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Last-mile delivery costs: 6 easy ways to reduce expenses

Top strategies for reducing last-mile delivery costs and boosting overall delivery efficiency.

Your all-in-one local delivery app for Shopify

If you want to run a profitable business, you should always aim to save costs. The greater the value you can deliver to your customer in terms of speed and quality, the cheaper your operational costs. For delivery firms, this principle is crucial.

The significance of cutting last-mile delivery costs cannot be emphasized. It can also provide a great delivery experience for everyone involved in the process, including you, the business owner, your fleet manager, your delivery drivers, and your customers.

The EasyRoutes staff has a great deal of experience with last-mile delivery services. We deal with hundreds of delivery business owners, fleet managers, small businesses, and individual drivers.

We’ve come up with a few suggestions to help you save cash. Let’s look at each of these topics in more detail.

Table of Contents

  • Use proper planning to reduce delivery costs
  • Use a route planner to save money
  • Choose the right vehicle(s)
  • Train your drivers to improve efficiency
  • Automate your manual processes
  • Communicate with your customers
  • Final Thoughts

Use proper planning to reduce last-mile delivery costs

The first step in lowering last-mile delivery expenses is proper planning. Over time, every second you save adds up, resulting in a much cheaper price. For example, you can plan out product placement in a warehouse to promote a smooth operation.

One example is preparing items so that they are ready to be accepted and loaded into delivery vans by your drivers. The less misunderstanding and friction there is during this stage of the process, the faster things move out the door. When it comes to lowering delivery costs, time is of the essence.

Use a route planner to save money

Planning efficient delivery routes is one of the most effective strategies to cut delivery expenses. Everyone understands that going the additional mile costs money and adds time to delivery. We recommend using a routing planner app like EasyRoutes to ensure that your drivers follow the most effective route between many stops, saving both fuel and time for your firm.

Routing algorithms can solve complex mathematical problems that are difficult for humans to solve. Routing algorithms, for example, can take into account numerous work restrictions such as delivery-time windows, delivery truck capacity, and even driver speeds to come up with a route that saves time and fuel.

Choose the right vehicle(s)

You should set aside enough time to find the ideal vehicle for your fleet and specific needs. It would be better if you asked yourself the following questions:

  • Are your delivery trucks frequently overloaded?
  • Is it necessary for your drivers to make many trips in order to fulfill the day’s deliveries?

To evaluate if you have the right vehicles for your team, start by answering these questions. You might think that having a bigger car is the greatest option because it allows you to scale better. It may, however, come at a cost. Large vehicles, for example, will waste time hunting for parking or taking other routes to avoid tight streets or low-clearance bridges.

Train your drivers to improve efficiency

We believe that in company, it is critical to keep your staff happy because happier employees perform more efficiently. This is unquestionably true of your delivery fleet. You can save money by improving their working circumstances and your management style.

By teaching your drivers how to drive more efficiently and effectively, you can reduce delivery expenses. Reduced idling, maintaining the speed limit, and staying on schedule are all examples of efficient driving practices that can save time and effort for your team.

It’s also vital to consider a workforce’s willingness to be trained when thinking about driving costs. Some businesses make it a point to incorporate this type of training into the interview and onboarding process.

Automate your manual processes

Being more involved in the last-mile distribution process can help you gain a better grasp of the levers you can pull to cut expenses and grow your business. Automation can help a lot of procedures in your industry.

Setting up an online store with an e-commerce platform like Shopify, for example, can provide you the tools you need to manage payments, inventory, and even send automated email campaigns to your consumers. If your fleet is a little more complicated, IoT-connected devices can help you track assets, evaluate driver performance, and optimize fleet performance. You’ll be able to focus your efforts on growing your delivery firm once you’ve automated your manual route planning.

Using the EasyRoutes app, one of our customers increased their grocery delivery during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Communicate with your customers

One of the most critical parts of a successful business is having open lines of communication.
It allows you to stay on the same page, avoid misunderstandings, and save both time and money. Customers will be delighted if you maintain track of their development and keep them informed. This will lessen the number of phone calls from customers inquiring about the status of their orders.

Giving clients just a smidgeon of knowledge is essential for a pleasant customer experience. Our customers use customer notifications to send an email to their customers notifying them when their delivery will arrive.

From the standpoint of a driver, ensuring that your communication systems include tracking and Proof of Delivery will save you a lot of time and stress. This can be used to protect your business from concerns like late or lost packages.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to fixing the last-mile problem, some things are simply beyond your control.
We have no influence over the economy or traffic lights, and we have no means of knowing when accidents, bad weather, or a global epidemic will happen. You do, however, have some control or influence over a number of circumstances. You have a fantastic opportunity to save money on delivery today by managing your last mile better than you did yesterday.

With the EasyRoutes route planning app, you receive the best-optimized routes. EasyRoutes is effortlessly linked with Shopify and your store, so you don’t have to manually import orders. Simply choose the orders to be routed and press the button. You have the option of sharing routes with a driver or delivering on your own. You can also increase communication by automatically updating your consumers. EasyRoutes is the ultimate cost-cutting and profit-boosting tool for your company.

Begin by analyzing your operations to determine if any minor adjustments can be made in each of these areas. It makes a difference in the smallest of ways.

Learn more about EasyRoutes: Roundtrip.ai

Get EasyRoutes on the Shopify App Store:

Get EasyRoutes on the Shopify App Store
Get EasyRoutes on the Shopify App Store

About Roundtrip

Roundtrip's mission is to equip every business with the software tools they need to deliver products to their customers in a delightful way. Thousands of Shopify merchants worldwide choose EasyRoutes to power their local deliveries across dozens of product categories, from meal kits and groceries to coffee, cupcakes, kibble, and so much more. Our easy-to-use route planning and delivery optimization app is certified Built for Shopify, a two-time Shopify staff pick, and the top rated local delivery app on the Shopify App Store.

"We have tried several route planners for our operation but this one by far is the best one we've used."
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