Final Mile, also commonly referred to as Last Mile, refers to the very last leg of any shipment’s journey: from the transportation hub to the end-user. A lot of times, this is a customer, and their location is a residential address. That said, Final Mile is not just about parcel deliveries, even though that’s usually the first image that comes to mind when thinking about it. Another extremely important sector is B2B sales, including freight deliveries, palettes, and so on. These are typically very expensive, so any mishaps here can be truly catastrophic.
The reason that Final Mile is in some ways, the most important aspect of any shipment, is because it ties in the buyer. Ultimately, all businesses are extremely concerned with customer retention and loyalty. So if something goes wrong in the Final Mile segment of delivery, there’s no hiding it from the customer, which can damage profitability in the long run.
Why Is Final Mile Such a Big Factor Now?
A few years ago, the entire industry was shaken up by what FLEET calls the “Amazon effect.” This term refers to the implications that Amazon’s extremely short fulfillment window has had on customers and shippers alike. Today, if it takes longer than two days to arrive, customers are unhappy. Amazon can easily deliver on its promise, with ample warehouses, truckers, and resources at hand. But not every company has the resources that Amazon does, making it increasingly difficult for shippers to compete with the retail giant when it comes to Final Mile. And especially with Amazon’s extensive selection and the fact that consumers can easily shop for product alternatives elsewhere, the need to optimize Final Mile is more urgent than it’s ever been.
Additionally, the way that we shop has changed over the years. Once upon a time, a trip to the mall was a regular occurrence, but today’s consumers are all about e-commerce. According to Statista, e-commerce sales are expected to surpass $740 billion by 2023, with no signs of slowing down.
As online shopping continues to be the most popular mode of getting what you need, fast shipping is becoming somewhat of a necessity. As per Business Insider, “Last Mile delivery is both the most expensive and time-consuming part of the shipping process,” so if retailers and their logistics providers want to stay competitive, they must look for ways to optimize their Final Mile services.
How You Can Prepare for the Challenges in Final Mile
One of the best ways to prepare yourself for the mentioned challenges in Final Mile is to integrate blockchain into your Final Mile services. Over at ShipChain, we recently launched the Delivery Experience Manager, our new stand-alone Final Mile solution. The Delivery Experience Manager will allow all parties to track shipments in real-time to verify delivery time, location, and quality. The solution can either be integrated into existing hardware or accessed through the ShipChain mobile app, and is perfect for small to midsize Final Mile delivery companies that are looking to add value to their customers. If you want to learn more about the platform and get a personalized demo, you can do so here. Happy shipping!