The Last Mile

The Last Mile… it’s on the minds of plenty of retailers and manufacturers at this time of year. It’s the last mile — or the last few steps, in some cases — of the supply chain stretching from raw materials to the consumer’s home.

Consumers increasingly expect to have goods delivered to their homes, not just to a nearby store. They don’t expect to pay for the privilege, either. Brands are increasingly held responsible for the entire supply chain. And brands, manufacturers, and retailers alike are trying to come up with solutions to the problem of getting the goods to the users.

The last holdouts for Amazon are big city apartment dwellers. They have to have Amazon packages delivered to a local store and held for pickup… why bother?

Walmart reportedly considered asking in-store customers to drop off packages at the homes of e-commerce shoppers in their neighborhoods.

Experts claim that the trip to the consumer’s door can account for 50% of all the transportation costs of goods.

Robots to the rescue

Robots of various kinds are helping out. Drones can fly packages to consumers’ homes and drop them gently at the door. Self-driving vehicles large and small can get close to most residential doors — and at least one has a robot stowed in the back to do the last carrying up the porch steps.

Some start-ups are imagining a human driver in a van sending out drones and autonomous vehicles from more centralized stopping points, increasing the practicality of delivering hot foods or perishables. A streamlined route and multiple carrier environments could make the difference between unmanageable delivery expense and ROI breakthrough.

How robot delivery will look by the time it reaches the mainstream is uncertain, but you can be sure that it will include motion control technology. We believe that Rexroth is the best when it comes to motion control, and we are the experts in Rexroth support and service. Call us anytime you need Rexroth repairs or service.

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