What Is a Last Mile Carrier?
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A last mile carrier is an organization that offers delivery services for the last leg of the supply chain, transporting goods from a transportation hub or warehouse to the end customer. Last mile carriers are also referred to as last mile delivery companies and courier businesses. Examples of last mile carriers include FedEx, DHL Express, UPS, and others.
Last Mile Route Optimization
Last mile optimization is the process of making the last mile as cost-efficient and productive as it is possible using the existing resources and assets. That being said, last mile planning and route optimization are essential to the operation of any last mile carrier. The goal is to deliver more with less.
That’s why most carriers use last mile route optimization and route planning software that allows them to make the most out of their existing assets, such as drivers, vehicles, etc. For example, Route4Me’s Multiple Drivers Route Optimization allows you to plan the most cost-efficient delivery routes as it is mathematically possible accounting for your specific number of assets. Furthermore, the Route4Me Route Planner will even tell you the number of drivers and vehicles you actually need to complete all deliveries in fewer routes and with fewer expenses.
Last Mile Carrier Tracking
Last mile carrier tracking is the process of monitoring the location of goods transported on the last mile. Last-mile tracking encompasses two different processes, each of them addressing distinct needs:
Customer-Facing Last Mile Carrier Tracking
Last mile tracking for customers enables them to trace their orders on a customer portal. Providing your customers with the ability to track and trace their shipments by themselves will save you time and money that would otherwise be spent on customer service.
Here’s how last mile carrier tracking for customers works:
- The carrier implements GPS tracking software and equips their drivers with GPS-enabled devices or mobile devices with GPS apps.
- Once a delivery company receives a package that needs to be delivered, they generate a barcode containing all the necessary delivery information (i.e., when the delivery will arrive, how late does OnTrac deliver, etc.).
- When the package is in the queue for delivery, its barcode is scanned, and all the details attached to it are synced with the customer portal.
- As soon as the driver loads a package in a vehicle and proceeds to deliver it, the order’s status will be automatically updated at each delivery stage on the customer portal.
These 4 steps describe the courier tracking process in very broad lines. There’s much more to the process of last mile carrier tracking – especially when it concerns tracking and tracing customers’ packages.
For example, Route4Me offers last mile carriers the ability to automate the process of notifying their customers by E-Mail, SMS, and Voice Call Notifications when their order has been dispatched or when the driver has arrived at their address, etc.
Management-Facing Last Mile Carrier Tracking
Last mile tracking for carriers helps fleet managers monitor their drivers in near real-time. Delivery driver tracking is necessary for preventing issues such as:
- Late deliveries: Sometimes, your drivers may take unscheduled breaks or make unauthorized detours, and you will be able to see when and find out why it happened.
- Personal trips using company vehicles: You need to know where your fleet assets are all the time, or if your drivers are using them outside working hours.
- Fuel fraud: Your last mile carrier tracking solution should be able to calculate fuel expenses.
Route4Me’s last mile optimization software offers last-mile carriers the ability to track multiple drivers on an interactive map at the same time. You can either monitor your drivers in near real-time (when a route is still in progress) or after a route has concluded in a real-time movie/video format.
Furthermore, with Route4Me’s Dynamic Route Deviations Detection, you can identify unauthorized route detours and personal trips.
Another helpful Route4Me feature for tracking delivery drivers is geofencing. Geofences enable you to create a virtual perimeter around real-life locations and addresses for various tracking purposes. When drivers enter or leave a geofenced area, it can trigger such actions as automatically generated visitation timestamps, SMS messaging notifications, route planner app prompts, etc.