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last_mile

How FleetOptic’s data analytics smooth the last mile of a parcel’s journey
SEPTEMBER 27, 2019 | The Globe and Mail| by JOANNA PACHNER, SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL.

FleetOptics specializes in so-called last-mile delivery, from a retailer's distribution centre to the customer's door—the hardest and most expensive portion, estimated to account for a least 30% of total transportation cost. It's also the most vital as, in the e-commerce era, receiving the package is often the only contact consumers have with a human during the transaction. FleetOptics' software makes the parcel's progress transparent for both business and consumer. Customers can track the driver on-screen as they might an approaching Uber car, avoiding that infuriating experience of the deliveryman arriving just after they jump in the shower. Retailers, meanwhile, can check packages' status in real time through FleetOptics' online portal. As co-founder Vince Buckley pithily sums it up, “Tesla is a battery company that also makes cars. We're a technology company that also makes deliveries.”
analytics  data  data_driven  delivery  delivery_networks  delivery_services  distribution  distribution_centres  e-commerce  FleetOptics  fulfillment  last_mile  logistics  package_delivery  retailers  same-day  start_ups  shipping  third-party  traceability  tracking  trucking  warehouses 
november 2019 by jerryking
Inside FreshDirect’s Big Bet to Win the Home-Delivery Fight - WSJ
By Jennifer Smith
July 18, 2018 5:30 a.m

Designed to keep food fresh longer and move it faster, FreshDirect’s 400,000 square-foot distribution centre is the online grocer’s multimillion-dollar bet on the fastest-growing sector in the grocery business, home-delivery. FreshDirect pioneered the e-commerce home-delivery market, and now with Amazon and big grocery chains like Kroger Co. piling on investments, companies are jockeying for position in a business that some believe is the future of supermarket sales.....FreshDirect's trucks now provide next-day delivery to customers across the New York-New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., metropolitan areas, with plans to expand into Boston next. The private company says it generated between $600 million and $700 million in annual revenue in 2017.

It declined to disclose the cost of the new facility, which was financed with the help of a $189 million investment round in 2016 led by J.P. Morgan Asset Management, direct funding and incentives from state and local governments......Amazon, Target Corp. and other large companies have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to expand food delivery and build out their grocery e-commerce operations. Supermarket chain owner Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV’s Peapod unit, the longest-running online grocery service in the U.S., has expanded to 24 markets and is investing in technology to cut its handling and delivery costs.

Walmart Inc. said this month that Jet.com, the online retailer it bought two years ago, will open a fulfillment center in the Bronx this fall to help roll out same- and next-day grocery deliveries in New York City.

The grocers are trying to solve one of the toughest problems in home delivery: Getting food to doorsteps in the same condition consumers would expect if they went to the store themselves. Delivering perishables is trickier than dropping off paper towels or dogfood. Fruit bruises, meat spoils, eggs break. ........FreshDirect’s logistic hurdles start well before delivery. It must get products from its suppliers to the building, process the food, then pick, pack and ship orders before the quality degrades.

That is why the new distribution centre has 15 different temperature zones. Tomatoes do best at about 55 degrees, but “chicken and meat like it to be just at 32 degrees... it gives more of shelf life to it,"....Software determines the most efficient route for each order, and tells workers which items to pick.....A big part of the facility [distribution centre] is ripping out tons and tons of operating costs out of the business.....The stakes in getting the technology right are high. FreshDirect is competing with grocery chains that often fill online orders through their stores, using a mix of staff and third-party services like Instacart Inc. So-called click-and-collect services, where consumers swing by to pick up their own orders, tend to have better margins because the retailer isn’t paying for last-mile delivery.....Online-only operations with centralized warehouses tend to be more efficient than logistics run out of stores, because they use fewer workers and can position goods for faster fulfillment.
algorithms  Amazon  big_bets  cold_storage  distribution_centres  distribution  e-commerce  food  FreshDirect  grocery  home-delivery  infrastructure  Kroger  logistics  perishables  retailers  software  supermarkets  Target  Wal-Mart  warehouses  fulfillment  same-day  piling_on  last_mile 
july 2018 by jerryking
Amazon encourages entrepreneurs to build logistics network | Financial Times
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Amazon  Amazon_Prime  last_mile  Fedex  UPS  USPS  entrepreneur  logistics  shippers  speed  small_business  e-commerce  delivery  delivery_networks  delivery_times  delivery_services 
june 2018 by jerryking
Why glass milk bottle deliveries are back
APRIL 13, 2018 | FT | by Carl Wilkinson.

Milk & More offers what Müller calls “a farm shop on wheels” with more than 200 locally sourced premium products (as well as normal and organic milk, it stocks free-range eggs, biscuits, bread, bacon, organic cheese and veg), which can be ordered online up to 9pm the night before and be waiting on your doorstep by 7am “like magic”. This year, Müller is investing a further £20m in the Milk & More business, revamping IT, upgrading machinery and — most visibly — from this month rolling out a new fleet of more than 200 electric floats to replace many of the older diesel vehicles used on longer rural rounds. “David Attenborough has reignited people’s love of the great British milkman,” he says.

