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National Courier Service | Same Day Delivery Management Specialist

last mile logistics Archives - Chicago Messenger Service

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9.84 billion parcels were distributed around the world in 2017.

The last mile delivery market is experiencing breakneck growth. A significant reason for this growth spurt is the rising volume of parcels which can be attributed to a high growth rate of the e-commerce business.

As more customers place orders, supply chain companies will need to find ways to fulfill them faster thereby differentiating themselves.

Thus, there is a need for every last mile carrier to pay attention to the trends in the industry and figure out how they can best serve their business.

Keep reading to find out some of the latest trends in last mile delivery.

1. The Gig Economy and Crowdsourcing

The advent of the gig economy (and consequently crowdsourcing) has led to the disruption of many industries and logistics isn’t an exception.

With the gig economy, the focus moves from seeking long term jobs to spying out short term contracts.

Combine this with the increasing desire for convenience from customers and you have inevitable disruption coming from the gig economy and crowdsourcing.

Large scale firms like Amazon and Postmates have taken note and are taking advantage of this workforce. These companies advertise new deliveries on their applications. Drivers can then fulfill that task and earn some money.

These services, however, do have some downsides to them at this nascent stage. They don’t cover as wide an area as traditional delivery does.

In fact, they mostly happen to operate around urban areas. As a result, the gig economy is still inefficient when dealing with final mile delivery.

Despite these challenges, you will only write off this trend at your own peril.

Expect it to play a more significant role in the future as economies of scale for gig economy platforms improve their convenience and geographical areas of operation.

2. Speed Is Now Critical for Any Last Mile Carrier

In previous years, last mile delivery companies that didn’t deliver as fast could somehow still survive.

The main reason for this being that as a whole, the industry had not made fast turnaround times something a customer could expect or rely upon.

Things completely changed when Amazon introduced same day and next day delivery services to the wider market. The company upended the industry by not only offering free shipping but also consistently delivering faster.

Inevitably, customers started to expect other last mile companies to deliver faster. Today, customers are willing to pay a 30% premium for same day delivery service.

Such customer demand is proof that speed will only become more crucial to a last mile company’s success.

3. Evolution of the Postal Service

The changing technological landscape has inevitably led to a sizeable decline in the volume of postal mail. On the other hand, parcel deliveries from e-commerce businesses have seen a significant uptick.

Legacy companies like the United States Postal Service (USPS) have taken notice and are now seeking a piece of the pie.

When a postal company like USPS adds a parcel to home delivery, the cost is incremental since the postman was still going to that same house.

For delivery firms like FedEx and UPS, adding that parcel comes at a higher cost as it is an independent stop.

The result is a resurgence of these legacy postal firms as customers use them for their last mile deliveries.

As their costs reduce, even more, customers will want to add more categories of products to the postal service delivery.

4. In House Delivery

Last mile logistics is the most expensive part of the distribution business. In a bid to reduce these costs, more companies are now bringing a portion of their last mile delivery services in-house.

Amazon, for example, now operates its own fleet of delivery planes in addition to those it uses from third-party delivery companies.

In this connection, some last mile delivery firms have taken the unusual approach of working in cooperation with their competitors.

Instead of competing, these cooperation deals seek to pool transportation assets so that it can be cheaper for every firm to deliver.

5. Warehouses in the City

Same day delivery offers a customer instant gratification that is hard for them to overlook the next time they place an order.

As more customers ask for same day delivery, businesses have noticed the benefits that come with offering this service.

To enable fast turnaround times and consistently deliver that instant gratification, businesses are opening up warehouses in urban areas. Where there are no pre-existing buildings, some are constructing them.

With Amazon having a big lead in offering two-hour deliveries, the trend will be for more firms to invest in urban warehouses to catch up.

6. Delivery Technology

Today’s customers have become used to tracking their order from when it starts shipping to when it arrives at their doorstep.

A secondary application that arises out of this technology is the ability to monitor other factors that affect the quality of a parcel.

