The average customer expects to get their order delivered in 4.8 days. This delivery time is down from 2012 when the expectation was 5.5 days.
In a world of instant gratification, to be competitive, you need to reduce your shipping time. The problem is, the faster you ship, the more expensive it gets.
This becomes complicated when you also factor in customers wanting cheap or free shipping. This results in a big chunk taken out of your bottom line.
To stay competitive, you need to start using final mile delivery. Want to know more? Keep reading!
What Does Final Mile Mean?
The final mile is the last step in the logistics process when getting a product from the warehouse to the customer’s delivery address. Think of it as the “out for delivery” part of the shipment process.
This phase of the logistics process also happens to be the most expensive. Carriers like to streamline their processes, but there is no way to deliver shipments in bulk when they need to go to individual homes.
The Problem with Final Mile
Not only is the final mile the most expensive part of the process, but it is also the part of the process that takes the longest. Haven’t we all waited for a package only to see the tracking sit on that last part of the journey for what seems like forever?
For rural deliveries, it is the time it takes to have a truck physically drive out into the country. This takes a lot of time as each delivery location is not near the next one.
More urban locations have their own challenges when it comes to speed. The delivery locations are closer together, but now you have to deal with traffic congestion slowing your delivery down.
The future of streamlining the shipment process is to start coordinating your shipments through multiple carriers. This means using one carrier for the bulk of the shipment, then another for the file mile.
This way, you can work with a national carrier that has a strong distribution system for quick cross country movement. Then use a more local carrier who has a well-built infrastructure for fast last mile deliveries.
Communication Is Key
According to one survey, 90% of consumers said they wanted to track their package throughout the shipment process. As an e-commerce business, this now becomes a priority.
The good thing about tracking is that it lets consumers know when to expect their package. It allows them to see that you are doing everything to ensure they get their package as quickly as possible.
You can also use this as a selling point for your customers. Since they are more likely to ship with you when you offer better customer service through improved tracking abilities.
So how does this relate to final mile delivery? Well, you want to partner with a carrier who has the technology to offer your customers real-time tracking.
Reliability and Consistency
When you tell your customers that their item will be there in a certain amount of time, they expect you to hold to your promise. If you don’t, they may be likely to choose to shop elsewhere next time.
You can use file mile delivery to provide faster and more reliable deliveries. You can also provide your customers with a consistent experience from one shopping experience to another.
Do you have specific delivery windows you need to hit? Large carriers with specific routes may not be able to hit such a target. While your final mile carrier is used to this kind of constraints and can work with you.
Or what if you have customers who request a last minute change? Customers expect your business to be able to accommodate such requests.
Some carriers do not let you make changes once a shipment enters the system. But this isn’t the case when you work with a final mile service provider. They can accommodate a change or last-minute rush delivery.
Have you ever noticed that your shipment could make it across the country in less than 24 hours, but then it takes five days to get across the city to your home? That’s because the final mile portion of the supply chain is failing for that business.
If your product has a useable life, this 5-day delay may be unacceptable. So you can reduce your lost product cost and returns costs by reducing the final mile shipment time.
The best way to do this is by using a final mile service. They can reduce this time, which reduces the risk of damage to your product. Less damage in shipment means more happy customers.
It also means less returned orders and fewer orders you need to ship again to get a replacement out to your customer. So you will see your shipping and lost product costs go down.
Your competitors are looking at ways to reduce their costs and increase customer satisfaction and retention. So to stay competitive, your business needs to consistently improve too.
If your competitors start offering faster shipping at reduced costs, consumers are likely to pick them over you.
Start Using Final Mile Delivery
Including a final mile solution in your supply chain can reduce your overall shipping costs, shorten shipping times, and increase customer satisfaction. By using a separate final mile delivery solution, you can ensure that your shipments don’t get caught up in the logistics of national carriers.
We can help you integrate our final mile delivery solutions into your current supply chain. We can also help you streamline the entire process from facility management to retail vendor consolidation.