Black Friday and Cyber Monday traditionally kick off the holiday shopping season end of November. This year, experts again predict sales records in e-commerce. Particularly on the last mile to the customer, this poses new challenges not only to parcel services, but also to the cities. 

Thanks to black and cyber week, the shipping giant UPSis expecting to deliver over 32 million parcels worldwide per day, up 50 percent over its regular daily volume.  

For this reason, more and more temporary employees are needed every year, the handling capacity at depots is increased, and fleets are expanded. For courier, express and parcel service providers (CEP), this daring feat can only be accomplished through precise planning. 

To ensure the delivery process is carried out as trouble-free and eco-friendly as possible, intelligent software solutions for transport planning and optimization are of essence. They support planners in combining orders into optimal routes at reduce mileage and resources, all while considering restrictions such as opening hours. 

 Dealing with such seasonal peaks, requires both excellent operational and tactical planning,” says Gerold Lutz, Solution Director for PTV Route Optimizer. “Using historical data, various different scenarios can be analyzed and evaluated. What happens, for example, if my drivers work nine hours a day instead of eight? Such analyses provide a good basis for decision-making, for example on how many temporary workers are needed or whether new area structures or routes might be useful.” 

Despite optimized logistics planning, the estimated record delivery is putting pressure on citiesBooming e-commerce sets off fears of gridlock – not only during holiday season. Ever more smaller vehicles are on the road in cities and this ever more frequently when customers are not located and a second or third attempt must be made. 

Urban logistics and the special challenge of last mile delivery is an interdisciplinary issue. This is where requirements and framework conditions of different players – such as cities, trade, industry and transport companies – meet, says Gerold Lutz. It’s not only a question of making logistics processes more efficient, but also of how we can improve the interaction between urban transport planning and logistics providers. And these are both topics where PTV can make a positive impact. 

Courier services’ needs and the requirements of urban traffic planning must both be taken into account in order to tackle the challenges of the last mile.

About the Author

Sustainable forms of mobility like cycling, autonomous driving, road safety and strategies for the last mile: Steffi is fascinated by the variety of different topics mobility has to offer. She is always looking for new and exciting stories to write about.

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