Increasing Last Mile Delivery Security and Intelligence

December 12, 2016 Rachel Pilgren-Kane

The biggest issue facing logistics firms, as identified by Barclays, is delivering goods when recipients are not present, with over 63% of carriers stating this as a concern. The last mile plays a pivotal role in the supply chain, as recent research indicates that the last mile accounts for approximately 28% of the total cost of delivery.

Industry challenge

Consumer pressures concerning time to delivery and overall experience have forced logistics firms to invest in new innovative solutions to manage their delivery operations, in particular to improve operational efficiency in the last mile. Southco has been working with the postal and delivery industry to help achieve these goals by improving critical areas of delivery solution performance, including security and operating costs. The challenge is to reassure customers that receiving purchased items via ‘new’ technologies, such as parcel lockers for example, will not present a risk to the product and is a convenient, secure  alternative to home delivery. Southco’s proven locking and latching technology is enhancing security and intelligence at various points of delivery within the last mile, helping to build consumer confidence.

The solution

At the core of every locker, delivery box and delivery vehicle sits a robust latching system and this is where Southco adds real value. By replacing the traditional mechanical latch with an electronic one, Southco products offer an array of features which go beyond the industry’s established requirements for security, reliability and durability. However, while keeping customers’ systems secure is fundamental, their demands are increasingly shaped by innovation, transforming the ‘latch’ from a security feature to something that adds real value, not just to the application itself, but the entire delivery chain.

R4-EM 9 Series Electronic Rotary Lock

For example, Southco’s new R4-EM 9 series electronic rotary latch, was developed alongside parcel locker manufacturers to deliver a secure, flexible solution specifically for networked self-service postal units. Offering maximum security, the R4-EM 9 series boasts supreme functionality through its compatibility with a range of access control devices such as numeric keypads, smartcard reader devices, Bluetooth, NFC and biometric devices. Furthermore, its intelligent locking mechanism helps ensure traceability and security for all parcels, while its low power usage drives reduced energy consumption costs for the company or individual running the locker unit. The R4-EM is being used to secure parcel locker networks around the world, increasing last mile success rates and supporting the need for innovation in the industry.

Southco has also been able to make an impact on the domestic delivery business, designing and developing a self-contained lock which interfaces seamlessly with the carrier’s logistics portal. End users can then access these boxes through a variety of smart technologies such as mobile phone apps or NFC tags. Moreover, logging the whole audit trail of delivery, collection and user credentials is all controlled within the system.


Delivering enhanced security, reliability and locking intelligence, electronic access solutions are helping to revolutionize the way parcels are delivered and stored. Improved locker security can benefit all parties in the supply chain, resulting in greater customer satisfaction, improved first time delivery rate and reduction in the cost of the last mile.

Previous Article
Benefits of Quick-Release Latching for Escape Doors and Hatches
Benefits of Quick-Release Latching for Escape Doors and Hatches

This article explains how quick-release latches allow existing off-highway vehicle cab doors to be used as ...

Next Article
Securing Medical Equipment In the 21st Century
Securing Medical Equipment In the 21st Century

Electronic locking solutions can be used to secure medical storage equipment such as charting stations, dis...