Crowdsourced Logistics: Untying the Supply Chain Knots
Supply chain logistics is facing a looming problem of last-mile delivery. Growing customer demands for speedy shipping and the steady rise of e-commerce has proliferated the daily volume of parcel shipments. Modern shippers are exploring all available options to remain competitive in the market and meet customer expectations. Professionals and experts believe that crowdsourced logistics (CSL) is the answer.
What is Crowdsourced Logistics?
In crowdsourced logistics, the middleman or the intermediaries get eliminated, and the shipper pays the market price to the crowdsourced driver. It can be compared to ride-hailing services. Instead of moving people, the driver moves products. To meet ever-rising customer demands and remaining competitive in the market, grocery and convenience stores, local restaurants, pharmacies, and even small businesses must work to fulfill customer expectations for a quick, smooth and efficient home delivery experience.
Several startups have raised billions of dollars in the past few years to compete with e-commerce giants. Ten percent of the retailers are already using crowdsourced delivery, and 26 percent are planning to do so in the future.
Why Choose Crowdsourced Delivery?
Crowdsourced delivery is advantageous for both retailers and customers. Companies can sometimes get the product delivered within an hour. It also saves cost overheads and valuable time for retailers by delivering the product when someone is at home, eliminating time and costs involved with multiple delivery attempts.
The other benefit of crowdsourced delivery is that the contracted courier service provider utilizes their transportation to make deliveries. For retailers, it translates from negligible to no warehouse operations, employee benefits, and fleet management thereby reducing high costs, complex logistics related to on-demand delivery.
Customers have a great shopping experience with crowdsourced logistics by selecting the desired time slot to ensure they don’t miss a delivery. Customers can track their packages by using SMS alerts, push notifications and even GPS on the smartphones.
Final Step of Shipment
The final step of shipment is the most arduous, expensive and time-consuming. When the package finally arrives at the customer’s doorstep, it may take multiple stops to reach a given point either by long distance or heavy traffic. Crowdsourced logistics tackles this problem by choosing someone local to deliver a product reducing the time of the delivery and enhancing customer satisfaction.