As noted by Freight Waves, e-commerce will contribute to the delivery of more than 100 million parcels per day by 2026. Every shipper is actively engaged in the process of refining final mile services, offering customers new delivery options, such as buy online pick up in-store (BOPIS), and same-day delivery to the residence. Such transformation demands a re-evaluation of how shippers manage final mile, and final mile carriers must evolve their capabilities to meet changing demands. To avoid delays and unnecessary costs, shippers need to understand the challenges in selecting a final mile carrier, why final mile sets the bar for customer satisfaction and how to find the right final mile carriers.
Challenges in Finding the Right Final Mile Carriers
Surging e-commerce creates both opportunities and challenges to effective logistics management, says Trucking Info. More carriers around the world are looking for ways to apply delivery data and connect with customers. Unfortunately, many continued using outdated, legacy systems and failed to realize the potential in the real final mile. In other words, tracking a shipment is excellent, but when the status changes to “out for delivery,” the real work of the final mile begins. At the same time, final mile carriers may not necessarily make their services well-known, especially for local and regional servicers.
How to Realize The Substantial Benefits of Final Mile Logistics
Successful Final Mile Logistics Ensure Customer Satisfaction
The rise of omnichannel marketing spurred a dramatic change in logistics. Now, customers had comprehensive options when shopping for their favorite products and selecting delivery details. Yet, many final mile servicers have realized that customer expectations are always in a state of flux. As Amazon continues its march toward dominance, everyday shippers must focus on the final mile to ensure customer satisfaction. Continued transformation within logistics will open the doors to new possibilities, including carriers that diversify their partnering networks to offer service beyond the sale. It all aims to achieve the same goal, increase, and ensure customer satisfaction.
Things to Look for in Effective Final Mile Service Provides
Since the focus is now on the final mile, shippers will need to reevaluate their existing partnerships. Of course, it is always useful to know what to look for in a capable final mile carrier. According to Dickerson Transportation, the top three qualities to look for in a capable final mile carrier include:
- Optimal and wide delivery coverage. This is the most important consideration when reviewing the available final mile servicers. The network must be large enough to meet the needs of your business and your customers, and the same level of service must exist in all markets. While some carriers may offer final mile service, it is essential to understand what that entails. As a result, look for carriers that provide partnerships with regional white glove services that understand the care and considerations necessary to craft a successful final mile experience.
- Increased service capabilities. Service capabilities are another area critical to final mile logistics. Not all final mile carriers will offer white glove delivery services. In these cases, final mile delivery options might include the outsourcing of final mile to freelance drivers in the area for parcels, working with locker locations to give customers more options for pickup and tracking real-time data to keep customers informed of when to expect the delivery. Furthermore, successful final mile providers must offer more than a large window of delivery. While it may not be possible to predict an exact time, it is beneficial for carriers to offer a two-hour delivery window.
- Tracking and visibility throughout the final mile and after the conclusion of the interaction. As a final consideration, when looking for a new final mile carrier, focus on the level of tracking and visibility. The exact movements of the delivery vehicle provide great insight into what is and is not efficient. For example, spending too much time on each delivery will increase fuel costs and lead to a higher risk of missed or failed deliveries.
Remember to Choose a Final Mile-Inclusive TMS
Shippers must establish effective final mile strategies. They must focus on using dedicated resources to manage final mile. For instance, the use of a transportation management system (TMS) that offers final mile and white glove service can streamline management of final mile carriers and increase your final mile base.
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