If a customer places an order for pharmaceutical drugs, for example, they can add sensors to the package which will relay its real-time temperature throughout the journey.

Companies are also using weather prediction analytics tools so that they can best plan their delivery routes and avoid wastage.

7. Delivery by Autonomous Vehicles

Technology today has advanced enough to help businesses begin creating ways around factors limiting the supply chain like the cost of labor and its availability.

Using self-driving cars and delivery drones, logistics companies can eliminate the need to employ drivers in their fleet. In addition, they can be able to guarantee 24-hour delivery no matter the location.

However, tests are ongoing to smoothen delivery by autonomous vehicles; it will take some time to become mainstream.

Regulations need to be created to govern this development but it is safe to say that this is a trend worth watching.

Stay Ahead of the Curve

The last mile delivery industry is living in exciting times. A boom from e-commerce is increasing the total volume of parcels slated for delivery.

As customers grow to expect instant gratification in parcel delivery, every last mile carrier will need to innovate to stay competitive. Therefore, they should study industry trends and see how they can add value to their operations.

Need It Now has over 30 years of experience in the industry and is one of the most reliable firms in local and international deliveries. Click here to get a free quote today.


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You might have the best products in the world, but if they don’t make it to your customers there’s no point in selling them. So how are you going to deliver those goods?

This question can cause quite a dilemma for any business owner. The shipping method decided upon by the company directly affects the business as well as the customer. 

When it comes to choosing a shipping method, there are a few things to keep in mind. Ready to begin? Here are some things you should think when making your decision.

Where Your Customers Are

First, you need to consider your customer. Where are they located? The answer to this question should play a big role in your decision.

There are plenty of shipping options to choose from, so you’re sure to find the right fit. 

If your customers solely reside in your home country, you can look for an option that only serves that country. There’s no need to worry about international shipping if your customers don’t demand it.

On the other hand, you might have international customers. Or you may hope to have them in the future. If this sounds like your business, make sure you choose a shipping method that offers international shipping.

You may only need to ship items to a more local audience. If that’s the case, you can go with a courier who knows the area well and specializes in fast local deliveries.

What You’re Shipping

What types of products do you plan to ship to your customers? While it may seem like that doesn’t matter all that much, it really does. This should be one of the biggest things you take into consideration.

If you’re shipping fragile items, make sure your method of choice will protect them.

Do you plan to ship living things, such as fish or plants? Then you’ll need a shipping method that offers special care and overnight options.

Whether you need your products to get to their destination quickly or at a more standard pace, there’s a method that’ll meet your needs.

Product Size

The size of your products matters, too. Not all shipping companies will allow for large or oddly-shaped packages. If this matches the description of any of your product, make sure you find a company that’s willing to ship that product.

Package weight is an important thing to consider, too.

The Costs Involved

The cost of your chosen shipping method is important to both your company and your customers. Look for something that effective but affordable.

Consider each shipping method’s standard costs, insurance fees, and any other possible costs. This will help you stay on budget and keep your customers happy.

Variety

Unless you offer a single type of thing and plan to ship it the same way every time, you may want a variety of shipping methods. You may want your fragile items delivered in one way and your large items delivered in another.

Luckily, you can find shipping companies who offer a variety of tools and methods. Look for this, if variety is an important feature for your products.

Tracking Services

Package tracking is a must these days. Your customers will expect it, so make sure you offer it.

Tracking gives your customers an intimate knowledge of where their package is. It takes the wonder and some of the worries away until their package arrives.

For the best customer experience, choose a method that offers tracking. This is a benefit for you since you can provide the customer with information when they want it. And it benefits the customers by making them happier and feeling more secure about their online purchase.

Popular Shipping Methods

The way in which your products are delivered will play a role in the cost and effectiveness of your shipping. So consider the method itself when looking at your options.

Will your items be transported by train, air, ship, or truck? Are they hand delivered, or are they left on a porch or at an airport?

All these things should be on your mind when you’re making a decision. Here’s a look at some popular options, so you have an idea of what’s out there.

