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National Courier Service | Same Day Delivery Management Specialist

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Few retailers actually deliver their own products. Last-mile delivery services carry products from a warehouse directly to customers.

This is where the phrase ‘last mile’ originated. Last-mile delivery has always been the most overlooked part of an e-commerce transaction. A package safely reaching its destination was considered a win.

But companies are now challenged to compete with disruptor brands like Uber and Amazon make delivery part of the customer experience. Here’s an overview of how last-mile delivery is changing shipping logistics.

Customer Service

Shippers can’t just focus on delivery routes and schedules. Last-mile delivery is changing to include customer service.

To remain competitive, shippers should have their eye on customer needs even after a package gets delivered. Following up on the delivery experience to help improve the experience is essential.

Expect to incorporate more data capture like surveys and star ratings in the future. E-commerce is driven by reviews and these reviews often focus on the shipping process.

Collecting data helps you improve your logistics strategy by finding hiccups in your delivery process. Look at customer feedback as a form of quality control to ensure your team is operating efficiently and professionally.  

Reports from customer surveys can also be used to manage customer expectations. Not every problem is a disaster on the shipping side.

A bad review might be the result of a lack of communication in the delivery process or store policy. Finding ways to educate customers on how your shipping process works will cut back on negative experiences. 

Bigger customer issues like lost packages can the symptom of a bigger operational problem. It’s best to catch these problems early before developing a reputation as untrustworthy brand.

Earning Trust

Last-mile delivery is the last line of defense for maintaining customer trust.  Shippers can expect last-mile delivery services to include more delivery visibility to keep customers engaged.

Uber set this trend with its vehicle tracking feature that allows customers to track drivers once they request transportation. Uber customers learn the driver’s name, make of the vehicle and the estimated time of arrival.

Customers now think this form of communication is the norm. A study by Digital Commerce 360 shows that 93 percent of customers want to be informed through every part of the delivery process.

Of the people surveyed, 98 percent said the shipping process is an important part of their brand loyalty. Brand loyalty is the way customers perceive your business.

Repeat customers happen when you offer the best price or discounts. But customers who are loyal to your brand give you repeat business regardless of price. 

Brand loyalists have the perception that your business brand is superior to everyone else. They’ll try more of your products and are less likely to shop around.  

A good last-mile delivery service helps companies create and maintain brand loyalists.

The Last-Mile Delivery Investment

Last-mile delivery services will need more access points to meet delivery demands. A growing trend is for companies to place fulfillment warehouses near urban centers.

This is very important in helping last-mile delivery drivers be more efficient. Long-distance warehouses are usually the result of cheap real estate options but drive up the cost of delivery.

Companies should expect to spend more on warehouse spaces closer to cities where deliveries are needed. Multiple warehouse locations in a metro area will soon become the norm.

The last mile portion of delivery accounts for around 50 percent of supply chain costs in the U.S. This number seems high until you factor in growing e-commerce trends.

Global e-commerce is at around $29 trillion in revenue. To manage this scale of products, last-mile delivery requires an investment. 

Better Data 

Smarter tech required for delivery visibility will offer data that makes last-mile logistics easier to manage. Analytics is the key to a good supply chain operation.

Companies use data from delivery drivers and warehousing teams to find holes in the assembly line process. Logistics managers can cut costs where operations aren’t efficient. 

This means cheaper delivery services in the long run. Analytics won’t create an overnight change in revenue, but give small businesses hope for competing with same-day shipping times down the road.

Better data in last-mile delivery also means fewer lost packages. Sensors in fresh foods and pharmaceuticals track the location of the package keeping it on the driver’s radar.

Managers can use automation to immediately react to damaged goods before customers post bad reviews. Lost packages will reduce with more comprehensive tracking tools that visibility at every delivery stop.

Fast and Furious

More than a quarter of the world’s population shops online. Same day and one-day delivery expectations are making last-mile delivery drivers find more ways to offer immediate order fulfillment.

Last-mile delivery companies will have to be collaborative to help shippers meet goals. The customer’s return experience will depend heavily on drivers who provide pickup services.

The simple act of allowing a customer to use a digital barcode instead of a printed label can make all the difference during a return experience.  

Choosing a Last Mile Delivery Service

Last-mile delivery is all about professionalism and trust. These should be the first qualities you look for when choosing a delivery partner.

Well trained drivers who behave professionally in residential neighborhoods are priceless. The last leg of the race is the most critical in proving to customers that your products are better than the rest. 

