CO2-neutral delivery is becoming increasingly important for shipping service providers. Logistics service providers are in demand here.
In order to meet the expectations of consumers and to make a contribution to the sustainable use of natural resources, parcel delivery companies are well advised to use CO2-neutral means of transport. There is still great potential in the area of alternative drive technologies – above all electric mobility. In some places it is already part of everyday parcel delivery. At the same time, it is advisable to continue to consistently promote the development of sustainable solutions for parcel and city logistics and to integrate them into practice. In purely organizational terms, greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by efficiently bundling parcel service providers’ deliveries and thereby reducing journeys.
Last mile: Optimizing the use of resources through digital technologies
In addition to the use of climate-friendly packaging material and consistent support for the circular economy, retailers can use digital technologies. In this way you can optimize the use of resources. Other factors for an efficient last mile in online retail are avoiding returns and working with sustainable carriers. Compensation for CO2 emissions is made possible through appropriate measures and programs such as the afforestation of trees and forests.
“As an experienced delivery platform for parcel shipping, we offer retailers the right solutions and technologies to optimize sustainability on the last mile,” explains Thomas Hagemann, founder and co-CEO of Seven Senders. “With our new 7SGreen service in particular, transport-related CO2 emissions from shipments are offset and certified climate protection projects are actively supported.” This gives retailers the option of becoming actively involved in environmental protection in just a few steps and for just three cents per shipment. After the preferred regions have been selected, the price for the shop operator is calculated quickly and easily. By precisely calculating the resulting CO2 emissions per parcel, these can be precisely offset. “Annual certificates provide a transparent overview of the emissions saved. A prime example of the added value of cooperation based on climate-neutral services, ”emphasizes Hagemann.
Seven senders is a provider of a delivery platform for parcel shipping. The company, founded in 2015 by Johannes Plehn and Thomas Hagemann, connects mailers with its carrier network. This consists of over 100 parcel delivery companies across Europe. The local shipping that this enables becomes a competitive advantage for retailers. With additional shipping services such as claims center, insurance, returns portal and labels, Seven Senders simplifies international shipping. (sg)
Also read: Delivery costs and sustainability: what is important to online customers when it comes to shipping