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Diverse carriers save companies on last-mile delivery, experts say

Diverse carriers save companies on last-mile delivery, experts say
Diverse carriers save companies on last-mile delivery, experts say

Shippers have obstacles they have to dodge during the last-mile delivery process. This is amid labor strikes, parcel rate increases, and a shortage of staff at warehouses. “Shippers don’t only have to improve the cost of delivery but also how they become more efficient in their organization,” says Bart de Muynck, a supply chain and logistics expert. 

Speaking at a webinar hosted by Supply Chain Now, De Muynck highlights the importance and trends in the last-mile delivery process. 

“The question in 2023 and beyond is how do you provide the right portfolio of last-mile delivery offerings to drive that customer experience. At the same time reduce the risk in the industry and then drive revenue,” he says. In many instances, De Muynck says, this drives shippers to look at technology that provides new capabilities and service platforms. 

Pat Martin is a technology investor from a US-based company called Estes Express Lines, who also weighed in on the debate. He says e-commerce will hit a milestone this year of a trillion dollars. “It’s expected to get to $1.6 trillion by 2027,” he says millions of this will only be spent on last-mile delivery. “It will be a balancing act, and I’m just encouraging shippers to look at all the different technologies available,” Martin says most shippers rely only on three big technology companies to do it all. 

“If you look at the heavier and bulkier stuff being delivered these days, it’s just growing and growing. There are not enough people to do it today, but these new technology companies will change it.”

Customers want quality and quantity

Carrier diversification is essential, says Luke Denny, the CEO at Frayt, an on-demand delivery platform. “Consumer expectations are still indicating the utmost desire for speed. 48% of consumers desire faster delivery, whereas 43% desire cheaper rates. Typically, with cheaper rates and fast speed quality does suffer. There is a looming challenge for shippers to accommodate the expectations of their customers without sacrificing the experience,” says Denny. 

Greg White from Supply Chain Now says Amazon has set the bar high for any business, immediately making customers want quality and quantity. “Amazon is your competitor no matter who you are. Whether you are shipping, delivery, or logistics, they set the trend. All they’ve done is awaken the knowledge in consumers and business people that you can get it faster and with quality.” 

Leveraging diversification in last-mile delivery

Businesses need options when it comes to using carriers, especially amidst the increasing complexity and risks of last-mile delivery. 

“[Diversification] is essential. You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. For companies to minimize their risk and at the same time allow their businesses to grow, they need options,” says De Muynck. He says even small parcel providers are now diversifying their carrier base. “In some cases, it’s not just carriers; it’s also service levels. You can go from two carriers with a single service to 10 carriers, each using 12 service levels; now we have 120 options. Having options is very important.”

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand.

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