Closing the Loop: The Value of Last Mile Tracking

As a retailer or wholesale distributor, nailing that final delivery stretch with last mile tracking is your chance to wow your customers. Consider how satisfying it is when your delivery arrives when it’s supposed to, without any hassle. Now, put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Imagine how when you offer that kind of precision to them, it can turn a simple transaction into a moment of delight so they remember your brand and eagerly come back for more.

With last mile tracking, you give your customers freedom, something they’re increasingly uncompromising on in this age of optionality. They can check the status of their delivery at any time, wait around less and spend more time enjoying their day while deliveries come at their beck and call according to their lifestyle. So how can you squeeze the most value out of last mile tracking as possible, especially in a world where the lines increasingly blur between e-commerce and traditional retail?

Understanding the Power of Last Mile Tracking

The essence of last mile tracking goes beyond simply following packages. It offers unprecedented value throughout the entire delivery ecosystem, from driving cost efficiency to enhancing environmental sustainability to boosting customer loyalty.

The Economic and Environmental Imperatives

We can’t discuss last mile tracking without focusing on how it significantly cuts costs and promotes greener operations. 

First, with 53% of total shipping costs incurred during the last mile, the sophisticated algorithms and predictive analytics that power last mile tracking behind the scenes give companies better insights that lead to more efficient route planning, better inventory management and, ultimately, lower operational costs. For example, through detailed analytics, businesses can streamline delivery routes, cut down on fuel consumption, reduce vehicle maintenance costs and manage labor more effectively, which translates into substantial savings on transportation costs by 10-30%. At the same time, the byproducts of such efficiency brought by last mile tracking cut down on carbon emissions and lead to smarter decision-making.

Enhancing Customer Experience and Loyalty

When it comes to enhancing customer experience and loyalty, the power of last mile tracking is straightforward: your customers never have to guess when their order will arrive. Real time updates reassure your customers that their packages are on the way and reduce the stress and uncertainty that comes with guessing games off their shoulders, especially with an on-time delivery rate of 98.6% by using platforms like OneRail.

There’s a direct correlation between real-time tracking capabilities, transparency, customer satisfaction and repeat business, too. When you manage deliveries efficiently and keep your customers in the loop every step of the way, they notice. Keep it up and you’ll build trust to the level where one-time buyers become repeat buyers and then vocal advocates for your service. And you’ll reap the rewards: 57% of consumers will pay more to purchase from a trusted brand, and loyal customers spend more over time, often increasing their spending by 67% after the first six months.

Leveraging Technology for Advanced Last-Mile Solutions

OneRail’s recent shipping fulfillment trend study revealed that 63% of retailers say technology is integral in strategically planning and forecasting their last mile delivery needs. But what are these particular technological advancements working behind the scenes to drive the efficacy and efficiency of last mile tracking?

Enhancing Shipment Tracking and Real-Time Updates

Beyond the cookie-cutter IoT talk, retailers and wholesale distributors are turning to AI algorithms and even more advanced technologies to enhance their last mile tracking, improve inventory visibility and streamline logistics:

  • Real-Time Tracking Enhancements: AI plays a key role by offering up-to-the-minute shipment insights. It uses data analysis to predict when deliveries will arrive, suggests rerouting options during delays and organizes and batches deliveries more smartly than ever. Think of keeping customers in the loop more and dramatically cut down on common “Where is my order?” questions.
  • Process Improvements Through Scanning Technologies: Modern logistics now employ scan-in and scan-out systems that track each product with barcode labels throughout delivery. Such an approach accounts for each product, linking items to specific pallets for tighter logistics control, resulting in improved delivery accuracy and easier inventory management.
  • Detailed Product and Pallet Information: Today’s logistics go beyond the fundamental Bill of Lading to include comprehensive descriptions of the contents on each pallet. Such detail provides a clearer picture of inventory, allowing businesses to track items more accurately and streamline their supply chains, from more efficient goods loading and unloading to improved safety for products and operators.

Data Analytics: The Backbone of Delivery Optimization

Data analytics is vital to the last mile tracking puzzles and that’s why it deserves its very own section. By diving deep into real-time and historical data, companies are constantly finding smarter ways to map out delivery routes and fine-tune their operations. Not only does this mean getting packages to customers on time but also optimizing the whole journey there, whether providing drivers with the best routes or helping deliveries succeed and bypass disruptions time after time. That’s why, according to a Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals study, 77% of shippers invest in tools like predictive analytics.

On the customer front, data analytics is making shopping experiences far more personal by ingesting data from various parameters such as website activity, browsing history, purchase history and more. AI then assembles customized product bundles, marketing messages and offers to resonate with customers on a personal, intimate level. Clearly, such a personal touch is a big hit. 83% of shoppers are open to sharing their data for a more customized experience, and businesses see a revenue boost of 10% to 15% just by aligning their offers more closely with what customers really want.

Building Resilient and Responsive Supply Chains

Supply chains never remain stagnant. That’s why there’s such a magnifying glass on the importance of sophisticated last mile tracking systems to support resilient and flexible supply chain strategies.

Strategies for Mitigating Delivery Exceptions

Leveraging last mile tracking tools to manage delivery exceptions effectively is key to customer satisfaction and smooth operations, especially since 81% of organizations cite customer experience as a competitive differentiator.

First, always verify delivery addresses to reduce errors. Integrating weather-tracking tools can also help you plan around potential delays while utilizing AI and machine learning to personalize communication based on customer habits and keep your communication channels fresh and relevant. It’s also smart to use multiple communication methods like email, SMS and phone calls to update customers promptly about any changes or delays. Implementing feedback loops takes customer communication to the next level, too, to gain firsthand insights into their experiences through surveys, social media and direct communication channels. For dynamic rerouting, leverage real-time data with advanced algorithms to continually adjust routes as conditions change. AI-driven route optimization considers traffic, weather and roadblocks.

Collaborative Ecosystems for Circular Supply Chains

Finally, what ties together the benefits of last mile tracking is how it builds collaborative ecosystems between retailers, wholesalers and logistics partners and fosters circular supply chains. With real-time updates on where shipments are, their condition and when they’ll arrive, think of last mile tracking as the glue binding these collaborative efforts and the bulldozer paving the way for how we use and reuse resources. The entire purpose of a circular supply chain is to reduce, reuse, recycle or remake waste. With last mile tracking in the mix, we’re well on our way with the tools to slash municipal solid waste from over 4.5 billion tons each year to less than 2 billion tons by 2050.

Seize the OneRail Advantage with Last Mile Tracking

Whether you’re a retailer or a wholesaler, last mile tracking can be your secret weapon that redefines your business’s approach to delivery, collaboration and customer satisfaction. The logistics world and global supply chains as a whole are living, breathing entities that never stand still. Customers genuinely don’t care if you can’t keep up. So find ways to stay ahead and utilize advanced last mile tracking systems to keep your deliveries timely, flexible and efficient.

OneRail offers a comprehensive suite of solutions to do just that. From a vast national network of over 12 million couriers with broad reach to the OmniPoint™ Platform, which provides 100% end-to-end network visibility and efficient carrier management, OneRail can help enhance your last mile in almost every way imaginable capabilities. Plus, with Exception Assist™, OneRail proactively manages potential delays and zeroes in on every shipment to meet customer expectations.

Interested in transforming your logistical challenges into competitive advantages? Schedule a demo with OneRail today and take the first step in streamlining your operations and delighting your customers.


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