Set yourself apart with a strong last-mile delivery partner that builds revenue through brand loyalty. For more information about last-mile delivery services, check our blog for updates. 


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Each year 9.84 billion parcels get moved throughout the world. This amounts to substantial costs for businesses. 

One significant contributor to this cost is the final mile distribution. This last leg of the distribution process poses some significant challenges. 

We’ve created the ultimate guide to help shippers better understand the challenge they are facing. We also provide some solutions. That way, shippers can face their final mile dilemma head-on. 

Keep reading to optimize the distribution of products to customers. 

What Is Final Mile Distribution?

When looking at the distribution process, the final mile is the last leg of the product’s journey from the warehouse to the customer’s doorstep. The point at which the package arrives at their door. 

This last phase of the shipping process is the most expensive and time-consuming part of the entire shipment process. But it is also the key to achieving customer satisfaction. 

The Last Mile Struggle 

Think about the journey a product makes when it is ordered. The package seems to move right along. Then it gets to the local distribution center and says out for delivery. Then all progress seems to stop, and it took forever to get to the final delivery address. 

Route Inefficiencies 

That is the final mile inefficiency. The struggle here is that there are many stops and very few drops at each stop. Every time the truck stops, it takes up more time, which delays the delivery further. 

Then there is the struggle of more rural areas. Then the drop points are even further apart. It could be several miles between each delivery. 

Urban areas aren’t much better, though. What they make up for in close proximity, they lose in traffic congestion. So while the truck may not have to drive far, it will make slow progress. 

Increased Demand 

Another significant problem is the increased volume of deliveries. The more people shop online, the more packages that need to be delivered. This means more stops and increased delays. 

Increased Expectations 

Another challenge to the final mile is the increase in customer expectations. Customers expect free and fast delivery these days. This makes fast final mile delivery even more critical. 

Costs of Last-Mile Delivery 

When the total cost of shipping is broken down, the final mile costs are significant. When that couples that with the rise of free shipping, it means substantial shipping costs are now bogging down the bottom line. 

Solutions to Making Final Mile Delivery Affordable 

Now that we know the challenges that companies face, we can discuss some possible solutions. Each one addresses at least one of the two major pain points, time, and expense. 

Crowdsourcing 

When companies crowdsource, they use the power of the people to get their shipments moved. Think of it as the Uber of package delivery. 

This method can reduce the cost of multiple delivery attempts by allowing their customers to schedule specific delivery times. 

They will also save money by not having to hire full-time delivery staff as these couriers are independent contractors. The only downside is that they have increased risk as they have to depend on many different people to provide reliable and consistent service. 

Professional Local Courier 

If crowd sourcing sounds like its own logistical nightmare, then working with a single professional local courier may be more appealing. Local courier services focus on providing comprehensive coverage for a specific geographic area. 

By working with a single courier, a business can be confident of fast and consistent service. That way they can save money and provide their customers with fast, reliable service. 

Route Mapping Software 

This software allows businesses to plan out deliveries in the most efficient manner possible. Planning the right route can help them avoid unnecessary delays. It can also allow their drivers to prevent backtracking and driving in circles, which only wastes time. 

Local Brick and Mortar Distribution Centers 

If a business can get their product closer to the customer before they order it, then they can get it to them faster when they do. Consider placing physical distribution centers that are geographically close to their high order volume areas. 

Now, when a customer orders, instead of shipping across the country, they are shipping across the state. This can take their shipping down from a week to a day or two. 

Smart Technology 

Businesses can use smart technology to make their shipping process more effective. For instance, they can track package temperature, location, and weather conditions. 

They can use this data to better plan their shipping routes. This way they have more streamlined routes which will get their packages delivered faster. 

Data Analytics 

A company can use data analytics to optimize their system. This is the information they will use to determine where they should put a localized distribution center or any other options for making the delivery process more streamlined. 

Looking at delivery times is a good place to start. Track the delivery locations through GPS data. Also, pay attention to seasonal changes in order volume. 

Futuristic Options 

The future is promising for innovative ways to make final mile delivery faster and more affordable. This includes drones and autonomous cars. 

These solutions will make delivery faster and reduce the expense of having a human workforce. 

Try Out Last Mile Services Today 

If you are looking for a way to reduce your shipping costs and time, then trimming your final mile distribution is the answer. This one leg of the journey represents a significant part of the shipping cost. 

Look into alternative options such as local couriers. Or you can use technology to your advantage and plan better for optimized delivery routes. 

Request a quote for your final mile shipping needs today.