Last mile delivery, which refers to the final stretch of a product's journey from warehouse to recipient, is about to become more crucial than ever. Why? In an admittedly gloomy year, there has been a hint of hope: pharmaceutical company Pfizer has just announced that its new COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective in preventing the virus in recipients. The average flu vaccine is only about 40 to 60% effective, so this is very welcome news.
COVID-19 is not a low-stakes cause; many lives will depend on the expert routing and delivery of this vaccine to clinics and hospitals. This is precisely why it is so important to have a solid plan for your routing and logistics needs. Fortunately, Elite EXTRA was developed for just this purpose. By helping you cut costs, route more efficiently, and monitor deliveries in real-time, you will be better equipped to help get this life-saving vaccine into the hands of those who need it.
While the actual rollout date is still unknown, Pfizer stated that by the end of this year alone, they will have manufactured enough to vaccinate more than 15 million people. This is a staggering number when one considers that the Pfizer vaccine requires two doses over three weeks (with the potential of even more booster shots needed). And according to the same piece by the New York Times, other leading vaccines also require multiple shots over various intervals of time. With the current population of the United States nearing 330 million, one can see how this might present a massive logistical challenge in terms of shipping and delivery.
Another complicating factor is that not only this vaccine, but several others need to be kept at temperatures below -100 degrees Fahrenheit (or at least very cool) in order to preserve their effectiveness and keep them from degrading. Out-of-freezer time will need to be minimized in order to preserve the vaccines, requiring fast delivery and enhanced routes. Luckily, Elite EXTRA was built for exactly this. Its algorithms consider many possible factors affecting delivery time and optimizes your drivers' routes for the quickest delivery possible.
By necessity, COVID-19 forced much of our economy online. Many people observed quarantines and lockdowns, which only permitted online shopping from the safety of the home. Back in April 2020, Forbes reported that US online revenue was up 68%. Even more recently, Forbes reported that 62% of shoppers shop more online than they did before, and that online commerce is expected to grow by 20% this year.
Online shopping is not likely to go away anytime soon, especially thanks to COVID-19, and more and more people are relying on efficient shipping and logistics in order to fulfill their basic needs. While a vaccine will help the country get back to a sense of normalcy and allow people to resume in-person activities to a greater degree, there is no reason to think that online shopping and e-commerce will experience a decline. E-commerce and retail spending in general have grown steadily every year for the past 10 years.
Interestingly, COVID-19 has driven e-commerce to levels about 5 years ahead of schedule. As a result, the need for last-mile delivery services has never been higher.
If you are in the logistics industry, it may be time to consider advanced dispatching software, such as Elite EXTRA. Our cutting-edge software will provide great ease of mind and quality-of-life improvements to your dispatchers and drivers, allowing them to route and deliver faster than ever.
Your customers will appreciate features such as automated text and email alerts and electronic signature-capturing and proof-of-delivery services, which help provide them with peace of mind in an uncertain world. Elite EXTRA will also help you cut costs and save money over time, and is fully customizable and integrable for all of your business's needs. Reach out to us for a demo of our software, and watch how you can streamline your last mile today.