Shippers should be tracking these last-mile metrics to drive down the high cost of last-mile logistics.

This post comes to us from Adam Robinson of Cerasis, a top freight logistics company and truckload freight broker.

Using technology to improve last-mile metrics is essential to driving last-mile costs down, but how do shippers know if the technology is helping or hurting? The answer to this question lies in using last-mile metrics to track key performance indicators and target levels of service to ensure accountability, visibility and continued reduction of costs in last-mile delivery.

A recent survey of customer service experiences, reports DC Velocity, revealed many retailers feel current technologies do not address their customer service needs, and as few as 3 percent of retailers cite full support as part of their current systems. Unfortunately, history teaches shippers that reducing costs means cutting customer service, but integrating customer service data into delivery operations and transportation systems is key to increasing a brand’s value. In fact, 72 percent of survey respondents believe it is very important to improve access to data for in-transit shipments, which includes last-mile delivery. Essentially, shippers need to track these 11 metrics.

1. On-Time Deliveries Are King of Last-Mile Metrics

The number of on-time felt or late deliveries are more important than any other metric tracked in last-mile logistics. These metrics provide a quick yes or no analysis of the effectiveness of your last-mile logistics strategy.

2. Fuel Consumption Rates

Last-mile metrics involving fuel consumption rates can vary and depend on the preference of the company, but how fuel consumption rates are calculated can greatly influence whether a driver is saving or wasting fuel.

For example, overall fuel consumption costs may be lower, but interval-based fuel consumption rates could show consistent, stopping and starting patterns that do not coincide with existing routes and drive up fuel costs. As a result, fuel consumption rates should be calculated by averaging the total fuel costs per driver, all drivers, per delivery vehicle and per route.

3. Last-Mile Vehicle Capacity Used Versus Available

Last-mile logistics should also consider the capacity utilized against the available capacity in all last-mile delivery vans. This metric is calculated by dividing the available capacity by the total capacity. Excess available capacity rates allude to poor loading procedures or the need to consolidate routes. The same calculation is used to calculate capacity used, dividing the capacity used by total capacity.

4. Planned Versus Actual Mileage

Planned versus actual mileage last-mile metrics are calculated by dividing the actual mileage per vehicle, driver, or route by its own planned mileage. Higher actual mileage rates reveal problems with route planning or unforeseen detours to route schedules.

5. Driver Hours In-Motion and Stationary

In-motion and stationary driving hours are expenses in last-mile logistics, and, unless your company employs a fully autonomous and drone-assisted delivery network, stops are necessary. However, the amount of stops and hours of both in-motion and stationary position can help measure performance of drivers. Excess stationary hours or excess in-motion hours are calculated by dividing the total amount of time drivers spend on a route by the number of hours in motion and the number of hours stationary.

6. Cost Per Item, Per Mile, and Per Vehicle

Last-mile metrics should track the cost per item, per mile, and vehicle associated with a specific route and the company as a whole. As a result, shippers should average the total costs per item for a given route and for the company’s shipments over a set period. The same average process should apply to both mile and per vehicle metrics, too.

7. Number of Stops

Last-mile logistics and metrics should also track the number of stops per vehicle. This is important to monitoring fuel costs, but it can also allude to poor route optimization practices. In other words, vehicles with a high number of stops should be reevaluated for ways to improve route schedules.

8. Average Service Time

The average service time metric can be complicated because it involves different data to calculate, depending on the source of an order. Most commonly, it is calculated by dividing the total service time at the store by the total number of deliveries. In other words, what is the average amount of time spent per order between the store, the warehouse, and other pre-shipping processes?

9. Customer Complaints

The need to manage customer service and address customer complaints leads to another metric in last-mile logistics, reports Talking Points With Adrian Gonzalez. What is the total number of customer complaints, and how do they stack up against the total number of deliveries? This metric is calculated by dividing the total number of deliveries by the total number of complaints received.

10. Order Accuracy

Order accuracy is calculated by comparing the known inaccuracies of orders against all shipped orders. Since some consumers may never report inaccurate orders, it is difficult to track a specific order inaccuracy metric. Instead, shippers should track order accuracy rates by dividing the total number of shipped orders by the number of orders not subject to customer service disputes, calls or complaints.

11. Damage Claims

A final last-mile metric to track is also about problems with orders: damage claims. Shippers should track the number of incoming damage claims against the total number of shipments. This is calculated by dividing the number of damaged claims by the total number of shipments. The resulting value is the percentage of damage claims in decimal form.

Using Metrics, Shippers Can Improve Last-Mile Logistics

Metrics allow shippers to understand the ins and outs of last-mile logistics, and metrics provide a means of measuring the performance of last-mile logistics plans against actual processes and their associated costs. As a result, shippers can make changes to their operations to improve last-mile services through last-mile metrics, and knowing more about last-mile needs is key to providing more than just the standard last-mile delivery options.

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