The Importance of Real-Time Visibility in the Last Mile8 min read


Did you know that in a relay race, the fastest runner, also known as the ‘anchor,’ is usually assigned to the last leg of the race?

It is said that the fastest one has the best chance of making up for anything that went wrong during the earlier legs.

This analogy applies to your last mile too. 

Your efficiency in the last mile determines your commitment to meet your customers’ on-time delivery expectations and make a positive impact on how they perceive your brand.

However, unlike giants like Amazon who own their last-mile logistics, almost all online retailers rely heavily on third-party shipping carriers to fulfill orders. And with third-party vendors, parcel delays are inevitable and challenging to manage.

Now, what if there was a way to counter these issues and ensure your customers have memorable delivery experiences?

The solution lies in arming your business with “real-time visibility” of your shipments in transit.

Without any further ado, let’s understand what real-time visibility is and how your business can overcome some key last-mile challenges with it. 

1. What is real-time visibility?

Real-time visibility is the ability to track and trace parcels in real time, from the moment they’re picked up by a shipping carrier up until it is delivered to its designated destination.

Real-time visibility is enabled by technology that allows you to stay on the pulse of each of your parcels in transit and identify issues they face, thereby allowing you to take pre-emptive action to prevent customer pain.

Real-time visibility is advanced technology

2. Challenges in the last mile due to a lack of real-time visibility

Last-mile delivery is never an easy task for any business due to its operational complexity and high cost.

According to Business Insider, the last mile accounts for 53% of a business’s overall shipping costs.

That apart, inefficiencies like parcel delays and lost packages due to the lack of real-time visibility can further hurt your business in more ways than one.

In the ruthless world of eCommerce shipping, lack of in-transit visibility means putting your business in the backburner by not staying competitive.

Now, what are the challenges you could face in the last mile due to the lack of real-time visibility?

2.1 Lack of transparency into the performance of your shipping partner

Businesses usually lack visibility into their shipments once they are picked up by their third-party shipping partner.

And, in almost all cases, businesses are made aware of errors such as parcel delays only when an angry customer calls in.

Apart from staying in the dark during the crucial “order fulfillment” stage – the last mile, the final nail in the coffin is that 94% of shoppers blame the retailer for a bad delivery experience while less than half blame the shipping carrier.

It is noteworthy that shipping carriers often get away with their mistakes as there is a dearth of systems in place to hold them accountable. 

Lack of transparency into deliveries is only one of the challenges that arise because of the lack of visibility into the last mile.

2.2 Inadequate control over delivery issues before customer impact

Customers have little patience for errors these days.

47% of customers won’t shop with you again following a bad delivery experience. An inefficient last mile means you have to spend more on customer acquisition costs.

Just the lack of visibility in the last mile will escalate into higher costs, negative customer experiences, and all the hassle for getting new customers on board. 

Moreover, a bad delivery experience doesn’t just end in an overall negative customer experience but often further leads to disgruntled customers taking a swipe at your brand on social media and leaving negative reviews, thereby demotivating their friends and family from shopping with you.

Due to the inadequate control, customer support reps are forced to handle angry customers as there is a lack of information to deal proactively on delivery issues.

Not to forget, delivery issues also lead to additional loss of revenue in the form of returns and associated costs.

3. How real-time visibility can help you avoid these challenges

Providing a seamless last mile delivery experience is the trump card that puts you ahead of your competitors.

What needs to be done is for you to take complete control of your last mile and make it predictable and transparent. 

Having a tool that gives you real-time visibility helps you create memorable delivery experiences for your customers and ensures that you always delight them.

Now, let’s discuss how real-time visibility can help you beat the aforementioned challenges in the last mile and provide seamless delivery experiences.

3.1 Real-time visibility helps you be more proactive than reactive

Real-time tracking provides you the opportunity to solve delivery issues well before your customer is even aware that an issue existed.

When a customer’s shipment in transit faces distress, especially during the busy holiday season, you can take additional efforts such as sending a replacement through same-day deliveries to make sure that their order reaches on-time.

If the delay is due to uncommon delivery failures, you can also send proactive notifications such as offering discounts on their next purchase to ensure that the customer stays on with you in spite of any delay, due to the positive impressions you create.

With real-time tracking, arm your business with information that allows support reps to be more proactive in handling delivery issues, ensuring greater customer satisfaction and mitigate the negative impact of delivery issues on a customer.

