Before the pandemic, last-mile was already the fastest growing fleet segment, averaging 10 percent growth every year between 2014 and 2019. But then, COVID-19 hit, and everyone was staying at home. The result was an unprecedented spike in online orders, and that was the catalyst that triggered an even stronger surge in final-mile deliveries.

From groceries and restaurant orders to retail items and pharmaceuticals (and so many things in between), deliveries are more important than ever, and that has many businesses pivoting to last-mile. One survey found that 36% of retailers have had to adjust their sales strategies to meet the shifting consumer trends as a result of the pandemic. And the growth isn’t stopping there. The e-commerce market is expected to reach an annual growth rate of 14% through 2023, so those businesses that pivot to last-mile are making investments that will continue to pay off in the future.

Last-mile deliveries can’t happen without one important element: the fleet. E-Commerce and fleet are growing in lock step, with the pandemic serving as an accelerant. With the delivery industry in overdrive, fleets are truly a key component for growth. But when delivery systems are strained, fleets have to find a way to keep up with the volume or they could miss out the growth opportunities the pandemic has presented.

Upfitting Helps Fleets Take Advantage of Growing Last-Mile Opportunities

In order to meet the growing demand for last-mile deliveries, companies have to make the most of their delivery vehicles. Upfitting helps make both vehicles and drivers as productive as possible to keep up with the changing last-mile landscape and new business opportunities.

Maximize the Space

As demand for deliveries grows, it’s important to be able to fit as many packages in the vehicle as possible. Upfitting can help maximize the available space, which means fewer trips back to the shop or warehouse, more stops in one trip, and more deliveries per day.

Adding shelving can help fit more product in a delivery truck or van, and folding shelving can accommodate changes to package shapes and sizes as your business continues to grow and evolve. With storage flexibility, companies can accommodate a large variety of package sizes, and can adapt for the future.

Boost Driver Efficiency

The easier it is for drivers to locate and reach the right packages, the more efficiently they will operate. Sliding door partitions allow quick access to the cargo area while folding shelving units can help keep deliveries organized in a way that cuts the time a driver spends in the truck or van – and that time adds up. At the end of the day, the result is faster deliveries, more deliveries per day, and even improved customer satisfaction as packages arrive faster.

Improve Driver Safety and Comfort

Last mile employees deliver hundreds of packages a day, climbing in and out of their vans with packages at every stop. That can be exhausting. But the right upfit can help make the job easier and safer. Having shelving, steps, and handles that are ergonomic reduces the strain on drivers that would otherwise cause fatigue or injury. And upfitting delivery vehicles with sliding partitions and folding shelves helps keep product in place and keeps drives safe in the event of a sudden stop.

Driver safety and comfort are important, as both are directly tied to productivity. If a driver is fatigued or worse, injured, delivery schedules will quickly fall behind. Beyond affecting productivity, fatigue can also make drivers more prone to accidents, which have even worse impacts in the way of costs, downtime and injury to drivers and members of the public. That said, investing in ways to make a driver’s job easier pays off quickly.

Adrian Steel Has Upfits Designed for Last-Mile Delivery

Upfitting for last-mile deliveries isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Adrian Steel offers a variety of upfitting options tailored to specific fleet applications to increase organization, productivity, and safety. Adrian Steel designed its Parcel Delivery Upfit with the needs of last-mile fleets in mind. When Adrian Steel builds a custom upfit solution for your work van, you’ll protect drivers, make more deliveries per day, meet the increasingly growing consumer demand, and grow your business.

To learn more, visit Adrian Steel here.