Analyzing the “last mile” of delivery in the logistics chain

Traffic congestion, the lack of an available transaction area such as parking lots, the use of digital and reliable technology are some of the great challenges that logistics companies have to face in the last mile delivery within the entire distribution chain, to be more competitive.

This was presented in a discussion on the “Evolution and Future of the Last Mile of Distribution”, organized by the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP), together with the Logistics Cabinet and the Center for Innovation and Research on Logistics of Georgia Tech Panama.

It was part of the initiatives to relieve vehicular congestion in Panama City.

Analyzing the “last mile” of delivery in the logistics chain“We believe that this space is opportune for the discussion and reflection about the changes that are taking place in the world in the last mile of distribution and that will eventually reach our country, improving efficiency and generating economic benefits for consumers , companies, entrepreneurs and collaborators,” said Jean Pierre Leignadier, president in charge of the CCIAP.

For his part, Jorge Barnett, General Director of Georgia Tech Panama Center, said that “urban logistics is an issue of great importance for the country.

“When moving from one place to another, we notice the high density of people and how they mobilize, although this week differed because of school holidays, but we may not perceive it much.

“This allows us to realize how variable day-to-day is, just as it is variable for us to mobilize. It is also variable for cargo… every product we have in our hand, a sheet of paper we use goes through a chain until it reaches our hand,” added Barnett.

In that sense, Jan Fransoo, dean of Research and Professor of Operations and Logistics Management at Kühne Logistics University (KLU) in Hamburg, Germany, masterfully presented the topic: “Urban logistics in Latin America: Challenges and Opportunities in a Fragmented Retail Landscape ”, to know from their perspectives what are the most efficient challenges regarding the last mile of delivery, that is very important in Panama and in the world.

The “last mile” that is the final step of delivering an order that a customer makes in a store, can be online.

This could be considered the most important step in the entire e-commerce logistics chain.

The customer not only expects his order to arrive on time, but also to do so in optimal conditions; that is, that the packaging of his order does not arrive or is broken or damaged or stained.

Fransoo said that in urban logistics one of the most important problems is traffic and parking. An important element in the area of transaction in the distribution of merchandise is the availability of a space, because there are few parking lots and more vehicles.

He added that he does not know how the management patterns are in Panama. However, in other countries the parking area is moved by Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), which is a challenge for the cargo area.

He also commented that in many countries they use nano stores, as well as the digital platform, with home delivery, which makes a company very competitive.

Elsewhere in this logistics chain they implement the “trusts”.

However, in Latin America, this option is slower, because nobody wants to trust anyone until they know them.

The second part of the event was composed of a panel of local experts from the private sector, specifically:

  • Ricardo Mesén, Executive Route to Market of Coca-Cola FEMSA;
  • Dalys Delgado, Logistics Manager of the Food Division of the Melo Group;
  • Isaac Reyes, VP of Planning and Development of Cochez y Cía.,
  • Alan Friedheim, General Manager of ASAP;
  • Claudio Gillen, Operations Manager for Central America at Uber Eats.

In this panel, each one from his perspective, talked about the current challenges of last-mile distribution in Panama, including technology, data and infrastructure issues. This panel was moderated by Don Ratliff, Executive Co-Director of Georgia Tech Panama and specialist in the field.

Participants were able to exchange knowledge with panelists and find common points that affect everyone and solutions that can be applied to optimize or facilitate deliveries in urban areas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *