With ever-growing and endlessly competitive e-commerce, businesses are looking for a way to have a competitive advantage in their field. There is already competition over last-mile deliveries, but it is only one part of the supply chain.
Smart businesses like Walmart have started venturing into middle mile logistics to reduce costs. Suppose you have already optimized your last-mile system but are looking to automate your repetitive logistics and cut the costs of these operations.
In that case, optimizing middle-mile delivery and logistics is what you need to do. Here is how you can do this.
If your business relies a lot on the LTL transporters, trucking companies, third-party freight brokers, and service providers, then you will not have control over the costs of your middle mile carrier. This is the reason why you need to consider an in-house middle mile.
It is cost-effective to go with a customized middle mile solution that satisfies your logistics needs because every business has different requirements.
Since middle mile logistics is repetitive, automating this system will not be difficult.
You can invest in and use route optimization software. This will allow you to save money and avoid unnecessary expenses.
Once your management solution is up and running, you can connect it with your e-commerce platform and import the addresses of your customers. If your software cannot be integrated with your e-commerce platform, then you can use excel spreadsheets, dropbox, google cloud, or other alternative ways to improve your system.
When you plan the distribution and routes, you need to ensure the right optimization parameters and rules are set up so that you can increase efficiency and reduce operating costs.
You can do the planning by adjusting the weight per vehicle, the number of packages per vehicle and route, duration and distance of the route, stops per route, time windows, and so on.
This will allow you to take full advantage of your workforce according to your distribution routes. And your operations will be smoother, faster, and more efficient in terms of money.
When there are various routes with more than one destination, then you also need to optimize distribution routes.
If the distribution is not planned properly and your fleet drivers make detours or circle around the city to fulfill orders, you will lose time, fuel, effort, and even customers.
Middle-mile logistics is recurring and repetitive, so you can easily predict and plan ahead. If you plan the same routes every time, you will waste time and effort.
Proper software will allow you to optimize middle mile delivery by planning each route with its delivery schedule and specificity of distribution. This will give you visibility of the operations while saving money and time at the same time.
The management of the warehouse is also important when it comes to optimizing middle-mile delivery. Improve warehouse management, improve inventory control, and plan routes for warehouse orders. In this way, you can streamline the management of goods and enhance the efficiency of the distribution.
It is essential that you remember to track your work. When optimizing middle mile logistics operations, you need to ensure you have planned correctly by checking the reports on your route optimization software.
This will give you an insight into your operations and thus help you improve faults and increase efficiency.