The key to last-mile delivery? It starts in your warehouse
In the world of ecommerce order fulfillment, “close enough” won’t cut it. Shippers don’t get any credit for bringing a package close to a customer’s doorstep—it has to actually land there, and quickly.
To earn points with customers and build brand loyalty, shippers have to master the challenges of last-mile delivery, and automated packaging solutions can help them do just that.
Although same-day and instant delivery currently account for only 1 percent of ecommerce parcels, 20 to 25% of consumers would pick those options if they were available at low prices. Quite simply, consumers want their orders right away, but not so badly that they are willing to pay substantially higher shipping costs.
Lower shipping prices pose a challenge for companies because last-mile delivery accounts for 53% of delivery costs. Shippers have no problem getting a package close to a consumer’s home right away, but that last mile requires significant – and costly – resources.
Large ecommerce players and startups alike have identified last-mile services as a key way brands can differentiate themselves from their competitors. Consumers want a variety of delivery options and high-quality service in delivery, making those factors critical to ecommerce players’ success or failure.
Low-cost, same-day delivery is likely to become a thing in the near future, however. Rapid advances in technology – including autonomous vehicles and drones – are poised to allow new players to enter the last-mile-delivery market. Their emergence will put pressure on commercial vehicle (CV) players and courier, express and parcel (CEP) players, who will have to streamline operations and upgrade their technologies in order to hold onto business.
To respond to this challenge and defend their industry positions, CEP and CV players likely will need to build strong business partnerships with their customers and with each other. And automated packaging solutions are one-way shippers can give their delivery partners their best chance for success.
How automated packaging machines can help
Automated polybagging machines allow shippers to boost throughput and get products out the door faster, putting their delivery partners in a better position to meet consumer demands for quick delivery. One tabletop, semiautomatic polybagging machine can replace five workers, who can then be redeployed to other areas of the warehouse or distribution center to speed up fulfillment.
Automated polybagging machines allow shippers to boost throughput and get products out the door faster, putting their delivery partners in a better position to meet consumer demands for quick delivery.
Ideal for products that are not delicate, polybags can significantly reduce shipping costs because they are lightweight and allow parcels to take up far less space than traditional packaging in boxes. More orders can fit into each delivery vehicle, so a brand’s delivery partners can make the most out of their capacity and speed up delivery.
The Sharp Packaging line of machines from Pregis go a step further, sealing and printing shipping labels on the bags, eliminating a time-consuming task for workers and increasing order accuracy. Eliminating labels saves money for the shipper and is better for the environment. Replacement parts for Sharp machines are readily available, so downtime is minimized.
Automated polybagging machines turn picked orders into packed orders faster than workers using standard packaging materials. And the sooner orders are packed, the sooner they can begin their journeys to eager consumers. Automated solutions aside, Pregis offers a variety of protection – such as bubble cushioning and foam – for more fragile items. These protective products are key in reducing the damage rate of packages during shipping, so companies can avoid the unnecessary costs, additional labor and environmental impact of re-shipping.
Last-mile delivery is a logistical challenge for ecommerce players big and small, but with automated polybagging solutions & a variety of ready-to-use products, shippers can give their delivery partners a running start.