Online shopping for consumers has never been easier, faster, and more seamless. Orders can be made with one click, and people are buying online now at a faster rate than ever before. In 2017, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to 2.3 trillion US dollars and e-retail revenues are projected to grow to 4.88 trillion US dollars in 2021 (Statista, 2018).
With the ever-increasing tide of online shopping, comes the ever-increasing strain on last mile delivery companies - how to get these parcels to the customers on time, efficiently, and safely. The surge of demand to deliver customers' goods as soon as possible has sharply increased, and it's a great challenge for all last mile delivery companies competing to keep up.
For many final mile delivery companies the cargo van is the best option. It has capacity for many packages, is more maneuverable than a large truck, and their fuel efficiencies are continually improving, to name a few attractions of the cargo van.
An empty cargo van is the first step to a failing delivery cargo van fleet, however. Some additional equipment can make vans much safer, efficient, and ready to deliver like a legend.
Here are some things to think about that will improve the quality of the fleet.
Safety - Anti-Slip Floor
Employee injuries and claims are the last problem any delivery fleet wants. Yet, it's surprising how many fleets try to reduce costs rather than worrying about employee safety. An anti-slip floor is a must, especially in the last mile industry where drivers are in and out of their vans onto various types of terrain constantly, and in every type of weather.
Interior Protection - Interior Liners/Floor
Protection for fleet vehicles is imperative for delivery companies. Technology to make vehicles lighter and more cost-effective means sheet metal on the floor and walls in the cargo area of delivery vans is weaker than ever. Delivery companies handle parcels of all sizes, shapes, and weights - these can shift and cause punctures and damage to both the van panels and floor. Constant shifting of parcels and ingress of sand and other grit from the street will often lead to abrasion of the floor paint, exposing the metal floor to the elements, and leading to rust.
Dented and rusty vans are a "no, no" for delivery companies that seek trust from millions of people to deliver their parcels. These cargo vans which are susceptible to damage are more likely to lose value quicker, while failing to meet increasing demand for last mile deliveries.
Efficiency - Flat Floor
The steel floor of a cargo van is lined with raised metal features designed to strengthen the floor of the van. However, these structural ribs are a hindrance when pushing carts, sliding parcels, or walking in the van. A durable rigid floor can overcome this problem by creating a much more efficient work surface where work can be done efficiently.
Yes, smaller parcels are easier to carry. However, this also means they are easier to lose. Without a wall liner in a delivery van, a fleet leaves countless cavities in the metal van panels, where mail parcels can easily shift and disappear to. While missing parcels seem a guarantee due to the billions of parcels being delivered each year, they still lead to mistrust and a bad company image. Interior liners are an excellent way to mitigate the risk of parcels going missing in your vehicles, and lowering the missing parcel percentage.
Safety marking in doorways
Marking at the van doorways may seem futile, but it's well worth it. More and more fleets are realizing the advantage of having a visual aid to identify possible hazards. When carrying a box it can be very difficult for workers to see the end of the vehicle coming. Make it easy for your drivers, clearly identify hazards with bright markings they can see - everyone wants to stay safe!
This can be done by using visual safety markings, or colored steel door sills which can maximize safety and protect areas with the highest traffic.
Legend Fleet Solutions is a premium supplier of fleet interior protection products and is focused on transforming fleets' efficiency, safety, and productivity. Can we help your fleet?