Final Mile Carrier Selection: 3 Things To Look For
If you’re looking for a final mile carrier, the search can be tricky. Demand for final mile delivery services is quickly growing. At the same time, many businesses are struggling to achieve success in this aspect of the supply chain. Why are businesses facing hurdles with finding the right final mile carrier? There are many reasons.
First, supply chain needs have drastically changed over the past few years. This is mainly a result of increased online shopping. Parcel delivery is an easy solution for small products. However, large and bulky products are a different beast when it comes to residential delivery services. Standard LTL carriers haven’t always been ideal for residential delivery. Yet, they’ve been the typical go-to for for businesses that also rely on business-to-business delivery services.
The second reason that businesses are challenged with finding the right final mile carrier is the delivery demands their customers have. White glove delivery, in particular, is the most challenging. These types of residential delivery services can be time-consuming. They often require two man delivery service. They can also involve room of choice, light assembly and debris removal.
This is a service that most standard carriers can’t provide due to operational hurdles. However, there are ltl carriers that are adopting a last mile delivery network solution to cater to their customers. (We recently built out a last mile delivery network for one of the nation’s largest LTL carriers. Click here to learn how.)
But if you’re a shipper that is looking for a final mile carrier, keep these three thoughts in mind as you shop around.
1.) Delivery Coverage
Ideally, your final mile carrier that can provide coverage in all of your key markets. This can be tricky due to the fact that transportation providers are generally regional players. There are large final mile carriers that say they offer nationwide service, but their performance will often vary by market and region. Regional operators are often a better choice because they are not stretched as thin and can focus on excelling in their key locations.
2.) Service Capabilities
The second area you need to think about is the service options you need. Not every final mile carrier offers white glove delivery service. They may only offer curbside or delivery to the doorstep. Online shoppers, however, generally expect inside delivery options. This is particularly true with the growing demand for white glove furniture delivery.
3.) Tracking & Visibility
Finally, you should look for a final mile carrier that can provide tracking, visibility and technology integration. Tracking a shipment is important to your business and your customers. In fact, it is pretty much always expected from online shoppers. It helps them plan their day by knowing for sure when a delivery is coming. Shipment tracking is a crucial part of improving your customer’s shopping experience.