Standard Mail

The U.S. Postal Service offers several types of shipping. These include standard, first class, and overnight.

They offer tracking and pretty much everyone in the U.S. is familiar with how they work. This provides the comfort of familiarity for your customer.

Shipping Company

Various shipping companies, such as UPS and FedEx offer many shipping services. They usually offer a lot of options, so they’re worth looking into.

Courier Service

Courier services offer a hands-on, catered-to you approach to shipping. Things like rush service, any-hour delivery, and package storage are all part of this method.

Many courier services offer last mile delivery, which can be used in conjunction with other delivery services. This helps make sure that packages don’t get left somewhere, like an airport.

Courier service is an excellent option if you’re looking for a shipping method that’ll guarantee customer satisfaction.

The Right Shipping Method for You

When it comes to choosing a shipping method for your company, you have a lot of decisions to make. There may be more than one option that could be a good fit, so make sure you compare your options.

Consider every element of the shipping process, including product size, where the products will go, and how fast they need to get there. Once you’ve found the right fit, you and your customers are sure to be happy.

We offer the best courier service you’ll find in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale areas. See what we can do for you by getting a free quote!


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final mile logistics

It’s not a huge secret that e-commerce is taking over retail. Last year, Americans spent more than $453 billion on online purchases.

The industry is only getting bigger.

Amazon and Walmart are taking e-commerce to new heights. But even Amazon, which rules the e-commerce school, has run into a problem.

Despite their overwhelmingly popular Prime service, which allows people to get their packages in two days, people want it faster.

Amazon found that 60% of their Prime and 41% of non-Prime customers get deterred from buying something because of slow shipping. And we’re talking two days.

That, in a nutshell, is why final mile logistics isn’t only important, it’s a necessity.

In this article, we give you more insight into this growing topic. We’ll also give you some tips on how to get the most out of your third-party logistics service.

What Are the Basics of a Supply Chain?

Before we get into final mile logistics, let’s go over some important basics.

If you’re one of the 30+ million small businesses in the U.S., you’re always looking for ways to cut costs. You’re also looking for ways to increase sales.

The easiest and fastest ways to do both is using a third-party logistics company.

A 3PL company handles any or all aspects of your supply chain. Your e-commerce business probably utilizes a third-party logistics provider. If not, you’re wasting valuable time and money.

In any kind of e-commerce, the process is the same.

The products get stored. A customer buys it online. The items get picked and packed, then shipped.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

How your company goes about it is different. If you use a 3PL, they do everything aside from being the customer buying your product.

If you self-fulfill, you’re storing your products and handling every aspect of the supply chain. In essence, you’re the supply chain.

If you use a drop-ship supplier, they make and store a White-Label product. Then, when your customer clicks “Buy,” the drop-shipper puts your label on it, then does everything else to get it to your customer.

Yes, all three methods are very different. But there’s one thing all these different processes have in common. Final mile delivery, or final mile logistics, is the most important piece of their puzzle.

What Is Final Mile Logistics?

Final mile logistics, or final mile delivery, is the last step in the shipping process.

It’s when a product moves from a transportation hub to its final destination. This could be a receiving dock in business-to-business transactions or an individual’s front door.

Sounds simple, right? It also doesn’t sound that important. It turns out, that final mile logistics is one of, if not the most important parts of the supply chain.

Why Is It So Important?

Last mile delivery makes up 28% of the total cost of shipping an item. That alone makes it important.

As we already discussed, consumers want everything now.

The second they enter their credit card info online, they’re waiting at the window for the delivery truck to arrive.

Everything hinges on last mile shipping. Everything gets affected if there’s a breakdown in the final mile.

If a shipper loses your product, your customer gets mad. They call, usually in an aggravated tone, and demand you send them a replacement.

Your salesperson or customer service representative is now upset. They’re desperately trying to get a duplicate order sent out. The warehouse stops what they’re doing to take care of this priority.

The most frustrating part for you as a business owner is that there’s nothing you can do about it.

What Are Some Challenges?

