Retailers and their logistics partners have been pushed to meet growing customer demands for increasingly speedy shipping. And the steady rise of e-commerce has caused the daily volume of parcel shipments to skyrocket — two trends that, for the foreseeable future, are only going to continue.
With fulfillment giants like Amazon constantly nipping at their heels, e-tailers have to fight to figure out a way to offer same-day shipping at low prices. To do so, they’re experimenting with nontraditional logistics strategies and startup partners to see what sticks.
Solving the last mile problem
In traditional shipping, the last mile problem is the inefficiency of final delivery. The “last mile” of delivery refers to the final leg of shipment, when a package arrives at the customer’s doorstep. This step of the journey is the most expensive and the most time consuming, as there are typically multiple stops along a given route — slowed down by either long distances between stops in rural areas or heavy traffic in urban settings.
Crowdsourced delivery attempts to skirt the bottlenecks of last mile delivery by tasking someone local to both the package’s origin and customer’s door to expedite fulfillment and elevate customer satisfaction.
With crowdsource technology, retailers, logistics partners, and consumers can connect directly with local, non-professional couriers who use their own transportation to make deliveries. Companies can get their online orders to customers faster, and customers can get their items when and where they want them. The freedom to make on-demand and scheduled deliveries also ensures that customers are home at the time of delivery — eliminating the need for a second (or third) attempt.