CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
December 15, 2017
Supply Chain Executive Insight E-Newsletter
Each week the Supply Chain Executive Insight e-newsletter will include brief articles about developments that are often overlooked by other supply chain publications. We will present you with summaries of the latest research as well as new ideas on how to make your supply chain operations more effective. And we'll offer commentary that sheds light on what's happening in supply chains today.
Sign up now!

Most Read Articles

News from our sister publication
DC Velocity
CSCMP Notebook

Tackling the challenge of last-mile delivery

Comment
In the latest CSCMP Hot Topics publication, A.T. Kearney analysts predict how companies will respond to the increasing demands and costs associated with e-commerce logistics.

There's no doubt about it, e-commerce has not only changed the way consumers shop but also upended the way many companies store and deliver their goods. In the newest issue of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals' (CSCMP) Hot Topics publication, Sean Monahan and Michael Hu of the consulting company A.T. Kearney address how e-commerce is pushing companies to locate inventory closer to demand and focus more on last-mile delivery.

In the report, titled "U.S. E-Commerce Trends and the Impact on Logistics," Monahan and Hu look at how the demand for next-day or same-day service may drive many retailers to explore new delivery models. One option, the paper suggests, is to work with regional short-haul providers such OnTrac, LaserShip, and XPO Logistics. These companies focus on lane-specific or last-mile deliveries in a particular region, such as the northeastern United States or U.S. West Coast. Another option is to use new crowdsourcing platforms such as Deliv and Uber, which match, in real time, available couriers with orders that need to be delivered from a nearby distribution center or store.

The authors also expect that new digital technologies and automation will help companies solve the challenges of e-commerce logistics. For example, there are now machine-learning algorithms that can be used to better forecast demand for "long-tail stock-keeping units" (goods with low demand levels). These improved forecasts will help retailers make more informed decisions about how much inventory to deploy in regional distribution centers and stores. The authors also expect to see more companies experimenting with self-driving delivery robots that can carry orders as heavy as 40 pounds up to three miles.

The March 2017 Hot Topics report is free for CSCMP members and costs US $20 for nonmembers. CSCMP regularly publishes Hot Topics throughout the year. Each two- to four-page issue is written by a leading expert or researcher in the field. The publications typically focus on new research, hot trends and emerging industry insights, and/or a new perspective or finding on a critical issue.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you're not already logged in, you will be asked to log in or register.


Want more articles like this? Sign up for a free subscription to Supply Chain Executive Insight, a monthly e-newsletter that provides insights and commentary on supply chain trends and developments. Click here to subscribe.

We Want to Hear From You! We invite you to share your thoughts and opinions about this article by sending an e-mail to ?Subject=Letter to the Editor: Quarter : Tackling the challenge of last-mile delivery"> . We will publish selected readers' comments in future issues of CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly. Correspondence may be edited for clarity or for length.

Want more articles like this? Subscribe to CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly.