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Leveraging Logistics 4.0 to Boost Last-Mile Delivery

The increasing volume of e-commerce channel transactions and changing customer expectations are putting immense pressure on transportation planning in order to improve last-mile delivery of industrial and consumer goods, such as white goods and installation services. However, traditional big box planning and execution technologies with focus on inbound operations lack the functionality to support the last leg of delivery.

In a typical final mile delivery, operational planning starts at the hub with customer orders being initiated via an electronics channel and consolidated further based on the customer’s requested delivery date. To minimize the cost of transportation, orders are consolidated by pooling shipments into a single or multiple line-hauls, from point of production to the final distribution center in a supply chain. In addition, shipments are usually cross-docked from larger full truck loads to smaller delivery trucks such as straight trucks in various configurations. Once cross-docked into smaller trucks, shipments are delivered or installed the same day to the final customer address (see Figure 1). Customers are constantly pressing business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) logistics companies to make the final mile delivery more responsive and visible through enhanced shipment tracking using industrial internet of things (IIoT) and mobile order management.