Learn how to fast track your delivery with this step-by-step guide. And see how you can make it much faster, while providing the best delivery...
Delivery Speed: How to Achieve Fast Fulfillment
Learn how to achieve faster delivery speed of your last mile operations so you can start offering fast fulfillment options to your customers.
In this new blog post, you’ll learn how to achieve faster delivery speed.
This guide will cover what is delivery speed, as well as:
- How to provide fast fulfillment to customers
- What fast fulfillment options exist
- Strategies to raise the speed of delivery
Our strategies will come with some useful solutions and services you can use, but more on that later.
For starters, we will cover the basics of shipping speed.
Let’s jump right in.
What Is Delivery Speed?
Delivery speed refers to how fast you transport and drop off goods or provide services to users at their home or place of work. It’s a big part of the overall consumer experience and depends on structures, people, processes, and technology as part of your logistics and supply chain networks.
What Affects Delivery Speed?
Shipping speed is vital for any business in any industry. And a lot of factors affect it.
After all, road transportation comes with a lot of uncertainties. There are lots of things you can’t control on the road.
These are external factors. Things like other vehicles, traffic congestions, rules of the road, road layouts, their quality, and the weather are factors you can’t control.
What you can do is plan for events that may cause delays.
Fleet dispatching, route optimization, scheduling, and driver management are all activities that help you reduce the chance of delays and raise the speed of delivery.
You also have more control over vehicle maintenance, how you organize drivers and managing customer expectations.
In turn, this prevents mishaps and breakdowns from occurring on the road. But it also means that if something does happen, you can react quickly and manage the situation.
Technically, this helps you to build an agile delivery fleet.
Which prevents anything from causing delays, reducing fulfillment speed, harming the customer experience, or damaging your reputation.
How Important Is Delivery Speed for Your Business?
In a word: VERY.
In fact, consumers want speed. According to delivery statistics, 80% of customers cite it as an important part of their delivery experience.
Another 88% of them don’t mind paying for faster shipping options if it means they’ll receive their goods sooner.
So besides convenience and free shipping, it’s safe to say that it’s what customers value in last-mile delivery the most.
But delivery is expanding.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) even estimates that e-commerce delivery will lead to 36% more delivery vehicles in inner cities by 2030 and higher traffic congestion.
That means that businesses can expect more traffic jams in the future. (And possible delivery delays.)
But seeing how transportation costs make up 50.3% of all logistical spending, any delay is expensive.
Slower delivery speeds also cause dissatisfaction among customers. Which causes them to stop using your service, and you to lose even more money.
So optimal delivery speed can help avert financial losses, as well.
But what are these optimal speeds?
Delivery Speed Statistics
To get a better grasp of the current last-mile delivery market, here are a few delivery speed stats:
- 24.8 billion deliveries were completed globally in 2020.
- The average delivery time is 12 minutes.
- Standard delivery takes about 3-5 business days to be completed.
- 55% of shoppers in the US prefer same-day delivery to any other time of arrival.
- 44% of customers don’t mind waiting 48 hours for their delivery to arrive.
- 62% of consumers associate fast delivery with a positive delivery experience
Fast Fulfillment Options
Customers want speedier deliveries. There are several fast delivery options you can provide right now.
And in this part, we’ll explore each one.
But before that, let’s look at why customers value delivery speed so much in the first place:
Why Do Customers Want Fast Delivery?
In a world where e-commerce delivery is becoming the norm, customers have growing delivery needs.
And in all of that, they focus on convenience the most.
PwC surveyed customer experience and discovered that shopping experience and convenience are the key forces that drive users to pick a particular brand.
The same survey discovered that 88% of consumers are ready to pay extra to get their orders quicker.
That means that these factors are even more important to them than the price.
Next-day delivery refers to deliveries that happen in a 24-hour window following an order request.
If the price is right, users don’t mind paying more for next-day delivery. This means you can reduce delivery time without risking profit.
And this way, you provide convenience to customers.
Another option you can consider is overnight delivery.
This can put more pressure on your fleet logistics, but positions you as a more attractive option among competitors.
Same-day delivery goes a step further than next-day shipping.
Same-day delivery combines the convenience of online shopping and the instant access to products that stationary retail traditionally provides.
With same-day shipping, you can use delivery to win over customers with ease.
By providing same-day delivery to local customers, the rewards far outweigh the risks, as well as the costs.
Brick-and-mortar businesses can see themselves benefiting the most from one-hour deliveries.
With a built-in launching pad for quick deliveries, you can easily outperform big online retailers that rely on warehouses situated in crowded city areas.
If a local brick-and-mortar business can turn urgent delivery to their advantage, they can even convert the customer to a more local-friendly shopping option.
5 Ways to Raise Delivery Speed
How do you raise the speed of delivery?
What do you need to do to offer fast fulfillment options?
These are five full-proof ways for speeding up delivery:
To be clear:
For all of these, you’ll need to use route optimization software, like eLogii.
But if you want to improve delivery speed, you’ll need it to automate your operations.
Let’s see how you can achieve your goals.
#1 Optimize Delivery Routes
A business has to work on its route optimization if it wants to achieve high delivery speeds.
Optimizing delivery routes boils down to selecting the quickest cost-effective routes.
In today’s high-demand consumer society, relying on manual calculations will most likely keep you from achieving the best possible route optimization.
Routing software is crucial for all delivery businesses that have more than two vehicles in their fleet and/or have to ship hundreds of orders per day.
