With the parcel volume continuously growing and consumers wanting free shipping, optimizing the last mile of parcel delivery has become more and more crucial. The last mile alone costs upwards of 28% of total delivery cost and can creep up to 50% for residential areas, according to the consulting firm Mckinsey’s study. A last-mile routing software can significantly help you bring down that cost and stay competitive. Here are a few key things to consider when picking your routing partner:

  1. Core data assets: Routing is a complex problem, and the solution depends on several variables like route length, time windows, capacity, waypoints, expected time at each stop, and so on and so forth. A good chunk of this information would come from your manifests, but what can differentiate a routing engine and the underlying AI behind it is the first-party data the SAAS company owns themselves. For instance, can the software predict how much time it would take to make a delivery to a given location? And can the software give you better geocodes to navigate to than what’s available publicly? These couple of points alone can significantly impact your route.

  1. Knowing driver pain points: Hiring top drivers and retaining them has become more difficult with options like Uber, Instacart, or Postmates around for them. They can start earning with just a tap of a button. Therefore, giving them the tools that are intuitive to use and make the job foolproof has become essential. Drivers hate it when their apps crash, when they don’t have enough instructions, or when they are navigated to the furthest building of a 20-building community. We at One Hundred Feet have interviewed over 2,000 drivers to build our product from the ground up. We reduce their average walking distance by 140m in an apartment or hospital and can tell them if a building has an elevator.

  1. Understanding the address: Delivery is not an address, it’s a process. A quick look at Yelp reviews for any top shipping company will show the biggest problems customer face is failure to adhere to already wide delivery windows. If all you are being provided is an address, there is critical data missing to accurately and swiftly complete that delivery. Is it a business, single family residence, or multifamily dwelling? Does that delivery address go to a locker, doorstep, individual unit, or a doorman? Is the location controlled by an access company or gate, which will slow down the delivery? Routing software has to do more than group addresses; it needs to fully understand where they are in relation to each other, how the stops can be better organized, and prioritize your stops based on preference. For example, do you need to prioritize businesses that close at a particular time since the lockers may fill up if you aren’t there fast enough? Addresses can be complex, and you need to know that your routing software fully understands them and can use them to their advantage to make your drivers faster.

  1. Commoditizing information to become smarter: Whether you have 20 trucks or 400, systematically storing the learnings of delivery best practices for each address from each driver is crucial. Training a new driver takes up a lot of resources, plus it is taxing for the drivers themselves. For each address on their manifest, if they are supplied with more qualifying information, it could significantly reduce the delivery time and improve driver satisfaction. If the routing software lets your drivers add and share data points like access codes, after hour instructions, location of elevators, drop-off location preference etc, it will make all your future deliveries to the address seamless.

If you are looking for a solution for your fleet and want to learn more about routing or how can you reduce your cost per delivery, reach out to us. We are happy to help.