Chances are, you can relate to everything we’ve mentioned thus far. You’re likely even nodding your head and asking, “Yes, but why does this always happen?!”

You’re about to gain some insight into the challenges of final mile logistics.

Five main factors play a role in last mile delivery challenges. Every company can pinpoint exactly where their final mile delivery breakdown happens and it’s not the same for everybody.

Customer Nuances

As you’re well aware, the customer isn’t always right. In fact, the customer is a cause for some huge challenges in last mile delivery.

First, is customer errors. This is when they input the incorrect shipping address or make typos to the address.

Next, customers shipping items to remote locations poses challenges for delivery.

Finally, a customer not being present at the time of delivery causes issues. Sometimes, a package gets stolen off their front porch. Other times, weather damages the package.

When the accuracy of the final delivery is in question, it costs someone time and money. That someone is usually you.

Business-to-Business Vs. Business-to-Consumer

Most of the time, B2B and B2C deliveries get loaded onto the same trucks. This system is inefficient but the theory is that it saves money.

The truth is, it costs more in the long run. B2B shipments are larger and more time-consuming. A delay in either causes big problems for the recipient.

Companies need their product to run their business. Consumers may need medical supplies to avoid a health crisis.

Putting both on the same truck increases the risk that there will be delays. It can also lead to damages.

Types of Products Shipped

Some goods require special handling and can throw off final mile logistics. The delivery of food, toxic/flammable goods, and fragile items take extra planning.

Outdated or Inefficient Technology

When your customer gets the notification that their order is “out for delivery,” they get excited. Little do they know, all that means is that their package is on the truck.

There’s no way to track in real-time where a delivery actually is the delivery process.

Likewise, outdated computer software, GPS, and handheld devices don’t send the information with the efficiency they should.

Poor Infrastructure

The infrastructure in the U.S. is a major concern for many industries. But, when it comes to logistics, it may be the most troubling of all.

Roads and bridges in disrepair cause massive delays. So does inefficient route planning. All these lead to longer travel times and possible delays.

In the end, your customer’s frustrated, and we’re back to square one.

Are There Any Solutions?

The good news is, there are solutions to these challenges. This is welcoming news for companies that rely on last mile logistics to keep their customers happy and profits up.

The bad news is, if you’re already envious of Amazon’s amazing distribution system, their solution is like rubbing salt in a wound.

Amazon has their own delivery service. These are the couriers you see running all over town, delivering packages to the Amazon faithful. Using their “Delivery Partner System” allows them to have more control over shipments than they did using the “big three” shippers.

Now, you’re likely not in the position to start your own delivery service. But you can take advantage of courier services that focus on final mile logistics.

Using a company that specializes in getting the final mile done right is a huge step in the right direction.

Find the Right Last Mile Logistics Company

There is no question that final mile logistics is one of the most important parts of the supply chain. The only answer you need is how to ensure you’re using the right service.

At Need It Now Delivers! we focus on making sure your products get to your most valuable assets – your customers.

From air freight to rush courier service, we provide every aspect you need to deliver not only your product but unparalleled customer service.

We’ve perfected last mile home delivery and would love to talk to you about how we can deliver results for you.


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As e-commerce continues to grow, so does our demand to have everything now. Online retailers and logistics companies have to keep up with that demand. They offer same-day delivery and other courier options to meet those needs.

Unfortunately, the last stage in the process called last mile logistics doesn’t always live up to those promises. The holiday season is a perfect example.

Almost 18 billion cards, parcels, and packages get delivered during the holidays by the three biggest U.S. shippers. But how many of your packages or cards didn’t get to you in time, despite these companies adding a larger workforce?

Final mile delivery is one of the toughest challenges carriers face. It’s also one of the most frustrating for customers. In this guide, we explain what last mile logistics means and how to overcome its challenges.

What is Last Mile Logistics?

As you can imagine, it takes many steps to get a product into your hands. After the design and prototype get approved, a product gets manufactured and packaged. From there, it gets moved to a warehouse where it awaits its fate.

