In the e-commerce world, more than 70% of transportation service providers recognize the importance of last-yard logistics in meeting customer needs, exceeding customer expectations and establishing business differentiation.
Last-mile logistics without GPS, Cloud Computing and Big Data isn’t quite in the days of yore, yet, but it is quickly becoming a horse-and-buggy practice that came before the legacy system and no one knows why to use it beyond tourism purposes. Pretty much, every consumer nowadays has an upmarket (expensive) smartphone with all the powerful features that come with the most basic packages out there, caveat the most popular apps being for chats, selfies and Pokemon in vain. “My grabbike operator has a better phone than I do”, explains the computer engineering professor, “for functions that doesn’t fulfil even one-tenth of the potential”. As such, last-yard is well known amongst logistics service providers as an arm and a leg cost for the most challenging distant in the entire supply chain sequence. Last-yard logistics, on the other hand, is quickly becoming the next big thing in digital logistics. Technically, it is known as the longest yard in the last-mile that puts the goods in the recipient’s hands. And that, given the infrastructure, comes with the largest operational requirement to fulfill the order.
Studies show that last-yard logistics is a big complexity.
Upon receiving an online order through e-commerce channels, last-mile logistics covers the distance from the storage facility on the retail end to the locker of the registered address on the recipient’s end. In conventional logistics, this is where liability for the package transfers from the shipper to the recipient. In the age of digitized supply chain, that being so, last-yard logistics will cover the remaining distance between the locker and into the recipient’s hands, as well.
Examples of the last yard in B2C scenarios.
Credit: Third-Party Logistics Study
As last-yard logistics appears a distant affair to the retailer and even unexpecting customers at the time, it holds significant potential as part of the value chain process that can add value to Customer-Centric operations and growth.
Last-yard logistics capability thus determines delivery effectiveness in the context of what it should be able to do given cheap IoT technology by not only meeting legacy customer needs but exceeding expectations in new warranting respects that emerge, altogether.
Retailers and transport providers alike try many different things to differentiate competition and match last-yard needs of as many customers as possible. Some even deliver goods directly to the refrigerator as opposed to leaving the package exposed on doorsteps.
Meanwhile, storage lockers have become immensely popular to the point where Amazon is now providing locker services for a number of upmarket vertical communities in apartments and condominiums. Even UPS now uses landmarks for accurate delivery in the customer’s residence. The concept eliminates unnecessary third party intervention and apparently even between the carrier and customer themselves.
Last-yard logistics still has a lot of potential for improvement, it be modernization in general, delivery methods, feasibility of reception areas in various locations or technology that updates carriers and customers on transport-delivery status in real time.
With complexity in the last-yard, all parties involved from the retailer to the carrier and the receiving customer need to be operating from a onestop platform to share the same information in a systemic and real time fashion to carry out the best approach in different situations in a synchronized, progressive manner.
Compiled by BLOG.SCGLogistics
Reference and Photos supplychaindive.com, Third-Party Logistics Study