A well-rounded route optimization system crunches hours of manual work into seconds, which speeds up the overall shipping process.
From fleet managers to delivery drivers - they will all be doing their job more effectively.
#2 Plan Ahead of Time
Planning better delivery schedules is crucial for fast delivery.
The better you plan, the shorter your delivery times will be, as well as the execution.
Think about it - planning deliveries just one week in advance can leave you in a tight spot easily and unprepared for some situations.
For instance, holidays can get busy for logistics operations.
If you plan five weeks instead of just five days, you will be much more prepared to act accordingly and meet the uptick in customer demand.
And your drivers will be grateful for scheduling in advance.
Agile delivery gives them more time to prepare, swap shifts if needed, and provide an overall better work-life balance.
Don’t forget that happy employees mean productive employees - and higher on-time delivery rates and profit!
#3 Adjust Routes in Real-Time
Sure, planning can be a game-changer for your business, but you also need to be flexible.
Delivery routes can face unexpected situations, and you need to be able to change the plan to provide express delivery.
What if your driver gets a flat tire or gets delayed because they were helping the end-user? Your dispatchers should be notified right away, so they can act accordingly.
This is where real-time visibility steps in. A visual representation of where your drivers are lets dispatchers modify routes and send updated plans to the drivers.
Real-time tracking is one of the essential components of a route optimization solution. And using it to streamline workflow will increase delivery speed.
#4 Set Order Priorities
Prioritizing and ordering stops accordingly is essential and makes sure that you deliver products and services to your customers as fast as possible.
There are lots of things to consider here.
For instance, if you have both a same-day express delivery and standard delivery lined up, you will naturally prioritize the first one.
You also need to know how to assign orders to drivers, to avoid uneven workloads.
You don’t want some of your employees to work overtime, possibly missing delivery deadlines and opportunities for fast shipping.
Achieve faster deliveries with driver route software that can adapt to your unique business, prioritize routing for the lowest expense, and offer optimized workload distribution.
#5 Merge Forward and Reverse Logistics
If you combine reverse logistics pick-up routes and forward logistics drop-off routes, your business will see fast fulfillment.
After all, if one of your drivers is already on their way to drop off an item, why not send them to do a scheduled pick-up, too? Sending another driver would be both a waste of time and resources.
A well-built software should be able to mix both forward and reverse logistics planning to ensure better turnaround times.
Use such software to plan drop-offs and pick-ups simultaneously, while calculating the capacity of the vehicles in your fleet. You will essentially be planning a route with multiple stops.
Advanced Strategies for Faster Delivery
The delivery race is heating up in the world of logistics. Meeting customer’s speed delivery expectations is not always simple.
From building an agile delivery to focusing on driver tracking, there are advanced strategies out there that you can use to your company’s advantage to achieve faster delivery.
Let’s examine five effective tactics for fast delivery.
Build an Agile Delivery
To build an agile delivery, you should focus on:
Evaluate and rightsize your workforce and put the needs of your operations ahead of goals.
Link various processes to make way for collaboration; manage performance based on the outcome.
Create models that rely on positive leadership and avoiding the status quo.
Use it to support your structure, process, and people, and to scale your delivery operation.
Raise Fleet Capacity
One of the methods you can use to raise fleet capacity is order batching.
Order batching lets you group multiple orders into a single delivery run.
This helps achieve fast fulfillment, especially during peak delivery times.
Another useful strategy is forecast demanding - predicting demand based on past and current information.
For instance, if a retail company is aware of spikes that happen around Christmas and similar holidays, then it knows to specifically raise fleet capacity around that time of the year.
A logistics operation can benefit from automation, too.
A software with a digital delivery system can give you better oversight of your capacities.
It can also help you to schedule deliveries to the full extent of your service in real-time.
And in that way, you can raise delivery volumes even when demand exceeds your capacity.
Measure Delivery KPIs
Measuring key performance indicators through a powerful digital logistics solution allows you to observe the productivity of your whole fleet.
By assessing the overall delivery process, you will be able to pinpoint places that need advancing to achieve fast fulfillment.
And after you implement changes based on that insight, you can use key metrics in delivery logistics to see if your efforts to raise shipping speed were fruitful.
So, no matter the complexity of your operations, KPIs can continuously serve the purpose of helping your business improve.
Driver tracking is the process of following the performance, results, and location of the drivers in your fleet.
Routing solutions let you collect and interpret data from various sources such as tracking apps or hardware trackers like GPS and telematics gadgets.
This delivery management software operates with two key components:
- Dashboard - It gives managers and dispatchers total operational visibility and control
- Delivery driver app - It keeps track of the driver’s location in real-time via the GPS and geofencing capabilities of the device.
Tracking drivers efficiently leads to dynamic route planning, which results in fast delivery service.
Use software that provides real-time tracking and visibility to get access to live ETAs (estimated time of arrival).
Being able to monitor ETAs means that you get up-to-the-second updates.
Getting delivery management software allows your dispatches to check your driver’s location on the virtual map.
They can also view the driver’s remaining distance to the next stop and the ETA.
This means that dispatchers can adjust the schedule and/or reroute the driver to still achieve fast delivery.
Start Your Road to Faster Fulfillment Today
Now you know how to start your path towards fast fulfillment.
We laid out many strategies, some of them advanced, that can help you towards your goal.
To start taking precise steps towards faster fulfillment, take notes from our playbook.