Off to conquer the ‘last mile’!

28% of total transport cost is accumulated on the “last mile” (Photo: iStock)

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

A city’s efficiency depends on its infrastructure. To supply trade, production, the service industry and private households for the future requires solutions which are smart, sustainable and cost-effective. Therefore, a flexible trip optimisation is essential.

Speed in spite of urban restrictions, a transparent supply chain network and monitored accuracy around place and time are the most important factors for conquering the last mile. Those who use innovative ideas have the opportunity to position themselves successfully. The deciding factors in this are sustainable solutions with a unique combination of maximum speed, service quality, cost efficiency and environmental aspects.

Everything urban: get to grips with inner-city freight traffic
“The fact that the amount of freight transport in cities is increasing is a given. This is largely due to the surge in e-commerce and delivery services”, states Volker Möller, Director Sales & Marketing Logistics Software DACH at the PTV Group. For transport logistics, the PTV Group offers cross-sector software solutions for strategic, tactical and operational planning – with one eye always on the environmental and cost aspects. “Whether it’s as an online service or as a local application with the customer, the PTV Group’s software solutions are the tool for efficient, sustainable and future-oriented logistics.”

Everything green: plan emission and cost-optimised routes
Both clean and efficient? “There’s no contradiction”, believes Möller. “Our PTV Map&Guide route planner provides a precise and comprehensive foundation for calculations, taking into account a wide range of parameters.” For example, vehicle profiles serve as the basis for detailed emissions calculation. “The reports help to localise unnecessary emissions and, as a result, to avoid them – a significant competitive advantage for players in the urban logistics sector”, Möller confirms. Transport cost calculations per kilometre an hour and detailed toll, staff and minimum wage calculations provide figures which can help with assessment of logistical processes.

Everything plannable: include urban restrictions
Thanks to the expanded planning options in PTV Map&Guide internet, you can take the sequence of planned pickup and delivery points, defined dates, time slots and handling times into consideration. “This lets you efficiently optimise the sequence of orders in the shortest possible time and therefore achieve a large number of stops, which offers significant benefits, especially for inner-city freight traffic”, comments Möller, adding: “By incorporating the Driver app, we are also supporting dispatchers and drivers in their operational processes.”

Everything flexible: achieve realistic driving times in urban areas
“Customers’ speed and reliability requirements are increasing. This is felt primarily by transport service providers who need to respond with a high degree of flexibility”, says Möller. “Our PTV Smartour trip planning software lets you look at trips which are already underway, make retroactive changes and flexibly incorporate additional or amended orders into planning.” This makes same-day delivery and planning the last few miles a realistic possibility – taking into account all urban restrictions, time slots and capacity.

Everything at the right time: calculate an exact ETA
The cloud-based service PTV Drive&Arrive provides its users with information on the expected time of arrival (ETA). Precise notification of deliveries is particularly important in a central urban context. With PTV Drive&Arrive, it is very easy to put notification message services in place, which inform the recipient about the goods’ arrival in advance. The service also takes into account opening hours at the trip stop and amends the expected arrival time accordingly. “It’s not just an advantage for the recipient of the goods, who can plan around the delivery: it reduces the number of unannounced lorries blocking access points. The time needed for delivery is also reduced, it is possible to have more stops on a trip and customer service improves overall”, sums up Möller.

Everything compatible: connecting telematics to existing systems
The PTV Group is once again showing that it is at the forefront of innovation, with the development of a universal telematics interface. “It lets us offer our customers an out-of-the-box solution that, once installed, is compatible with the existing system landscapes without any further adaptations”, explains Möller, continuing: “In future, we will be able to bring every customer solution that we are connecting to the interface onto our platform, too.” The system supports over 140 fleet management systems.

Do you want to read more about the challenges of Urban Logistics and find out how software solutions can increase efficiency on busy and congested city streets? Then download our free white paper here and visit our website.