In 2017, e-commerce sales reached $453.5 billion in revenue, and experts don’t anticipate this trend will slow down anytime soon. With a projected growth of 20% over the next two years, there is no doubt that the e-commerce industry is booming. However, this creates several complications for delivery drivers.
Top Issues Affecting Drivers in Urban Areas
Most delivery problems occur in the final 50 feet of the delivery. In urban areas, parking is already an issue, and truck drivers are struggling to find the curb space to unload their deliveries. It’s no secret that major cities have more traffic, but the rise of ride services like Uber and Lyft further complicate the already limited number of curbs. To put it in perspective, Lyft gave rides to more than 23 million people in 2017; Uber came in at four billion rides. That’s a lot of curb space and time that prevent drivers from making speedy deliveries.
Another factor compounding the urban delivery problem is dwell time. The amount of time it takes to complete a delivery affects traffic congestion in the city. The faster a driver can unload his or her deliveries, the faster he or she can be back on the road. The solution for this is three-fold.
- The first method to reduce dwell time is to implement better routes. Left-hand turns take more time and are likely to cause more accidents that right-hand turns. If drivers prepare their routes ahead of time to emphasize right-hand turns, they can reduce accidents and save themselves time.
- Another approach to reducing dwell time is to focus on new construction. By building loading bays into new builds, truck drivers have a designated location for pick-ups and deliveries.
- A final method that proved effective in a testing phase is to implement Common Carrier Locker Systems. These systems act as miniature distribution nodes that facilitate delivery density. Greater delivery density means lowered delivery costs and fewer stops. During a test run, Common Carrier Locker Systems reduced delivery times by 78%.
The proliferation of e-commerce orders and deliveries is creating new challenges for the trucking industry. Prolonged deliveries or failed first deliveries increase operation expenses, further shrinking already tight margins. If your trucking business is struggling to meet financial goals, Cline Wood can help. Contact us to learn innovative ways to reduce trucking costs.
This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.trucking risk management, urban transportation blog, urban trucking challenges, urban trucking news