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Modern shipping dilemmas: Challenges face in the last-mile

The ease of ordering online and having your items delivered to your home has introduced new challenges for delivery carriers. While carriers are still dealing with not so new obstacles, such as lost or stolen packages, they are also adjusting to higher volumes of deliveries, collections, and returns – all while providing convenient and fast services that customers have come to expect. As more and more people move from offline shopping to online, the challenges from growing parcel theft, and shipping’s environmental impact will continue to grow unless modern, sustainable solutions are implemented.

Parcel theft is still on the rise?

When placing an order online, you expect a swift and easy shipping experience that gets your goods from the warehouse to you, without issue. However, for many consumers, this is not the case. According to José Holguín-Veras, an engineering professor and director of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Urban Freight Systems, in the United States alone “More than 1.7 million packages are stolen or go missing every day — adding up to more than $25 million in lost goods and services.” Those living in suburban neighborhoods may have the option to ask a neighbor to look out for their package and store it temporarily. Unfortunately, this is not an option for everyone, and the risk of losing a package is costly. However, many hybrid offerings are being put in place that ensures delivery every time. Some hybrid offerings include contactless click-and-collect for in-store pick-up of online orders, as well as Pick-Up, Drop-Off (PUDO) points, which offer convenient collection and return services to consumers.

Environmental impact

The environmental impact of last-mile delivery has become an important point of discussion. Customer expectations for fast shipping, coupled with their increasing desire to buy online, has resulted in an unsustainable model that includes more single-stop deliveries. The growing volume of single deliveries has led to higher levels of pollution and road congestion across both urban and rural cities around the globe. In response to this, cities worldwide are looking into how they can become a ‘smart city,’ putting in place rules and innovative solutions, such as parcel lockers, to help combat these challenges. In addition to the creation of smart cities, carriers are also looking into ways they can become more sustainable, such as UPS, who has “Reduced the number of trucks on city streets by consolidating packages based on scheduled delivery times and destinations…”

Parcel lockers: The sustainable solution

Parcel lockers are clean, sustainable solutions that help with mitigating challenges, such as theft and pollution. Parcel lockers create a single, secure destination for parcel deliveries, collection, and returns and can be integrated into retail store locations, PUDO points, universities, corporate offices, or multifamily properties. To find out more on how a parcel locker could benefit you, contact us today.

Download a complimentary copy of our new white paper “The Shipping Revolution: The ultimate guide to the transformation of parcel delivery” to learn more.