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E-commerce has fueled the need for last mile logistics. Last-mile logistics sometimes referred to as last mile delivery, is an essential step in the overall logistics process; it’s the final leg of delivery from the warehouse to consumer. While the name implies the “last mile,” the final delivery can range from a few city blocks to 50 or more miles from the distribution center to the consumer.
The demand for last mile deliveries rises as consumers increase their online purchases. Online retail purchases in 2010 comprised 4.2% of all retail sales and gradually grew to over 11% by the third quarter in 2019. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 many non-essential brick-and-mortar businesses were required to close, pushing consumers to make purchases for non-essential goods online. As a result, the total year-over-year daily sales for online shopping increased by 250% in the second quarter of 2020. The majority of online purchases were for medical supplies and assorted groceries as consumers are hesitant to go to stores to avoid possible exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
The growth trajectory for last mile deliveries before the pandemic was already showing an upward trend. Companies like Amazon and FedEx have perfected the last-mile delivery process. However, smaller logistic companies and businesses may find challenges when implementing a last-mile delivery strategy. While there’s plenty of room for new firms and companies to start such a service, they need to be aware of some challenges.
First, new entrants into the last mile delivery market must understand how to route through traffic to minimize fuel costs and staff-hours. Next, firms need a strategy for managing possible driver shortages as online shopping and shipping demand increases. They also need to learn new technologies that help streamline the last mile logistics process, like tracking and delivery notifications. Finally, new and existing firms need to address their vehicle choice. Is operating a fuel-burning delivery truck or van more economical than an all-electric, zero-emission delivery van or truck?
While the cost of fuel is lower today, oil producers are looking to slow production, thus stabilizing the low price of oil. However, once the economy bounces back after COVID-19 wanes, the cost of fuel will rise again. Higher fuel costs make it more costly to operate diesel and gas engines as last-mile delivery vans and trucks. The alternative to fluctuating expenses is to operate an all-electric, zero-emission fleet of last-mile delivery vans or trucks. The idea of an all-electric delivery van and truck serves two purposes. First, they offer a lower total cost of ownership over the long run in terms of low maintenance costs and reduced fuel costs over the fuel-based delivery vehicles. Second, an all-electric delivery van or truck is “healthier” for the environment and people since it emits no toxic fumes like particulate matter (PM).
According to data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), air quality in Los Angeles alone saw the longest stretch of good air in March since 1995. Overall, air quality across the United States and the rest of the world has improved. The main reason is that people are staying indoors due to the COVID-19 virus. Imagine for a moment that the over 15-million registered class 3 to 8 trucks in the USA were zero-emission trucks. That number would place a significant dent in the pollution spewed by the fuel-burning vehicles.
The reality is that fuel-burning class 3 to 8 trucks are not going away soon. However, we can start with last-mile delivery trucks and vans. The delivery vehicles operate in dense, urban areas where traffic and the human population is high. Implementing zero-emission delivery trucks in urban areas can help reduce PM and set the tone for other industries, including long-haul logistic companies to transition to zero-emission trucks.
ADOMANI offers several zero-emission vehicles that fit the last-mile logistics business model. The all-electric, zero-emission delivery van and the all-electric, zero-emission trucks. Each zero-emission vehicle provides a variety of options for the last-mile logistics firm. For more information about ADOMANI zero-emission trucks and vans, contact them today.
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