This is the first entry in our series on Final Mile (also known as last mile) shipping. To read all entries, please click below:
- Controlling Final Mile Costs
- How To Find The Right Last Mile 3PL Partner
- What To Look For In A Tech-Enabled 3PL For Final Mile
- Final Mile Guide: Managing Costs And Operational Efficiency
What Is Final Mile Logistics?
Today’s shippers are often challenged in meeting their customers’ ever-increasing expectations for lower costs, increased efficiencies, and speedy deliveries. These demands are driving explosive growth in the logistics and transportation marketplace. In fact, according to GlobeNewswire, the global logistics and supply chain industry market will swell to more than $3.21T by 2021. Increased demands for final mile logistics, also known as last mile, will play a critical role in driving this growth as companies look to increase e-commerce and curbside service offerings. But final mile remains complicated at best, and shippers need to understand why. In this series of blog posts, we will address the challenges of final mile, and share how GlobalTranz has developed a unique solution that combines proprietary technology, expert support, and integrated carriers that specialize in providing best-in-class final mile services.
Defining Final Mile
As the name implies, final mile logistics is a specialized mode focused squarely on the final leg of a shipment’s journey to its destination. Final mile arose as a standalone mode due to the complexities in delivering to locations that lack loading docks and other receiving and storage infrastructure. Such locations include residences, small retail locations with limited storage, job sites, as well as retail locations with limited access. While final mile can often refer to the delivery of small parcels to residences, the needs, and challenges of delivering shipments which are larger than small parcel to these often challenging destinations are often overlooked.
The Challenges of Managing Final Mile
To understand the challenges of managing final mile, we must first understand how many businesses are currently managing these shipments. Imagine that you operate a chain of retail storefronts, each with a small footprint. Due to your sales volume and limited storage space, you do not order full truckload shipments of products. Instead, you are ordering pallets of products which are transported to your retail locations via traditional LTL networks. However, your store locations lack loading docks, requiring the LTL provider to use special equipment, such as a liftgate, or provide special handling, such as an inside delivery. These additional services result in increased accessorial charges, adding potentially unexpected costs onto each shipment. In addition, repeated loading and unloading of goods may drive additional costs related to damaged product.
Some shippers have responded to these challenges by looking to build their own final mile solution, however, many find that coordinating the LTL linehaul carrier with the regional or local final mile provider to be a daunting challenge. While doing so solves many issues with using an LTL-only approach to final mile, other challenges remain: shippers must still manage multiple pieces of paperwork, including BOLs, PODs and invoices, for each and every shipment. Lastly, shippers that are attempting to build and manage their own final mile solution without the benefit of a robust TMS are certain to experience even greater challenges.
How GlobalTranz Enables Final Mile Success With a Robust TMS
The GlobalTranz TMS includes an intuitive and efficient final mile module that automatically connects shippers with a two-carrier move. The TMS matches the optimal LTL linehaul carrier and is integrated with carriers that specialize in final mile services. The GlobalTranz final mile network covers all 48 contiguous U.S. states and can flex to meet any unique needs your business may present. The system retains critical information regarding the characteristics of pickup and delivery locations, ensuring that the right equipment and service level is provided, every time, effectively eliminating costly accessorial charges. By pairing LTL carriers with final mile providers, the risk of damage is mitigated by a reduction in handling through the shipment’s journey. Finally, the GlobalTranz TMS creates a single invoice and BOL, significantly streamlining and simplifying the payment process.
Put the Power of a Connected Final Mile TMS and Experienced Network to Work for You
Navigating the space between various modes can be tricky. GlobalTranz’s modal optimization approach is focused on helping our customers determine which mode is best suited to handle their product. Our expert team, backed by our proprietary technology, stands at the ready to assist you.
The GlobalTranz final mile solution does not compete with small parcel carriers. Rather, it is a solution that has been purpose-built for businesses with pallet-size (and greater) shipments that would typically be transported via traditional LTL. GlobalTranz combines the speed and efficiencies of an LTL provider with exceptional customer experience at the time of delivery via our dedicated final mile providers. Our solution has been designed to take the hassle out of final mile and allow businesses to get back to what really matters—serving their customers. Request a consultation with GlobalTranz to learn how your business can benefit from a true “one stop solution” for your Final Mile needs.