Supply chains extend for thousands of miles, with multiple modes of transport, be it ocean, air, rail, long-haul trucking, or some combination. But no mile along the products’ odyssey has been more costly, and caused merchants more issues, than the last mile.
Goods may flow seamlessly from overseas factory to stateside distribution center, but if the delivery to the final consignee goes wrong, the customer is left with a bad taste in their mouth and for the supplier, repeat orders may be jeopardized. Carriers delivering to the final mile must deal with high levels of unpredictability, particularly with B2C shipments, with constantly changing delivery addresses, customers not available, package theft, and city traffic fighting against ever-rising consumer expectations of fast, free delivery in all cases.
Parcel carriers claim to have all the answers, but they naturally shoehorn all shipments into their own networks. A company such as UPS brings a lot to the table, but it’s a fair bet their delivery solutions are going to feature…UPS.
There are innovative options available to ensure reliable last-mile delivery at the most affordable rates. FedEx, DHL and the US Postal Service offer programs to boost efficiency and save money. Brown and Purple offer incentives for buyers to pick up their packages at a designated drop-off point, transferring a portion of last mile costs to the consumer. DHL has an extensive footprint of warehouse space nationwide. And if you’ve ever gotten a Sunday delivery from the mailman, you know the Postal Service is evolving as well.
So what’s your best option? Working with an independent logistics expert, schooled in all the nuances of B2B and B2C delivery, gives your company the best crack at cracking the final-mile puzzle, and getting deliveries right at last.