Last-mile carriers are the unsung heroes of the logistics world. They’re the ones who make sure your packages get from point A to point B, no matter how far apart. Last-mile carriers can also give you a competitive advantage and improve your customers’ experience.
What’s not to love?
As with any hero, they come with their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Let’s take an in-depth look at the advantages and disadvantages of last-mile carriers.
What Is a Last-Mile Carrier?
Before jumping into the pros and cons, let’s ensure we have the same understanding of last-mile carrier service.
The last-mile carrier, also known as a final-mile carrier, is a delivery service responsible for transporting goods from a central transportation location to the package’s final destination, usually a customer’s home or business.
The term “final mile” refers to the last leg of a shipment’s journey, often the most challenging and expensive part of the shipping process. Final-mile services are typically used for smaller and more time-sensitive shipments, such as:
- E-commerce orders
- Parcel deliveries
Last-mile service providers can offer customers a range of delivery options, including same-day, next-day, and weekend delivery.
The Advantages of Last-Mile Carriers
Last-mile carriers have many advantages that can benefit your business. Below is a list of some of the advantages of last-mile carriers.
One of the most significant advantages of a last-mile carrier is the convenience it offers a business’s customers. Instead of picking up their packages from a transportation hub, customers can have their goods delivered right to their doorstep.
By partnering with a last-mile carrier, your business can streamline its shipping processes and provide customers with a more convenient and efficient delivery experience. Therefore, you can increase customer satisfaction and enjoy repeat business.
For example, if you own an online clothing retailer, you would need to rely on various shipping methods such as postal services, couriers, or freight companies to get your products to customers. This could be time-consuming and costly, as each shipping method may require different processes and fees.
However, by partnering with a last-mile carrier, you can simplify your shipping processes and offer your customers a more consistent and reliable delivery experience. The last-mile carrier can handle all aspects of the delivery, from pick-up to drop-off, which frees you up to focus on other aspects of your business.
Last-mile carriers often prioritize speed and efficiency in the delivery processes. This means that you can expect packages to arrive quickly and on time. With the increase of e-commerce and online shopping, fast delivery times have become critical to customer satisfaction.
When partnering with a last-mile carrier, you can offer faster delivery times and improve the overall customer experience. This can be especially important for time-sensitive shipments, such as:
- Perishable goods
- Medical supplies
- Emergency equipment
Last-mile carriers can help you reduce delivery times and costs by optimizing delivery routes and using advanced tracking and routing technologies. This can lead to quicker and more efficient deliveries and lower fuel costs and emissions.
Last-mile carriers typically offer a range of delivery options to accommodate different customer needs. For example, some carriers may offer same-day or next-day delivery, while others may provide weekend delivery options. This flexibility makes it easier for customers to receive their packages when convenient for them.
If delays caused by road closures or traffic buildups occur, a final-mile carrier can quickly adapt and change the route. Most services utilize tracking and route optimization systems to help in these instances. Your shipments will still arrive on time even when delays happen.
The Disadvantages of Last-Mile Carriers
As with any service, last-mile carrier service also comes with its own set of disadvantages. However, most carriers provide many different options to overcome these challenges and give businesses the best option to meet their needs and goals.
Let’s explore the possible disadvantages and ways service providers typically overcome them.
While last-mile carriers may be convenient, they often cost more than other shipping options. This is because the final mile of delivery can be the most expensive part of the shipping process since it is the most crucial leg. This kind of service has more room for error and requires advanced tracking systems.
Some carriers may also charge extra fees for specialized delivery services, such as white-glove delivery. While this service usually costs more, it is a valuable resource for businesses because it can help improve customer experience and satisfaction.
Despite the best efforts of last-mile carriers, delivery issues can still arise. These may include lost or damaged packages, missed deliveries, or delayed shipments. Any of these issues can occur for several reasons, such as:
- Road closures
- Traffic buildup
While these issues are rare, they can frustrate customers and carriers. However, many carriers have systems and protocols in place for when these instances occur.
For example, many final-mile services use tracking and route optimizations to help find ways around road closures or traffic buildups.
Lastly, last-mile carriers may not be available in all areas. For example, if your business needs shipments delivered in rural or remote areas, a final-mile carrier may need help to make the shipment there.
It may help if you speak with your provider directly about where you need deliveries made and to ensure they can work with you.
Last-Mile Carrier with Service Express
At Service Express, we offer final-mile services to help your business get flexibility, speed, and convenience with your deliveries. Our service works directly with your business to help you provide higher quality and reliable transportation.
With more than 100 years of industry experience, our team is well prepared to assist you in reaching your goals (read more here).
Contact Us Today
Ultimately, it’s up to your business to decide if a last-mile carrier is right for your business’ needs. If you’d like to learn more, contact us today, and we would be happy to discuss our services with you.