Some companies store their own products while others ship them to an off-site warehouse or storage facility. After an order gets placed – either by a retail buyer or an end-user, the product is on the move!

Last mile logistics, sometimes referred to as final mile delivery, is the final step in the shipping process. It’s when goods move from a transportation hub to their final destination. This is typically your front door or receiving dock.

The Last Mile Problem

It doesn’t sound like there should be any issues with the final mile, but there are more issues at the final stage that at any point in the chain. Believe it or not, it’s also the most expensive part of the process. Last mile logistics account for 40-50% of a company’s total logistics costs.

For decades, carriers have improved on different techniques and technology but it’s still not where it should be. There’s added pressure on shippers to be faster than the next company or they’ll lose business.

When you track a package and get the “out for delivery” response, you’re elated. But then the waiting game sets in. In your mind, you think it means you should be hearing the truck’s backup beep any minute.

In reality, it only means your package is on a truck somewhere in your delivery area. That’s part of the last mile problem.

In rural areas, a truck could have many deliveries on a route. If there’s a hold up on any of the stops, your delivery time gets pushed further back.

But there’s also a demand for accuracy whether your package is on the truck or on your neighbor’s front step. That’s one of the biggest challenges carriers face.

What are the Challenges of Last Mile Logistics?

The challenges of last mile logistics involve several factors. While every company can pinpoint their own deficiencies in last mile delivery, some factors are universal to some extent.

Customer Input

Customer nuances lead to many logistics issues. Inputting the incorrect address, remote locations, and not being present at delivery are all cause for concern. These factors come into play in the accuracy of the delivery as well as costing valuable time and money.

Business to Business Vs. Business to Consumer

Large B2B deliveries are often handled and transported with B2C deliveries. This is an inefficient system built to save money but ends up costing more in the long run.

B2B shipments tend to be larger and more time-consuming than a 2-pound package from a retailer.

A delay in either delivery has repercussions. On one hand, a business needs the goods to avoid downtime or continue with production. On the other, medical supplies are also needed and could result in a serious health crisis.

Types of Goods Shipped

On occasion, the types of goods getting shipped can cause nightmares for a logistics company. Dangerous, toxic, and flammable goods must have safe handling. Fragile/breakable and perishable items also need extra planning.

Inefficient Technology

As advanced we are as a nation, we still need to improve on the tech we do have. Inaccurate computer systems, GPS, and handhelds cause delays by failing to work when they’re called to.

Couple inefficient hardware with shaky software and it’s clear the logistics system as a whole can use some upgrading.

Poor Infrastructure

Drivers face longer travel times and inefficient routes when infrastructure is in poor shape or roads are in disrepair. While this isn’t the sole cause of the last mile problem in the U.S., it does add to it.

In international shipping, poor infrastructure affects deliveries the most.

What are the Solutions?

The good news is that logistics companies are always trying to find solutions and improve on current methods. These solutions fall on everyone involved

Retailers can affect change by reviewing their warehouse and fulfillment processes. Notification should keep customers in the loop as the shipment reaches checkpoints in the process.

Technology should improve so everyone in the chain has better knowledge of where their product is and when it’s expected to get delivered. Ordering software should have immediate error checks for incorrect addresses.

Put real-time visibility software in place so everyone in the chain can track shipments and catch inefficiencies.

Make routes more efficient. Inefficient routes cause poor time management and increased fuel costs. Optimizing routes to meet expectations is a realistic solution but takes more planning on management’s end.

Carriers need to figure out how to get the most deliveries out of a driver in the least amount of time. Variables such as delivery windows, location, and truck sizes and load need to get taken into consideration in the process.

The Final Goal

As you can see, last mile logistics are an important part of the shipping process. Some business owners believe it’s the most important part. But it’s also where the most mishaps can occur.

Choosing a carrier that understands the importance of last mile logistics is paramount for having your shipment arrive safe and on time. That’s where we come in.

Chicago Messenger handles freight around the world in a secure and dependable manner. We work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to make sure your cargo gets delivered on time.

Check out all our freight services or contact us today for your free quote.