March 29, 2023
Updated on:
September 8, 2023

5 Ways Fleet Managers can optimise last mile logistics

As a micromobility fleet management solution for last mile delivery, we’re often asked by clients how they can optimise their logistics to get more out of their fleet. Here are our top five insights for how Fleet Managers can improve their last mile logistics:

1. Introduce LEVs to the Fleet Mix

In dense urban areas where traffic congestion and government regulations can impact the efficiency of last mile logistics, introducing light electric vehicles (LEVs) and cargo bikes can be a game changer. For instance, in Paris, where air pollution is a major concern, the city has introduced low-emission zones where high-polluting vehicles are restricted from entering. In response, delivery companies like DHL and Chronopost have introduced a fleet of cargo bikes to make last mile deliveries in the city center, which not only comply with government regulations but also offer a faster and more efficient alternative to traditional delivery vehicles in congested areas. 

According to a study by the European Cyclists' Federation, cargo bikes can make up to 60% of last mile deliveries in urban areas, reducing congestion and emissions. Similarly, in cities like London, the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and congestion charge is making it increasingly difficult and expensive for diesel vehicles to operate in the city center. As a result, companies like Fedex and UPS have introduced a fleet of cargo bikes to move more efficiently around the tight London streets. 

By leveraging the benefits of LEVs and cargo bikes, fleet managers can reduce their carbon footprint, comply with government regulations, and provide faster, more efficient deliveries in dense urban areas like Paris and London.

2. Choose fit-for-purpose  Fleet Management Software

Fleet managers looking to optimise their last mile logistics should ensure they have the right fleet management software, particularly if they are operating an LEV fleet. While traditional Fleet Management Systems (FMS) may work for conventional fleets, they are not necessarily suited to the modularity of LEV fleets, with interchangeable assets like batteries, bikes, and trailers. 

At Zoomo, we tried existing FMS but found none that worked well for our large LEV fleet or met the needs of our customers. That's why we built our own fleet management software that addresses issues unique to commercial micromobility fleets. Our software provides real-time information on vehicle location, battery status, and rider safety, allowing fleet managers to optimize routes, improve vehicle maintenance, and increase overall efficiency. 

3. Prioritise Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is another critical factor in ensuring efficient last mile logistics. Preventative maintenance involves performing routine inspections and repairs on vehicles to prevent breakdowns and other issues. Regular maintenance not only improves vehicle reliability but also reduces the risk of costly downtime and repairs.

Way back in 2016, DHL implemented a proactive maintenance strategy that uses predictive analytics to detect maintenance issues before they occur. By using data to predict maintenance needs, DHL was able to reduce maintenance costs by 10% and decrease the time vehicles spent in the shop by 25%. Fleet managers should prioritise preventative maintenance to keep their vehicles in top condition and avoid costly downtime.

4. Focus on Rider Safety

Rider safety is an aspect of last mile logistics that fleet managers must prioritise. With the rise of e-commerce, the demand for last mile delivery has skyrocketed, putting increased pressure on drivers to meet tight deadlines. This pressure can lead to driver fatigue and other safety risks.

Fleet managers can improve rider safety by providing training and support to their drivers. For example, Amazon launched a program called “Driver Safety” that provides training on safe driving practices and includes incentives for drivers who maintain safe driving records. Through this program, Amazon was able to reduce accidents by 48% and decrease overall accident costs by 40%. By prioritising rider safety, fleet managers can not only reduce the risk of accidents and injuries, but also improve driver retention rates and enhance customer trust in the brand. 

Additionally, fleet managers can invest in safety technology such as lane departure warning systems, collision avoidance systems, and blind spot monitoring to further improve rider safety on the road.

Rider safety is at the core of Zoomo. We work with our customers and partners to ensure they have access to the best tools, including auto grade LEVs built with safety front-of-mind, rider training, safety equipment and more.

5. Offer Delivery Windows and Incentives to Encourage Off-Peak Deliveries

Finally, fleet managers can make their last mile logistics more efficient by offering delivery windows and incentives to encourage customers to choose off-peak delivery times. By reducing the number of deliveries during peak hours, fleet managers can minimise traffic congestion and delivery delays, which can have a significant impact on delivery times and customer satisfaction.

For example, in Amsterdam, the delivery company PostNL offers customers the option to select delivery windows during off-peak hours, such as early mornings or late evenings. Customers who choose these off-peak delivery options receive discounts on their delivery fees, while PostNL benefits from reduced traffic congestion and more efficient delivery operations. 

By incentivising off-peak deliveries, fleet managers can improve the efficiency of their last mile logistics and reduce the impact of peak-hour traffic congestion, ultimately leading to faster delivery times and improved customer satisfaction.

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