3.2 Real-time visibility helps you take control of your delivery experiences

The need for real-time delivery visibility extends to your customers, too.

While it helps you take progressive action, it gives them detailed information on their orders, so that they are cognizant of their deliveries and stop calling you regarding WISMO complaints.

By taking away their anxiety, you’re displaying how much you value them thus improving the customer experience you provide.

Parcel shippers Without vs With Real-time Tracking

4. Advantages of’s real-time shipment-tracking solution over a carrier's tracking page’s Delivery Experience Management platform not only offers you a real-time tracking solution but a ton of opportunities you can do with it to optimize your last mile to the fullest.

  • Real-time tracking – As a business, isolating just the shipments that are facing an issue or likely to face an issue is something that is exceptionally hard with carrier-provided data and tools., intuitively assorts your parcels based on their status and affords you a bird’s eye view of the parcels in transit for the day. 

Views like “Today’s Expected Deliveries,” “Predicted Delays,” “Failed Deliveries,” & “In Transit with Delays” help you get up-to-speed quickly.

You can also view additional categories such as “Returned Shipments,” “Damaged  Shipments,” “Just Shipped,” & more.

The interface also allows you to view tracking information for individual packages.

Unlike the limited visibility you get on the carrier’s tracking page,  offers you unprecedented visibility by presenting from granular data of all your  shipments across carriers in a single, unified dashboard.

Real time dashboard
  • Customer support dashboard – One of our marquee offerings is a dedicated customer support dashboard, which provides only the very essential data that you and your customer-support-team mates need to proactively resolve issues. 

You can also send custom notifications to specific customers whose parcels are  experiencing uncommon delays such as weather-related exceptions.

Customer Support Dashboard
Proactive Notifications
  • Automated email notifications – The average online shopper tracks their parcel around 8 times post checkout on the tracking page of shipping carriers like FedEx & UPS. This fact is more than enough to prove that customers are always anxious about their parcel’s whereabouts.

By sending automated and timely notifications to your customers about their orders for last-mile events such as “Shipped,” “Attempted,” and “Delivered,” so that their anxiety is eased. also provides you with the ability to integrate its Delivery Experience Management platform with eCommerce platforms such as Shopify and 3Dcart or CRM platforms such as Freshdesk to ensure an efficient process from a customer-support stand point.

Automated email notifications
Custom Notifications
  • Branded tracking page – helps you create brand-consistent post-purchase experiences that reinforce your brand identity with customers with a branded tracking page that contains your business’ logo and language, thereby ensuring that your brand is always on the mind of your customer.
Branded Tracking
Branded Tracking Page


In spite of the sky-high costs, tedious process, and accumulated complications, last-mile delivery will always remain the decisive leg of the supply chain process.

Any retail business that seeks to scale up must optimize its last-mile delivery processes.

Make use of a technology such as to strengthen your business.

At, our focus has remained steadfastly on the last mile, typically the part of the logistics chain that is the most opaque. is the world’s only logistics cloud tool that helps businesses of every size reduce shipping costs by up to 20% and provide memorable delivery experiences to customers at scale.

Some of our high-impact offerings are :


  • Save up to 20% on Shipping – Automatically audit your shipping carriers’ invoices and recover refunds for 50+ service failures & billing errors including late deliveries.
  • Real-Time Visibility – Monitor your outbound & inbound shipments across multiple shipping carriers on a centralized window, in real-time.
  • Critical Delivery Alerts – Pay attention to daily deliveries with predictive delay alerts and more on a purpose-built dashboard for support reps.
  • Proactive Issue Resolution – Proactively communicate with customers to prevent them from having bad experiences due to delivery failures.
  • Custom Delivery Notifications  – Send custom or automated delivery status notifications for events like “shipped,” “attempted,” & “delivered.”
  • Branded Tracking Pages – Build fully-customizable order tracking pages for your customers to improve brand recall and sales.

The best part is, it takes less than 2 minutes to see in action.

COVID-19 Note: To help tide over the current crisis, we are giving all businesses full and free access to our Delivery Experience Management Platform till June 30, 2020.

The value we add to businesses is most evident when experienced first-hand.

It’s that simple!

Sashank Ravindranath

A writer by passion, currently exploring creativity by writing new forms of content. Enjoys weekends by watching or reading Sci-fi/ Superhero/ Thriller stuff.