Managing Last Mile Logistics of Refrigerated Goods

bunches of green onions in blue grocery crate

Photo: Freepik

Logistics and transportation are experiencing massive transformation. At least, that’s the conclusion of over 65% of transportation-focused executives according to a Forbes Insights survey. It’s time to re-think everything, especially the last mile.

When it comes to temperature-sensitive deliveries, cold chain and last mile logistics make all the difference. Read on to learn how to better manage the last mile.

Industry Fundamentals

Lower U.S. taxes and incentives to move cash home from offshore investments is resulting in a strong economy. This is driving demand and consumer confidence. Because of all that, manufacturing, and with it transportation, is seeing a resurgence.

This all means that logistics teams need to answer the important question of how they will respond. Increased demand brings with it the challenge of fulfilling more orders.

The challenges include how to deliver more loads on roads that are at capacity. There’s a shortage of drivers. Plus, customer expectations are rising because of operators like Amazon.

Autonomous deliveries, drones, and artificial intelligence may provide some answers. But these technologies are still in development and there’s no telling when they will be widely implemented in the market. So, what can you do now to better manage last-mile logistics for your refrigerated goods?

Lightweight Trucks

Recently, there’s been a trend in the industry towards lightweight trucks. Growing demand isn’t all about scale. Meeting this demand may be done through the increase of smaller, more frequent deliveries.

Lightweight trucks come with many advantages, not the least of which is lower fuel costs. Capital investment is less. Plus, you don’t need drivers with a heavy commercial vehicle license, keeping human resource costs down.

The last-mile is often where you need to make many delivery trips. These lightweight trucks can deliver high-margin perishable products more cost-effectively. Customers will get deliveries to the doorstep, on time and in good condition.

Multi-Temperature Trucks

There is a range of different refrigeration challenges in last mile delivery. The days of single-temperature refrigerated trucks with the capability to deliver only one class of product are over. If you need to deliver products in deep freeze with others in light refrigeration you might struggle to find the resources to get the job done.

Multi-temperature trucks are much more flexible. Having different temperature zones means you can fill to capacity. And you meet different product requirements.

Prepare for Shipment

Improvements in last-mile logistics are as much about how you prepare for the last mile as what happens during the last mile. As pressure increases to fulfill more deliveries, the pressure to maintain the integrity of the cold chain also increases. Maintaining that integrity is easier to do if you prepare products before they even go onto the trucks.

Pre-cooling shipments makes the refrigerated truck all the more efficient. It means the product arrives in good condition and customer expectations are met.

Last Mile Logistics Management

Expectations are rising, and with them, opportunities exist for meeting, and exceeding, those expectations. It’s up to last mile logistics management to deliver.

Looking for a better way to get your temperature-sensitive items from origin to final destination? Contact us today.