Yet most of the investment in Milk & More was put in place well before Blue Planet II aired. What did Müller — who is Swiss and recalls visiting his local farm as a boy to collect milk in buckets — spot in the ailing business?

“We saw three general trends,” he says. “Customers want to know what they’re eating and who produced it. People are environmentally conscious and want to do their bit to reduce plastic waste. That’s why we kept the glass bottle and decided to keep the factory open. It’s great packaging. And finally, community values are becoming more important. The human touch and the sense of community are becoming more important in today’s world.”
dairy  home-delivery  tracking  traceability  last_mile  milkmen  glass_bottles 
april 2018 by jerryking
Walmart Expands Online Grocery Delivery to 100 Cities - The New York Times
By TIFFANY HSU and NICK WINGFIELD MARCH 14, 2018

“There is a lot of experimenting going on as everyone tries to figure out that last-mile delivery — it’s a tough economic equation to make work,” said Mike Knemeyer, a professor of logistics at Ohio State University. “But if you can, you’ll have a big head start on the others, and you’ll end up making money not just in groceries but on all of the things that you sell.”

The nexus of e-commerce and grocery sales is increasingly appealing to retailers.
Wal-Mart  home-delivery  e-commerce  grocery  supermarkets  Amazon  Whole_Foods  distribution_channels  logistics  same-day  delivery_networks  last_mile 
march 2018 by jerryking
What It Would Take for Amazon to Become UPS or FedEx - WSJ
By Laura Stevens, Jennifer Smith and Paul Ziobro
Updated Feb. 10, 2018
Amazon  FedEx  UPS  delivery  B2B  last_mile  USPS 
february 2018 by jerryking
FedEx Says Retailers Should Be Paying More for Web Delivery - WSJ
By LAURA STEVENS
Updated March 16, 2016

FedEx Corp. executives said retailers should be paying more for shipments to help offset the cost of expanding its network to meet the growing demands of e-commerce.....FedEx CFO Alan Graf said that it is important for the price of shipping an e-commerce package to reflect the effort it takes to deliver it. “We can’t build these networks and spend this kind of capital and not get a return on it,” Mr. Graf said in an interview....Mr. Smith said he thought it was unbelievable that some have suggested that Amazon would be able to build out a network to compete with FedEx and rival United Parcel Service Inc.

Just because Amazon has created a network of warehouses to support its retail operations, doesn’t mean that could translate to something akin to FedEx’s massive network for deliveries, Mr. Smith said. “The key driver of any delivery system is route density and revenue per delivery stop,” he said....One way that FedEx intends to boost its e-commerce returns is by increasing fees attached to the growing number of large shipments such as kayaks and other items that don’t fit into its ground network.

Mr. Smith blamed some of the trend in low-cost e-commerce expectations on the U.S. Postal Service, which it and other delivery companies, including UPS and Amazon, use to deliver packages the most expensive leg of the trip—to resident’s doors....
Fedex  e-commerce  retailers  shippers  package_delivery  couriers  return_on_effort  Amazon  UPS  USPS  last_mile  logistics  distribution_channels  delivery_networks  route_density 
march 2016 by jerryking
In War for Same-Day Delivery, Racing Madly to Go Last Mile - NYTimes.com
November 23, 2013 | NYT | By HILARY STOUT.

That personal, labor-intensive approach doesn’t translate easily into profit. “You just can’t get any hourly worker at Popeyes to do this — you need someone with a work ethic and a sense of urgency and a willingness to go out of the standard operating procedure to delight the customer,” said Sucharita Mulpuru, a retail analyst at Forrester Research. “It is an H.R. issue, not a tech issue. Many of these companies are coming at it from a tech standpoint.”
Amazon  eBay  eBay_Now  concierge_services  shippers  delivery_networks  package_delivery  instant_gratification  last_mile  distribution_channels  work_ethic  urgency  same-day  delighting_customers  hourly_workers  labor-intensive  home-delivery  fulfillment 
november 2013 by jerryking
Dairies Profit From Home Delivery Resurgence - WSJ.com
May 15, 2007 | WSJ | Gwendolyn Bounds.

As American consumers rush toward healthier, home-grown foods, the old-fashioned trade of home milk delivery is making a comeback in pockets around the country. And that appetite for wholesome fare, coupled with rising gas prices, is giving an unexpected marketing boost to some tiny dairies and local milk distributors, helping them compete against larger rivals who saturate store shelves....For its part, Crescent Ridge, believing its core business was strong, took advantage of the difficulties by purchasing the trucks, customer lists and assets of other small struggling dairies.

Today, the small business has about $7 million in annual sales, serves 6,000 home-delivery customers and is profitable. Its milkmen are paid $40,000 to $50,000 a year, have 401(k)s and health benefits. What's more, the milkmen and glass bottles are now a core marketing asset -- a nostalgic chit that distinguishes Crescent Ridge products from competitors'.
dairy  small_business  Gwendolyn_Bounds  home-delivery  milkmen  glass_bottles  last_mile  nostalgia 
january 2013 by jerryking

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