Why Is A Good Final Mile Delivery Service Crucial?
Final mile delivery or also often referred to as last-mile confidently takes its place as one of the most critical components of operational success and customer satisfaction in the logistics sector. It’s usually thought of as a B2C (business-to-customer) delivery option to an individual at a residential address. However, the final mile can also be defined as the delivery of cargo to a business location or commercial entity (B2B – business-to-business) 🏡 🏢
The term ‘final mile’ simply refers to the final step of a cargo’s transportation journey, i.e. when it’s delivered to the final destination by road transportation. Final mile delivery is used across all industries including, healthcare, manufacturing, construction and retail 🚚
*An example of a final mile delivery*
Medical equipment that has been transported to a warehouse, distribution or fulfilment center. When it’s loaded into a truck, the drive and delivery of goods to the recipient at the final destination is the ‘final mile’ delivery.
A ton of transportation partners don’t stop at the front door either. An extra add-on service called ‘white glove’ is often offered by specialists in logistics. You can read all about it here as we’ve written another super helpful blog explaining the benefits of the entire end-to-end solution. Including, pick-up, packaging, installation, 2-man delivery teams, reverse logistics, etc. This service is perfect for places like hospitals that require delivery of large medical equipment to a specific ward.
But that’s another story, let’s get back to discussing the final mile. Now, due to the sheer size of the United States, mastering final mile delivery can prove to be pretty difficult and requires innovative solutions, streamlined logistics processes and great attention to customer satisfaction. Let’s find out why it can have its challenges…
Potential Challenges In The Final Mile
In congested urban areas like major cities, delivery drivers face a number of challenges leading to potential delays and increased operational costs.
Final mile deliveries can already make up 53% of the total shipping cost of your freight, making it the most expensive proportion of the supply chain. So it’s super important for delays to be avoided, not just for customer satisfaction but also to keep costs to a minimum. Good logistics partners will optimize routes to avoid heavy traffic where possible, and where this isn’t possible might schedule delivery times to pass through urban areas before or after rush hours.
Expenses (Time & Money) ⏰💰
As we said above, final mile delivery is usually the most expensive and time consuming leg of your freights journey. Which isn’t great when your customers want fast and free shipping. So what makes it expensive? Multiple different location drop-off’s (if you have multiple orders at once), fuel consumption is higher when start-stop driving in high traffic areas and overall more time spent on the road, meaning more ware and tear on the vehicles and potentially overtime pay for drivers, etc. Make sure to use a fairly priced but also reliable transportation provider to minimize costs.
Delivery Addresses 🌳
Some final mile deliveries will require delivery of freight to remote and rural areas. These areas can present their own obstacles like less maintained roads, which require extra care when driving on and properties in these sorts of areas don’t always have clear addresses, perhaps the building only has a name which can lead to the GPS failing to find the property. Another problem when a delivery is required out in the sticks is limited signal. A driver can find themselves driving extra miles trying to find the delivery address. This can hinder delivery times and cause delays. It’s always best to leave as much detail and instructions as possible of the final destination address to avoid this.
But Why Is It Important To Provide A Good Final Mile Service?
A great final mile service is important to leave a good perception of your brand with your customer. In the fast paced world we live in, customers expect fast, reliable, cost effective and hassle free delivery options. So, essentially the logistics company you choose to partner with represents your business and poor service can leave a customer feeling bitter and disappointed and can ultimately hinder future orders. On the contrary, a great service will have the opposite effect and leave them delighted which could enhance the chances of repeat orders.
Ways To Improve Your Final Mile Service
It’s simple really, partner with an expert at managing all things final mile, like PEI 😄. You and them together can provide things like:
Transparency & Tracking 🖲
Most logistics partners (like us 😉) provide full GPS tracking of their vehicles so you can always be kept in the loop with real time updates on each and every one of your shipments. Your customers can also benefit from these updates and will know a precise time of when to expect delivery.
Route Optimization 🛣
There are softwares available to make advanced optimized route planning a breeze. These softwares are extremely smart and use algorithms to plan out the most efficient delivery routes possible to minimize travel time, fuel consumption and overall costs. Such softwares take into consideration traffic patterns, vehicle capacity and delivery windows, so they’re fully comprehensive.
Capture Feedback 📝
After a delivery is complete, be sure to get feedback from your customers and ask if and how their experience could be improved. This will help to quickly rectify any negative experiences (not that there will be any if you use us 😄) and help you to decide if your shipping partner is living up to expectations.
Working with an established logistics partner will ensure you have professionalism throughout the entire process, from your dedicated account manager keeping everything on the back end running smoothly to professional delivery drivers, who make sure all shipments are carried out with the utmost care and to the best possible standard, which in turn will leave your customers feeling extra special 😌
Shipping partners are continuously improving their strategies for final mile deliveries, to keep up with customers demands. In recent years most products bought online would take around 2-7 working days before delivery and that was seen as a pretty quick turnaround.
Fast forward a few years and certain businesses have completely changed the game. They’ve set a precedent for super quick delivery and now customers sometimes expect same day, next day and 48 hour turn around times from order to delivery. Therefore, having a seamless, reliable, efficient, professional and all around great final mile delivery service is worth every penny to meet customer expectations, drive customer loyalty and repeat business.
How Can PEI Help?
If you’re a 3PL and need help with any of your shipments, no matter how tough they seem. We are experts in specialized logistics and of course offer a final mile service too!😁 Or, if you are a business that’s curious about shipping services we offer including final mile then please get in touch on Phone: 888-SHIP-911. You can call that number 24/7/365 and always speak with one of our experts 😊
Need help with any of your final mile shipments?
At PEI we’re experts in dealing with final mile shipments and can handle yours with any custom requirements.