What Is Multimodal Distribution and How Does It Affect the Last Mile?

With last mile, also called final mile, cost shipping representing 53% of the total shipping price tag, according to Insider Intelligence, businesses are eager to find new final mile delivery solutions. Unfortunately, these solutions, generally, are directed at the usual suspects of high last-mile expenses: a lack of visibility throughout the logistics process, misallocated freight, and a lack of transparency between businesses, multimodal shipping services, and their clientele, and, increasingly us, the end-consumers who have higher delivery expectations across the board.. 

These final mile roadblocks force shippers into a reactive rather than proactive position. By partnering with last-mile delivery solutions providers, businesses can gain real-time visibility over their multimodal distribution operations, giving them the freedom and flexibility to respond to final mile crises before they arise. 

What Is Multimodal Distribution and Shipping?

Before considering how multimodal shipping services can be made more efficient in the final mile, businesses must understand what multimodal distribution does for logistics providers. 

Multimodal shipping is the movement of goods within a single contract using more than one method of transportation. A high-end clothing retailer in Chicago orders clothes from Paris. The shipper would likely use a road asset to reach a port, an ocean cargo asset to cross the Atlantic, rail transportation to reach Chicago, and truck courier services for the last leg of this journey. 

Multimodal shipping services can quickly provide businesses with the fastest, most affordable shipping options. However, to get the most out of multimodal distribution strategies, businesses need access to complete supply chain visibility; otherwise, logistical hiccups can significantly affect delivery speeds and the quality of service. 

Final Mile Delivery Solutions and Considerations

With 43.6% of customers looking for free two-day shipping, according to FreightWaves, it’s clear that customer demand for fast, affordable logistics is here to stay. 

For many businesses, shorter delivery times have the most wiggle room in the final mile. This is a reason why the last mile is the most complex as it represents the widest variety of variables, such as is it a rural or urban drop-off? Is it a retail store or location that has a more secure delivery entrance. By partnering with last-mile delivery solutions providers, companies can avoid the hurdles and expenses of traditional last-mile logistics and engage with the individual seeking the delivery, directly. These innovative, tech-based approaches to logistics can be especially important for the many businesses reliant upon multimodal distribution to get their customers the goods they need. 

Due to the complexity of multimodal shipping services, operations are more likely to run into delays and snags throughout the supply chain. Therefore, total control over the final mile is necessary for businesses looking to deliver on time.

But how does the final mile help expedite multimodal shipping services? While final mile delivery solutions may not prevent staff shortages or supply chain disruptions, they can provide businesses with the complete supply chain visibility they need to predict and adapt to everybody hiccups and more involved events such as disruptive weather.

Benefits of Implementing Modern Tools, Technology, and Automation 

The global economy is more global than ever. With businesses regularly relying upon partners on multiple continents, it’s time to consider how final mile delivery solutions can make multimodal shipping services more efficient, cost-effective, and carefree. 

  • Access to Real-time, Actionable Data. Multimodal shipping services demand complete supply chain visibility at all steps of the logistics process. With automated notifications and actionable insights, final mile delivery solutions can offer businesses the ability to respond to real-world shipment challenges in real time. 
  • Optimizing Supply Chain Processes and Procedures. Real-time delivery tracking means businesses can optimize their supply chain on the go and make long-term (and last-minute) changes to help their customers and their bottom line. 
  • Enhancements to Customer Communication. More often than not, delivery problems are a result of poor communication. With an easy-to-use API (Automated Programming Interface), businesses, shippers, and customers can easily communicate and avoid costly mix-ups. 

Optimize Multimodal shipping Services and Improve Final Mile With OneRail Today

In today’s competitive logistics marketplace, businesses are eager to save on the final mile. Multimodal shipping services, made simple through final mile delivery solutions, can offer businesses the visibility they need to stay competitive in every logistics process. OneRail, a tech-empowered, last mile logistics platform, can provide businesses with the cutting-edge intelligent allocation, detailed data, and exception assistance they need to take their multimodal shipping services to the next level. Schedule a demo with OneRail today, and learn more about the value of tech-enabled courier and last-mile services.

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