For small and large businesses alike, last mile carrier complications are taking up the lion’s share of their logistics budget. Speaking at the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/XPO 2022 conference in June, Gartner VP & Analyst Tom Enright said “53% of shipping costs and 41% of total supply chain costs are tied to the last mile.”
Like many costs faced by the logistics industry, last mile carrier costs are unavoidable. Customers expect fast-shipping, and businesses, faced with a marketplace dominated by fast-shipping giants, struggle to meet demand.
However, with this rise in demand, last mile carriers, sometimes referred to as final mile carrier providers are stepping up to connect businesses to the reliable, cost-effective, and efficient last mile carrier solutions they need to survive and thrive in a competitive marketplace.
What Is a Last Mile Carrier?
A last mile carrier oversees the final steps of the logistics process. Often traveling from distribution hubs to a customer’s doorstep, a last mile carrier is a direct contact between a business and its customers.
With this in mind, a final mile carrier interaction can have an outsize effect on customer experience. A poor last mile carrier delivery experience can leave dissatisfied customers seeking alternatives.
Unraveling the last mile Delivery Challenge by Managing Costs
With final mile delivery costs consuming a whopping 53% of total shipping costs, businesses are eager to rein in last mile carrier spending. Unlike many logistics platforms, last mile logistics occur in a customer environment, often on busy streets and highways.
A final mile carrier must be flexible enough to take on real-world challenges in real-time. By examining the logistics challenges of the last mile environment in detail, businesses can better understand the hurdles faced by a final mile carrier.
- Traffic disruptions. By definition, last mile delivery occurs where customers are — carrier drivers face the same traffic jams and slow-downs as their customers.
- Excessive packaging needs. Excessive packaging is a sure-fire way to avoid broken items but can result in bulky shipments that complicate capacity.
- Delays with loading and unloading. It is more complicated than ever for businesses facing staffing shortages to find reliable help at the dock.
- Lack of truck/van capacity. Rising maintenance costs mean it’s increasingly tricky for businesses to keep vehicles on the road and out of the shop.
- Driver shortage concerns. The struggle to find drivers can make allocation impossible and keep delivery times slow.
- Rising fuel costs and fleet maintenance. Over-the-road final mile logistics are costing businesses driven by turbulent fuel prices and increasing maintenance costs.
- Costs of equipment and tools. Rising maintenance costs, paired with a sluggish supply chain, can mean added difficulties and expenses for businesses trying to access the necessary tools.
Understanding the Value of an Expansive Carrier Network
The rise in final mile carrier costs means businesses must develop creative solutions to provide efficient delivery. Companies stuck between a rock and a hard place are searching for new ways to mitigate their final mile carrier costs.
Expansive carrier networks offer tech-enabled solutions to ongoing capacity issues without the overhead of a traditional fleet. Online carrier matching gives businesses the right freight asset for their load; small loads can be transported by fuel-efficient sedans, while larger shipments can be moved using vans or trucks. Specialized transportation services can accommodate oversized, hazardous, and temperature-sensitive loads without the expense or hassle of traditional parcel logistics.
By offering on-demand capacity solutions through digital dashboards, the new generation of last mile carrier providers offers businesses unprecedented personalization in transportation.
Planning for the Future of last mile Delivery With a Wider Carrier Network
With customer demand for fast, affordable shipping only set to increase, it’s time for businesses to consider the advantages of a tech-enabled, on-demand carrier network.
- Streamlined Service. With on-demand carrier networks, shippers can access the capacity they need whenever they need it.
- Limitless Personalization. Personalization assets like intelligent allocation, responsive automation, and even brand customization within platforms mean businesses can provide the service their clients need, not someone else’s.
- Intelligent Automation. Automated order processing means businesses can focus on the big-picture: providing top-of-the-line logistics to their clientele.
By partnering with a technologically advanced, on-demand carrier network, businesses can provide cutting-edge service today while investing in tomorrow.
Streamline Last Mile Shipping and Personalize Delivery Options With OneRail
Last mile shipping will always be subject to many nuances and customer preference differences. However, the trick is understanding that the diversity of the last mile requires a very diverse carrier network. With OneRail, a tech-empowered last mile delivery solution, businesses can handle last mile delivery, allocation, and TMS through a single, easy-to-use platform. Schedule a demo with OneRail today, and see what tomorrow’s logistics can do for your business today.