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Article publié le 17 November 2022 par Xavier PREVOST, Business Solutions Director, Transport et Information System at FM Logistic

The local supply chain, including the last meter, manages all the logistical activities that must be organized and carried out close to the end consumer both in cities and in peri-urban or rural areas.

Urban logistics aims to optimize all delivery flows as well as reverse logistics flows both for consumer products (food and non-food) and for the reuse of primary packaging (product packaging) or secondary (logistics packaging). It make it possible to efficiently process BtoB, BtoC, CtoC and DtoC flows.

What are the key challenges for the consumer … real boss of the Supply Chain?

The consumer first wants to find the right answer to his needs or uses; which means making available to him the richest and most complete commercial offer possible near his living area (home or work).

It will choose the simplest, most practical, safest and most available offers and solutions (closer or faster) while price of the products or services.

What are the key challenges for all e-business players ?

All e-business players (retailers, brands, BtoB suppliers, etc.) face great difficulty in organizing last-meter conditions (constraints, legislation, traffic, lack of quality solutions, etc.)

The cost of delivery, which often is a critical question for the overall balance of their business models.

What are the key challenges for the environment and for communities ?

Local authorities are concerned about the situation without having to date launched and supported real projects to overhaul the local supply chain, knowing that the challenges of consumer services and public interests are very different depending on the environment.

In urban areas, the major challenges are to reduce nuisances related to noise, traffic and pollution while providing ever more services to residents and local traders. While in rural areas, the challenge is to guarantee access to local offers and services to limit travel to cities and to revitalize these areas to retain populations.

A few observations on the current situation

Several last-meter logistics models coexist without having found a real solution for harmonious, ecological, qualitative and economic development in the interest of all Supply Chainplayers.

Home deliveries for BtoB and BtoC e-business players are totally split, which generates a total lack of optimization of logistics flows. BtoB is often delivered by specialized service providers, leaving it up to other service providers to deliver non-food BtoC items with routes that are often dedicated and not optimized. Food retailers still have a dedicated organization for their home deliveries, which seriously affects their profitability.

The pick-up and return store points are very diffuse with very variable levels of service depending on the spaces and the attention given by the merchants.

Private automatic lockers are multiplying in an anarchic and exponential way without any pooling of flows between the actors.

For the food business, pedestrian drives that provide real local service to consumers do not allow retailers to find an economic balance in the short and medium term.

The dark stores of quick commerce roll-out destroy the added value of existing commerce and completely disturb the good understanding of the challenges of last-meter logistics.

Urban pooling to optimize the last-meter supply chain

At FM Logistic, we are convinced that ecology rhymes with economy.

At FM Logistic, we are currently designing the urban pooling concept, which will be a real breakthrough in last-meter logistics.

We want to promote more pooling and more optimization of routes by implementing a control tower and urban pooling offer aimed at optimizing routes for several retailers as soon as consumers check out on the e-commerce site.

It is also necessary to strengthen the pooling of delivery flows and reverse flows (products and packaging) by mixing BtoB and BtoC flows by implementing micro-hubs on the outskirts and in cities while reducing nuisance for residents.

City corner … the innovative solution that creates the real job of the last meter

Collection from a city corner near the consumer’s home always costs less than home delivery… even if it is still activity.

The city corner really meets the expectations of each player in the local logistics ecosystem. It offers under one roof, less than 5 minutes away and over extended opening hours, a complete self-service order pick-up offer (robots and automats) for food baskets as well as for non-food parcels and bulky items.

It is first an innovative solution for the consumer. It offers him a promise of quality:

City corner offers me the possibility of collecting or returning food and non-food orders delivered to me. I also have the option of dropping off my returns and reusable packaging. I go there by foot when I want because it is located near my home or where I am

It is also a powerful promise for national retailers and local merchants because they will have all the benefits of pooling by offering consumers a premium withdrawal service at the best cost price.

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