In 1860, the United States Parcel Service utilized the first “fast” method of delivery: the Pony Express. This first last-mile delivery service did something unthinkable at the time by moving parcels 1,800 miles in 10 days with just the power of horses and riders.

Last-mile delivery has come a long way since 1860. The twenty-first century is seeing far faster deliveries thanks to modern technology. Customer demand in the E-commerce market is driving the push for efficient deliveries.

E-commerce brought in 342.96 billion dollars in the United States alone in 2015. By the end of 2019, experts estimate it will bring in over 600 billion dollars. Effective e-commerce requires efficient last-mile delivery.

As you look at delivery services and what’s ahead, last-mile delivery leads the way. Read on to learn about the coming trends for last-mile delivery.

What is Last-Mile Delivery?

Last-mile delivery refers to the space between the transportation hub and the final destination for a product. So, when you order a blouse online, the last-mile delivery is not the movement from the warehouse in San Diego to your house in Orlando. It’s the final move from the delivery point in Orlando to your house.

Customers seem to care less about brand loyalty and more about who can deliver their desired product the fastest. This shift makes last-mile delivery important. Retailers understand if they can get their product to their customers faster than other retailers, they will once again gain brand loyalty.

You will shop at the store that consistently delivers your products the fastest.

What’s Ahead in Last-Mile Delivery Trends

Because of the growth of e-commerce, we can expect to see last-mile delivery services to boom as well. Businesses like professional courier services are now seeing growth because they can deliver quickly and efficiently. They provide customer service that businesses need.

Robots

You might not see Marty McFly in our version of the future, but you should continue to see the growth of self-driving, parcel-delivering robots.

Cleveron, an Estonian parcel locker manufacturer, has developed a new self-driving delivery robot. It finishes the last-mile service by depositing packages at compatible lockers.

Customers need to have a parcel locker at their residence or business. Once the locker is in place, customers can receive a package from the robot at any time.

Workers will load the vehicle with parcels at the storage depot. The robot then travels on its own to a location where it delivers the package into the locker using a robotic arm.

No one needs to be home to receive the package, the package is securely locked in the storage unit.

Customers receive a confirmation via email or text so they know their package arrived.

Many companies are developing similar robots with the same idea including FedEx, Renault, Scandit, SingPost, and OnTrac.

While companies are developing these ideas quickly, experts estimate we will not see widespread use of the bots until 2022. Their use brings in a host of other issues such as the need for drone traffic control.

Higher Consumer Expectations

We live in a high-demand society. We’ve created it. We can order a pizza and say when we want it delivered to the minute.

So consumers have high expectations for all deliveries as a result. Same-day delivery is quickly becoming the standard thanks to giants like Amazon.

Last-mile delivery services are becoming not just a luxury or option but an essential for a business to succeed with these giants around.

More Same-Day Delivery

Because of consumer expectations, we can anticipate seeing more same-day delivery as well.

Same-day delivery used relegate itself to just the culinary world. Of course, you would want your pizza on the same day you ordered it. But now same-day delivery applies to just about anything.

Brick-and-mortar retailers and not just e-commerce retailers offer this service more and more. Customers are willing to shell over a few extra bucks for the same-day delivery the same way we give our pizza guy a tip when he brings the pie to the door.

Businesses Will Consolidate

Because customers want their goods now, we will begin to see more delivery networks consolidate. They will join forces to create some of the best last-mile services out there.

This only makes sense in the end. If you can consolidate your delivery business with someone else’s, you and your new partner will now have less competition. Less competition means you can now raise your delivery prices.

Consolidated delivery businesses will be able to offer great options to their clients. They will also have more power. Their own costs will go down because they will have a great delivery density.

Warehouse Networks Will Increase

Businesses need warehouse and fulfillment optimization in key areas.

Fulfillment centers allow an e-commerce business to outsource its warehouse and shipping.

If you run your business strictly from your home and the internet is your storefront, you will eventually need a fulfillment center. The fulfillment center provides physical space to store your product.

You do not have to use your garage or basement anymore, and you do not need to build a storage shed. You can use a fulfillment center.

Last-mile demands are now leading to more fulfillment centers and more warehouse networks.

Think about it. A product needs to be close to a customer for a business to get the package to the customer quickly.

Businesses cannot handle the logistics of moving a package from Los Angeles to New York efficiently. To meet the demand of the same-day service customers, a business must make sure the product has fewer miles to travel.

This means the companies need warehouses all over the country, so the product can be delivered quickly. Thus we’re seeing networks of fulfillment partners merchants can access.

Last-Mile Delivery: A Bright Future

So, what’s ahead for last-mile delivery services? Last-mile delivery services can look forward to a bright future. E-commerce is growing, and happy customers receive their packages quickly because of the last-mile industry.

For all of your courier and last-mile needs, contact us.