How can last-mile logistics operators scale their operations while keeping fuel costs low?

written by:
SWAT Mobility Team
Published on:
Jun 23, 2022

Several countries, including Singapore, are experiencing elevated fuel prices today. Fuel prices will continue to rise due to several factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic and supply-chain problems. Keeping transportation costs low is one of logistics' greatest challenges. However, as fuel prices rise, moving freight becomes less economical if operations are not scaled and optimised.

Moreover, with the rise of eCommerce, consumers’ perception of delivery has changed drastically. Deliveries today need to be fast, accurate, and cheap. These changes in consumers’ demand pose a significant challenge for logistics companies since offering instantaneous and low-cost delivery is no longer a luxury but a necessity to stay competitive. 

The methods used to scale operations are well understood, but how do we scale them post-pandemic? 

Optimising last-mile delivery is the key to this. As stated by Invesp, in today’s post-pandemic age, 96% of customers now consider ‘fast delivery’ to be same-day delivery and 61% want even faster deliveries within 1-3 hours of ordering. This makes last-mile operation extremely crucial to your business. In order to ensure efficiency and timeliness in your last-mile delivery, it requires dynamic route planning capabilities that generate accurate and streamlined routes. 

This is possible with effective route optimisation. An effective route optimisation tool should be able to:

  • Cope with same-day route scheduling. To keep up with consumers’ demand for prompt, precise, and inexpensive deliveries, same-day route scheduling features mean the ability to handle last-minute insertions and cancellations, and reorder jobs in real-time by automatically readjusting them based on existing constraints. 
  • Ensure that the estimated arrival time and the route are highly accurate. This can be achieved through the usage of custom speed map profiles, resulting in more timely deliveries to end consumers. 
  • Provide full visibility to key metrics. Experience real-time updates where every action can be tracked and reported. By monitoring such metrics continuously, you can make improvements and revisions as necessary, allowing for long-term cost-saving planning that maximises customers’ satisfaction.
  • Adapt to even the most complex operational constraints while maintaining some degree of customisation for any additional unique requirements.

To maximise the efficiency of last-mile delivery, both route and load optimisation need to go hand in hand. Vehicle loading optimisation capability is at the core of shrinking transportation costs. According to the generix group, load optimisation has the potential to reduce costs by up to 57%. Load optimisation creates additional capacity within the existing fleet, driving productivity to its maximum. This way, vehicle capacities are freed up, allowing your company to complete more drops per route. 

With fuel costs skyrocketing today, reducing mileage is pivotal. By optimising route and load, drivers can reduce time on the road and increase delivery capacity, saving more than 10 percent on fuel costs. Reduced mileage also lowers carbon emissions, resulting in a positive impact on the environment. Your green efforts will, therefore, lead to fuel savings and increased customer satisfaction with the route and load optimisation.

To maximise your route optimisation capability, technologies for Transport Planners, Drivers, and Fleet Owners should be integrated. 

Implementation of such technologies does not have to be complicated. You can easily gain access to the benefits of route optimisation through Application Programming Interface, API for short. Such functionalities are now widely available as APIs, which makes them more compatible with most existing systems. You can simply integrate route optimisation and scheduling functions into your existing transport management software (TMS), which is a more time and cost-effective solution in the long run. With the help of APIs, you can automate almost every step of your last-mile delivery process, maximising the efficiency of your last-mile delivery. 

“Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” - W. Edwards Deming

There is no denying that the unrelenting challenges in the logistics industry these days take a heavy toll on all operators. Through route optimisation via APIs, you can combat rising fuel costs while achieving greater revenue with scaled operations. 

Start now to build a promising future.

SWAT Mobility offers end-to-end applications and APIs for planning, automating, and operating first and last-mile fulfilment services. Get in touch with us now.