Determining a carbon footprint is not simple; many factors play a part. For example, your location, distance to a parcel machine, the type of vehicle you and the courier take (if any), and even whether your parcel is wrapped in plastic, recyclable material or not packed at all.
In short, stakeholder choices in delivery matter, and will affect the sustainable solution in the last mile.
This page below will explore the history, solution potential, importance of connecting stakeholders, and our company vision.
Before the rise of e-commerce, delivery was a business-oriented service. Couriers delivered many parcels to central commercial clients. This meant driving to a few city centres or from distribution warehouses to retail chains. Already, the city infrastructure fell short. (PWC, 2017)
Accelerated by COVID-19, behaviour shifted to individuals ordering more online, expecting fast and sustainable delivery. To fulfil these wishes, couriers struggle to hire enough drivers, move to more delivery options, optimize delivery routes to minimise footprint, all while the number of pick up locations changed from a few to, well…. millions. Despite the demands and landscape changing, the infrastructure for delivery remained mostly the same. The outcome of this system in crisis shows through congested cities, extended delivery timeframes, and insane emissions in the last mile. The last mile in 2020 accounts for 51.4% of the overall cost in delivery. (PWC, 2017; Shih, 2021)
We are in a big buzzing city and one courier serves all customers. Each customer receives a delivery time frame of a few hours. The courier makes ten stops within the same city. Seeing that it is a big city, parking is limited, so let’s add some congestions to the mix.
As expected, not everyone can stay home to receive their parcel. For example, three out of ten deliveries fail. The courier will either have to return or drive to an alternative location, such as your local retailer—adding kilometres to the total distance driven once again.
And this is just 10 people, but note that every second, 4160 parcels are shipped globally. (Pitney Bowes, 2020)
Let’s take the same example. We install a big Smartmile Hub at a local grocery store. Instead of driving to ten different houses, the courier only makes one stop, and likely no deliveries fail. The centralisation to one Hub already decreases the potential of delivery-caused traffic jams, eliminates the chance of failed deliveries, and allows customers complete freedom to pick up when it suits them. The location selection allows customers to combine pick up with grocery shopping, minimising footprint even more. As a delicious cherry on top, retailers do not have to worry about handling parcels because the system runs automatically.
In a way, we re-shape the wisdom in the original model in a more agile and customer-oriented manner. The true transformation lies in collaborating with all stakeholders.
Connecting all stakeholders in one dynamic system that we dedicate to helping all players optimise their processes with one another. We are the link that combines shared system knowledge regarding volume expectation, capacity, pick up times, and more through software integration with the goal to eliminate the footprint of delivery.