What You Wear, Eat and How You Spend Time With Friends
You don’t have to be a professional in the transportation or logistics industry to be familiar with the term “last mile delivery.”
Amazon’s recent moves have generated almost daily news articles and posts about what the eCommerce giant will do next. One of the problems the company has faced recently is last mile delivery.
In a nutshell, last mile delivery is the movement of goods from a retailer’s transportation hub to the final delivery destination–the consumer’s home. The goal is for the items to be delivered as fast as possible.
If you’re an entrepreneur who sells a product, particularly online, chances are you are intimately familiar with the necessity and importance of last mile delivery in today’s on-demand marketplace.
But whether you’re a retailer or just a regular Joe or Jane Shmoe, last mile delivery actually greatly impacts your life. It will only continue to do so as technology and consumer expectations reach further into the future.
Here are 7 ways you as an individual are impacted by the increasingly present “last mile delivery.”
Last Mile Delivery Impacts How You Eat
Shopping online for groceries and the expectation of speedy delivery to your front door is steadily increasing across the globe. Traditional grocery store chains are fighting to remain relevant and meet consumer needs in the face of the “retail apocalypse.” According to a McKinsey study, nearly half of all traditional grocery chains are in danger of closing by 2026, with $700 Billion in revenue shifting to other channels. This is causing retailers like Target and Aldi to partner with delivery services such as Instacart and Shipt, as they try to offer a seamless transition from in-store to online.
Consumers value transparency in the supply chain of their food products, this means that in the long run, your eating habits will shift. Whether that means you will eat more or less of something, or cook more or less remains to be seen. What is for sure, however, is that grocers are working hard to ensure their last mile services provide you with a good experience.
Your Major Milestones Are Impacted by Last Mile Delivery
At some point everyone goes through one major life milestone or another, be that getting married, having a baby, launching a business or landing a new gig. Whatever the case, something big has happened in your life and those who love you want to send you a token to celebrate your moment.
I remember when my doctor’s office goofed and told me that instead of having a boy (which I thought I was having for 10 weeks of my pregnancy), I was actually having a girl. My hormones sent me into a tailspin and I was hysterical. My best friend who lives in Atlanta quickly jumped on Amazon. By 7 that evening, I had an adorable pink, elephant baby robe on my doorstep. That’s the kind of impact last mile delivery can have on your life–it allows you to inexpensively receive and give at a moment’s notice.
What You Wear Is Affected by Last Mile Delivery
Subscription boxes have become universal, with a wide range of goods being offered to consumers for a flat monthly fee. While items like sunglasses, eyeglasses, and beauty products are popular, none are more popular than clothing subscriptions.
Some of the fastest growing companies are online clothing boutiques that use algorithms to better understand what you like to wear. In some instances, these algorithms are getting so good, that the retailer is able to send you items you like that you never knew you would! That can be a scary thought, or it can be comforting, depending on your perspective. While being able to predict your tastes definitely gives retailers a competitive edge, their ability to deliver to your doorstep as quickly as possible is what will help them retain your monthly dollars.
Last Mile Delivery Influences Your Worldview
If you’re a millennial, you have the wonderfully unique experience of being a child before the world was filled with digital algorithms. Falling in that 23-38 age range today also gives you the advantage of having most of these algorithms built with you in mind.
However, you can still remember a time when your mom would take you to a department store to shop for back to school clothes.
While the mix of pre and post internet boom puts adults in a unique space, it doesn’t exempt us from the “right now” demands of the modern age. The same-day or next-day delivery offered by efficient last mile seriously impacts our worldview. We begin not only to demand more of our retailers, but we also transfer that on-demand expectation to everything. No longer do we wait for movies, no longer do we wait to learn something. In fact, we expect to remain ignorant of facts for as long as it takes Google to find the answers. Our view of the world then becomes infected with the expectation that very few things require a wait.
Last Mile Delivery Affects Your Personal Relationships
As same and next day delivery expectations grow from consumers, not only will worldviews shift, but how we interact with one another will change. We won’t just be able to inexpensively and quickly send gifts out of state, we will see differences in other ways.
Because last mile delivery services impact our shopping habits, it is inevitable that it will influence our social interactions. Long before social media, mail and courier services affected our ability to remain connected over long distances. Similarly, last mile delivery will influence our personal relationships. On-demand delivery, like Uber, offers employment opportunities, putting strangers together and connecting us in ways we never considered before.
How You Engage With Technology Is Affected By Last Mile Delivery
Last mile delivery technologies are rapidly advancing, with short and near term projections revolving around electric vehicles. Ultimately, the goal is for last mile parcel delivery to be made by robots. The implications this has on how we engage with technology are far-reaching, and will certainly manifest in ways we have yet to truly understand.
As delivery services become more tech-powered, the cost of same-day delivery will decrease, inevitably driving consumer habits and increasing the popularity of online shopping. Our engagement with technology will evolve, as AI will advance rapidly moving beyond our handheld devices.
Last Mile Logistics Is Shaping The “Gig Economy”
Venture capitals are consistently pouring dollars into last mile delivery and logistics services. It has many entrepreneurial individuals asking themselves “Should I start a last mile delivery service?”
Companies like Amazon, Uber, Postmates, DoorDash, etc. have embraced the gig economy by creating a model that allows them to deliver to consumers without having to own assets (trucks, vehicles, etc.). While there are aspects of Amazon and Uber that are more asset-based logistics, the model in which employees use their personal cars allowed “side-hustles” to explode.
According to an article over at Ecommerce Nation, VCs “are interested in companies based on information and technology, not on assets such as vehicles. They focus on companies that use analysis and information to figure out how to do the work for less money, and to take advantage of drivers’ overcapacity with their own cars.”
When thinking about how you want to engage with last mile delivery and logistics beyond the personal effects mentioned above, there’s a lot to consider.
Conclusion, Last Mile Logistics Can’t Be Separated From The Human Experience
Ultimately, logistics are pervasive and greatly influence all aspects of the human experience. The movement of goods and people will always shape how we see our world and the expectations we have for those around us.
In the world of last mile delivery, the demands are great and the solutions are necessary. If you need goods delivered to your consumers quickly and efficiently, you need an experienced logistics partner you can trust. Find out more about LTL Hub’s last mile delivery services.
Check back each week for more information about the ever-evolving world of logistics and its impact on our everyday lives.