Sustainable Logistics: Turn Last Mile Delivery Challenges Into Opportunities

Solve the challenges of last mile delivery and make low-carbon logistics a reality. It’s possible with advanced planning solutions on a digital platform.

In the age of e-commerce, home deliveries are rocketing – and so is the carbon footprint of last mile logistics. Customers want greater levels of convenience and companies are willing to give it to them at the cost of smaller delivery batches, longer routes and higher fuel consumption. By 2030, the boom in delivery vehicles on the road will release an additional six million metric tons1 of carbon emissions. What can companies do to curb the negative environmental impact while striking the right balance between sustainability, costs and efficiency?

Transforming last mile delivery challenges into growth opportunities will depend on a digital strategy powered by virtual twin technology. With advanced planning capabilities on a connected platform, retail, postal and express delivery companies can simplify the complexities of the last mile, upgrade entire delivery networks and plan their path to sustainable logistics.

Dispatch More Optimized Last Mile Deliveries

Discover the latest trends in last mile delivery and how companies can keep up by creating low-carbon delivery experiences that will delight customers, bring in profit and benefit the environment.

Same-day delivery is becoming the norm. To meet the rush toward ever-faster shipping, delivery vehicles leave with much less cargo and embark on longer journeys that increase their transport emissions. With carbon taxes and environmental regulations on the rise, however, these same companies are under pressure to achieve faster, smarter and greener logistics. One way to make sustainable deliveries the new norm is by creating more low-carbon and affordable options: Customers can choose to wait a little longer for their home deliveries, so parcels are shipped through the most energy-efficient route.

Companies can leverage digitalization to explore endless possibilities and perfect their low-carbon delivery strategies.

When companies implement a platform approach, they connect simulation, virtual twin technology and analytics capabilities within a unified environment. As a result, they can:

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Improve Packaging

With virtual twin technology, companies can test and identify ergonomic, lightweight and plastic-free packaging materials and designs. This helps them optimize logistics and reduce waste. Simulation enables damage-free deliveries through the modeling of packaging in various transportation and heavy handling scenarios. Companies can also leverage lifecycle assessment to quantify their environmental impact and choose the most sustainable packaging

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Optimize Logistics

By consolidating different data streams into a single platform, companies can use machine learning algorithms to optimize delivery schedules and improve the last mile. The virtual twin allows companies to plan low-carbon shipping routes that satisfy next-day or same-day delivery demands. Paired with advanced analytics, companies gain real-time insights into their logistics operations to manage carbon emissions and accelerate sustainability.

An integrated solution such as the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform empowers stakeholders to improve the value network collaboratively. With a holistic view of entire workforce operations, fleets, assets and warehouses, they can establish dynamic plans and respond to disruptions while minimizing their carbon footprint. Furthermore, data-driven analytics are vital enablers for companies to make smarter choices that simultaneously reduce the transport emissions of home deliveries and contain costs.

As deliveries continue to evolve, companies with virtual twins of their entire operations can better plan, visualize, optimize, operate and maintain their last mile vision. They are equipped to innovate and actualize ideas such as electric vehicles, flexible distribution hubs and parcel collection points that contribute to an optimized last mile route.

“Apart from looking at where retailers and postal and express delivery companies are working, they should also look at their whole ecosystem — from the fully automated stages and depots to the reduction of the CO2 footprint. It all starts with tackling the last mile delivery process, as this is where the most gains can be made by using the right solutions.”

roel van den broek
Roel van den Broek
Chief Revenue Officer, The Logic Factory

Last mile delivery challenges may seem disruptive, but companies can position themselves to benefit from a changing ecosystem. With the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, they can slash carbon emissions, transform the delivery network and keep customers coming back – all while optimizing costs and resources.

Explore our Industry Solution Experiences

Learn more about how our industry solutions can help you accelerate sustainable logistics and deliveries.


1Source: “The Future of the Last-Mile Ecosystem” by The World Economic Forum (January 2020)

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