Last-mile automation: How is delivery optimisation evolving?

It is estimated that last-mile logistics accounts for up to 53% of logistics operators’ costs1. At the same time, inefficient delivery routes and frequent stops dramatically increase CO2 emissions. So how can we solve both of these problems? Through automation! Here is an overview of some interesting and innovative solutions.

Automated vehicles and autonomous robots in warehouses

Last-mile logistics is not just about delivery by courier. It is a multi-stage process that starts in warehouses, where is now increasingly common for automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and automated mobile robots (AMRs) to replace workers.
It is estimated that by 2030 the entire warehouse robotics sector will be worth more than USD 51 billion. Meanwhile, automated warehouse systems in the e-commerce industry can improve warehouse throughput by up to 40%2.

Artificial intelligence in last-mile logistics

The efficiency of last-mile logistics is heavily dependent on software. The future of the industry lies in artificial intelligence, which makes it possible to efficiently plan the loading and unloading of goods by analysing huge amounts of data on orders, returns, product availability and picking times. Today, algorithms can even be used to ensure that packaging is filled to the right percentage to save space.

Expansion of parcel machines

Parcel machines have become very popular in Poland, where they can be found not only in large cities but also in smaller towns. They provide considerable savings in last-mile logistics. This process will continue.
An InPost parcel machine recently appeared at Warsaw Chopin Airport3. In Spain, a pilot programme has been underway for the installation of similar machines in metro stations4.

The challenges of last-mile logistics are indeed difficult, but there is much to suggest that couriers and the e-commerce industry will be able to overcome them by automating the process.