An effective final mile logistics strategy must consider all variables, defining what is necessary to provide a superior customer experience. Unfortunately, not all final mile carriers are equal, and services may vary widely between geographic regions. However, this is not enough to abandon the management of final mile logistics, especially as Amazon rolls out newer, faster delivery windows. As a result, shippers need to understand why the problem of transparency continues to affect final mile logistics, what benefits can be realized through effective management, and a few best practices to maintain it.
Transparency is a significant problem in final mile logistics. Everyone has experienced the annoyance of receiving the notification, “out for delivery.” It provides little insight into when a package will be delivered, and not everyone has the luxury of waiting all day to see if it arrives. At the same time, the incidence of theft and fraud continues to increase, and customers expect more transparency within the final mile. In addition to reduced transparency, final mile remains the most expensive and invasive aspects of shipping. In rural areas, deliveries may be miles apart, eating away at valuable delivery time, explains Trucking Info. Yet, more frequent, proximate delivery locations in urban areas open the door to delays and risks.
An effective final mile logistics strategy identifies the threats and opportunities to timely delivery, and when taken in that context, it is all about risk management. Failure to provide the exact experience set forth by the most prominent players in the industry, such as Amazon and Walmart, will result in customers leaving your brand. However, effective final mile logistics lowers this risk and offers these key benefits.
To maintain control over final mile processes and ensure all experiences are stellar, shippers should follow these best practices:
Final mile represents both the biggest opportunity for improved brand value and grave risk for poor customer experiences. However, those that invest in technology designed to meet the needs of the final mile from the onset of shipment tendering, such as a dedicated TMS, will reap significant benefits.
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