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ETA: The Importance of Predictability

October 05, 2022

What is an ETA?

ETA is a term you might have heard in different contexts, to refer to the final time of completion of a project, arrival of a delivery or a friend. The truth is the term is more widely used than its true meaning. ETA for short, or Estimated Time of Arrival, refers to the estimated time when a scheduled delivery reaches its physical destination, meaning the certain address or building it is scheduled to arrive at. This can be different from the moment when a client receives their product, because there may be multiple parcels to deliver in a building, or there might be a delay between the vehicle and the final customer. This is also not to be confused with the completion of a project or a service – the estimated arrival time represents the physical arrival of the person who conducts the service, while the final completion of the service might be expressed using another phrase, such as Estimated Completion Time.
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ETA in Last Mile Delivery

In Last Mile Delivery, the ETA refers thus to the estimated time when a driver reaches a certain address. This is calculated ahead of the actual start of delivery, based on the Estimated Time of Departure. This is done in order to present the final customer with an expected time during the day when they should be present at the indicated address to receive the parcel, to avoid unwanted delays or the package returning to the warehouse. Being an estimation, this is in no way a guarantee of the actual delivery time, but rather a reference information. This is why last-mile delivery companies often offer an interval of time for the ETA that is calculated before, in order to account for the fact that the ETA is an estimation and may not be entirely accurate.

Why is an ETA Important?

Other than keeping the customer informed and showing predictability in last-mile deliveries, the ETA has shown to also be extremely important for customer satisfaction and retention. When customers receive an ETA, this is an extra piece of information to reassure them that the package is in transit or has reached a new step in its delivery and it will be delivered safely and on time. It also keeps the brain stimulated and creates a higher level of trust in the delivery process. Even if the delivery does not objectively go faster than it would without providing an ETA to the customer, providing them with an ETA and, even better, constantly updating it based on real-time information at each step of the delivery, ensures the customer is kept informed and happy at all times. Calculating an ETA at different moments in the delivery process is also important at an internal level; this information can be shared not only with the customers, but also with different members of the team to account for modifications, better divide the workflow and overall ensure a greater level of predictability.

Calculate your ETA with MyRouteOnline

MyRouteOnline’s routing system allows your last-mile delivery business not only to plan deliveries and find the best route, but it also calculates the driver’s ETA very easily. Simply insert the time of departure into the system and our Route Planner will provide an ETA for each of the separate stops to share with both customers and employees. This can then be used to keep the customer updated or make the necessary changes internally to best optimize the delivery process. Leave the math to us and never worry about having unpredictable delivery times, start using MyRouteOnline for your business today!