Are urban hubs the solution to last mile challenges?

With the increasing number of constraints within large cities and greater commitment to the environment, ways are being sought to circumvent these difficult challenges. Among several proposals to remain efficient in the last mile, urban hubs stand out.

Urban hubs are not much of a mystery, as they are small warehouses located in the centers of large cities. With this, they are expected to reduce route distances and also increase the capillarity of the last mile. If you want to know more about their other advantages, take a look!

Taking advantage of underutilized premises

One of the most prevalent problems in cities with respect to urban distribution is the increase in underutilized space that is unlikely to be re-let. Given the innovative nature of being an urban hub, re-using such spaces has many advantages.

However, for urban hubs to perform their function properly, they have to be located in strategic points of the city. Moreover, this may not be easy, as they require the rental of space in the center, which is a fairly high cost that not all companies in the sector can afford.

Helping to reduce carbon emissions

Undoubtedly, this is one of the main reasons why this initiative has started to be used in large cities. Reducing the miles needed to meet last-mile demand goes a long way toward reducing CO₂ emissions.

However, there are extra steps that need to be taken for pollution minimization to be effective. For example, the use of zero-emission vehicles such as electric vehicles and the approach of making deliveries at night in order to reduce traffic congestion are being considered. Apart from the use of a route optimizer to save time and money.

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Supporting small e-commerce

While large companies offer their e-commerce distribution services through large platforms such as Amazon, small online businesses often rely on small or medium-sized logistics operators. Such operations can have longer delivery times and a faster option is not cost-effective for them.

For this reason, if urban hubs have services available to small online stores, their quality of service would become as competitive as that of a large company. In this way, it would gain the loyalty of several customers in the process and support businesses that go digital.

Accelerates delivery time

Among the most frequently heard advice is the great importance of the immediacy of deliveries due to the increasing demands of consumers. For this reason, urban hubs were created to be closer to the majority of customers.

While this trend grew on the back of the e-commerceshopping spree, express orders will eventually become more expensive given the gradual delivery constraints in cities, along with not being very sustainable. Nevertheless, the option should be there, but the consumer may consider whether he needs a package urgently.

Promotes omnichannel customer service management

Apart from the inconveniences in delivery times that can be reduced thanks to urban hubs, such spaces also help to better manage customer service. Particularly if reverse logistics is treated as part of these services.

From exchanges for defective products to returns due to dissatisfaction, urban hubs are closer to consumers to provide better customer service and increase loyalty through repurchase.

Conclusion

Given the increasing constraints and needs in cities in terms of sustainability, urban hubs are very advantageous initiatives to optimize operations in almost all aspects. Moreover, they not only focus on sustainability, but also have the potential to support small businesses and create a more efficient city.

At Hedyla, we seek to adapt to emerging trends in the logistics and transportation industry. Therefore, our software can adapt to all supply chain constraints and characteristics.

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