The Last Mile Trends Shippers Need to Know in Prep for Peak Season

The Last Mile Trends Shippers Need to Know in Prep for Peak Season

The modern-day supply chain consists of many working parts. While most people focus on warehouse management, shipping lanes, and data tracking, there is another aspect of freight transportation that needs careful consideration — last mile delivery. Last mile delivery has become such a focused aspect of the supply chain network, especially in light of the drastic changes and disruptions of the last year and a half.

Using Data to Plan Spot Freight in the Last Mile Will Still Be a Factor in Peak Season 2021

At the heart of the modern-day supply chain is the utilization of real-time data. Having access to data, up to the minute tracking information, and faster communications and automated processes make last mile delivery easier to manage. This will continue to be critical for the modern supply chain, especially during peak season. The already stressed supply chains will undoubtedly see yet another influx of orders and increases in customer service demands.

Same-Day Delivery Will Require Rebalancing of Your Network and Distribution Strategy

While considered a novel service when first introduced by Amazon, the idea of next-day and even same-day delivery options has become the expected norm. Many consumers are more than willing to go elsewhere with their business to get fast and free shipping options. So, to meet these shipping and last mile carrier needs, logistics management and delivery strategies will need to be reworked to meet current market demands.

Real-Time Transparency Will Allow for Better Exception Management and Reduced Delays

The key to optimized management and innovative delivery options is transparency. Dealing with exceptions and disruptions logically and sustainably is a critical part of shipping management today. Utilizing real-time transparency and data tacking opportunities can help streamline last mile shipping solutions. This, in turn, can help save time, money, and resources and reduce delays while also boosting profit margins across the network.

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Agile Operations Will Enable Faster Shipping Execution in the Final Mile

According to research and surveys by Supply Chain Drive, as many as 70% of shippers today have experienced trouble finding transportation partners and carriers to help meet the needs for final delivery. The same research study found that around 90% of shippers feel that their current third-party providers can help them achieve their goals and meet their needs in 2021. This shift in logistics clearly shows no signs of going away.

Brick-and-Mortar Stores Will Serve a DC Purpose, Requiring More Planning for Commercial Last Mile Delivery Planning

At the heart of last mile delivery is data access. Without fast and easy access to docks and properly designed pick-up and drop-off locations, delivery planning becomes much more complicated. Retailers without docks and loading areas that can accommodate larger trucks require specialized last mile delivery services. This can lead to time issues, additional costs, and more man-hours needed to accommodate those final delivery steps.

Environmental Awareness Will Drive Customer Behaviors, Requiring Optimization of the Last Mile to Reduce Its Eco-Impact

Many consumers and businesses are becoming more aware than ever before about how their choices impact the environment. With the green movement in full swing and picking up momentum in the transportation industry, shippers must reevaluate and optimize their delivery services. Proving their environmental focus can help win over consumers and provide an advantage in the increasingly competitive market during peak shipping.

Crowdsourcing Last Mile Drivers Will Help Shippers Scale Fulfillment and Deliver to More Households Through Peak

The final trend changing the way shippers handle last mile delivery today is the growing utilization of third-party crowdsourcing. Using drivers who specialize in last mile routes and services can help speed up delivery overall. It can help free up in-house drivers to handle the complex long-haul parts of the shipments while leaving last mile specialty drivers to handle the final delivery. This approach can be especially critical during peak seasons.

Align Your Shipping Strategy With These Last Mile Trends to Thrive Through the Peaks and Lulls Expected Through the Rest of 2021 and Beyond

Embracing current trends and processes within last mile delivery can make or break shippers and carriers alike during the peak seasons and lull periods. The market is constantly changing and shifting, and to survive, a focus on those final legs and last miles becomes critical. Working with improved in-house tracking and automated processes while also partnering with third-party drivers can help improve shipping strategies across the board. Ensure your team is ready for the coming peak season by putting the right systems in place.

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Jeff Groenke
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