The needs and concerns of last mile logistics are often very different from other aspects of shipping and transportation. While logistics in general can cover every corner of the country, from rural areas to congested highways, the bulk of last mile logistics takes place in urban centers and towns. This makes sense, given that these packages are primarily sent to areas where dense populations live.
In recent years, there has been a push to transition last mile logistics away from gasoline and diesel toward fully electric vehicles. This effort would be for environmental and cost-saving purposes. Keep reading to learn more about whether last mile logistics will turn electric.
The major downside to electric vehicles is a lack of range. Most of these vehicles are currently limited, with a range of no more than 200 miles. For fulfilment companies relying long distance hauling, this short range is a deal breaker.
The same is not true for most last mile deliveries. As the name implies, the final leg of a delivery journey is often the shortest. Most of the time, there are hubs within major population centers that allow for last mile logistics to focus on a narrow geographical area. This is ideal for electric vehicles since range is not an issue.
The benefits of an electric fleet in last mile logistics setting are significant. There could be significant cost savings in some cases, with the total cost of ownership decreasing for electric vehicles. Over time, the cost savings that come with avoiding a trip to the gas pump could be substantial.
Using electric vehicles also allow logistics companies to lead by example. Electric vehicles emit fewer pollutants and do less damage to the environment. Reducing your carbon footprint is impactful not only for the planet, but also for your company’s image. Modern consumers care about the environment, and branding as a green company is a powerful marketing tool in today’s world.
Given current logistic trends, there has never been a point where transitioning last mile logistics to electric vehicles could have a larger impact. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, more consumers have turned to deliveries than ever and never looked back. This trend is unlikely to reverse itself, as many consumers have become accustomed to the convenience of having things delivered at home.
This means the impact of electric last mile logistics could be even greater than previously anticipated. Online purchases have nearly doubled in recent years, with some industries like the food delivery market increasing more than 200 percent.
Of course, the growing demand for online shopping and delivery could dramatically increase the challenge of transitioning last mile logistics to electronic fleets. As demand grows, the size of the fleets needed to service last mile logistics must grow as well. It remains to be seen whether manufacturers have the capacity to keep up with the sudden surge in demand.