18 February 2015
Last month, the world’s largest shipping container made its maiden call at the Port of Felixstowe. Operated by the China Shipping Container Line on its AEX1 (Asia Europe Express) service, the ship is the length of four football pitches and weighs as much as 14,500 London buses.
Image courtesy of portoffelixstowe.co.uk
Was your cargo on this monster vessel? Do you have regular arrivals at any of our UK major ports?
If so, are you confident that you have everything in place for the last leg of your logistics journey – getting your goods delivered to the end user?
Last mile logistics refers to the last leg in the delivery process from supplier to consumer and it is a hurdle which many can be prone to falling at as it is often the weakest link in the supply chain. There are several reasons why this may be the case:
- Consider that a consignment may travel thousands of miles by shipping container in a relatively short period of time, however, the last leg may involve delivery within a densely populated, heavily trafficked urban area – causing problems with congestion and pollution.
- As online sales continue to grow, more and more consumers demand home delivery of products, not only increasing the number of parcels needing to be shipped but inciting the problems and costs of redelivery and unsuccessful delivery due to many people not being at home when parcels are delivered.
- The last mile is the most expensive part of the supply chain due to the cost of failed deliveries, the high number of returns and the increased carbon footprint due to the fact that many deliveries are made, at this stage, in small vans.
With retail moving into an increasingly omni-channel environment, these last mile logistics challenges are set to affect more and more retailers and suppliers, so what can be done about it?
- Consolidating deliveries and sharing vehicles where possible to ensure that only full loads are out on the road
- Optimising routes and the number of stops to try and avoid congestion where possible
- Implementing tracking and tracing to enable you to have full visibility of your consignments, particularly during the last mile
- Introduce collection points such as a Click and Collect service to enable consumers to pick up delivered goods at a time that is convenient to them, thus avoiding the cost of redelivery
If you need help with your last mile logistics please contact Navigator Solutions today on 01494 858341 to find out how we can support you throughout your logistics journey.