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How to reduce last-mile delivery costs

Strategies for delivery businesses to lower operational costs through efficient route planning, vehicle choice, driver training, automation, and enhanced communication.

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Strategies for Reducing Last-Mile Delivery Costs: A Comprehensive Guide for Delivery Businesses

You should always try to reduce your costs if you want to run a successful business. The lower your operational costs, the greater the value you can provide to your customer in terms of time and quality. This concept is critical for delivery companies.

The importance of lowering the cost of last-mile delivery cannot be overstated. It can also ensure that everyone involved in the process, including you, the business owner, your fleet manager, your delivery drivers, and your customers, has a positive delivery experience.

Last-mile delivery services are something that the EasyRoutes team has a lot of experience with. Hundreds of delivery business owners, fleet managers, SMBs, and individual drivers work with us. All of our customers have been interviewed in order to gain a better understanding of their best practices.

We’ve come up with a few ideas that can help you save money:

  • Better Planning
  • Improved route planning and mapping
  • Choosing the right vehicles
  • Training your drivers
  • Automating manual processes
  • Improved Communications

Let’s take a closer look at each of these areas.

Lowering delivery costs through planning

Proper planning is the first step in lowering last-mile delivery costs. Every second you save adds up over time, resulting in a significantly lower price. You can, for example, plan out product placement in a warehouse to encourage an efficient workflow.

Setting up packages so that they are ready to be received and packed into delivery vans by your drivers is one example. The faster products get out the door, the less confusion and friction there is during this stage of the process. When it comes to cutting delivery costs, speed is crucial.

Route planning can lower delivery costs

One of the most effective ways to reduce delivery costs is to plan optimized delivery routes. Everyone understands that driving extra miles costs money and delays delivery times. We recommend that you use a routing solution to ensure that your drivers take the most efficient route between multiple stops, saving your company both fuel and time.

Routing algorithms are capable of performing complex mathematics that are difficult for humans to compute. Routing algorithms, for example, can factor in various work constraints such as delivery-time windows, delivery truck capacity, and even driver speeds to create a route solution that minimizes driving time and fuel consumption.

The right vehicles to achieve low cost shipping

You must devote sufficient time to locating the best vehicle for your fleet and specific requirements. It would be best if you posed the following questions to yourself:

  • Is it common for your delivery trucks to be overloaded?
  • Are your drivers making multiple trips to complete the day’s deliveries?

Start by answering these questions to see if you have the appropriate vehicles for your team. You might believe that having a larger car is the best option because it allows you to scale. However, it may come at a price. Vehicles that are too large for the areas they are delivering, for example, will waste time looking for parking or taking alternate routes to avoid narrow streets or low-clearance bridges.

Training drivers to be more efficient

We believe that keeping your employees happy is important in business because happier employees work more efficiently. This is undoubtedly true of your delivery fleet as well.
Improving their working conditions and your management style can help you save money.

You can cut delivery costs by teaching your drivers how to drive more efficiently and effectively.
Reduced idling, following the speed limit, and staying on schedule are all examples of efficient driving practices that can save your team time and effort.

When thinking about driver costs, it’s also important to consider a workforce’s willingness to be trained. Some companies make it a point to include this type of training as part of the interview and onboarding process.

Automating manual processes

Being more active in the last-mile distribution process will give you a better understanding of the levers you can use to reduce costs and possibly develop your company. Many processes in your industry can benefit from automation.

Setting up an online store using an e-commerce platform like Shopify, for example, will provide you with tools to manage payments, inventory, and even send out automated email campaigns to your customers. IoT-connected devices can help you track assets, monitor driver performance, and improve fleet performance if your fleet is a little more complicated. And, once you’ve automated your manual route planning, you’ll be able to concentrate your efforts on growing your delivery company.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, one of our customers scaled up their grocery deliveries using the EasyRoutes app.

Improved Communications

Having clear lines of communication is one of the most important aspects of a successful business.
It allows you to remain on the same page, prevent misunderstandings, and save time and money in the process. Customers will be happier if you keep progress visible and communicate with them. This will reduce the number of phone calls asking where their products are.

Giving customers a little bit of information is crucial to a positive customer experience. Customer notifications are used by our customers to send an email to customers informing them when their deliveries will arrive.

From a driver’s perspective, you can save a lot of time and stress by ensuring that your communication systems include tracking and proof of delivery options. You can use this to protect your company from issues such as late or lost packages.


Certain things are simply out of your control when it comes to solving the last-mile problem.
We have no control over the economy or traffic lights, and we have no way of predicting accidents, severe weather, or a global pandemic. However, there are numerous factors over which you have control or influence. You have a great opportunity to reduce delivery costs today by better managing your last mile than you did yesterday.

You get the best-optimized routes with the EasyRoutes route planning app. Instead of manually importing orders, EasyRoutes is seamlessly integrated with Shopify and your store. Just select the orders you want to route and click the button. You can share routes with a driver or deliver by yourself. And you can improve communication by keeping your customers informed automatically. EasyRoutes is the ultimate solution for cutting costs and increasing profits in your business.

Start by reviewing your operations to see if there are any minor improvements that can be made in each of these areas. Every little bit makes a difference.

Learn more about EasyRoutes: https://www.roundtrip.ai

Get EasyRoutes on the Shopify App Store: https://apps.shopify.com/easyroutes

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.

"This app made us save time, work and money. It's very user friendly and offers everything we need."
Kyoto Fleurs
Flower delivery in Canada 🇨🇦
Designed to make deliveries easy