The Benefits of Last Mile Delivery

Published on
6/21/2024
from inside a passenger vehicle, looking forward at a semi in front of them on a desert mountain highway

Any business knows that one of the biggest influences of customer satisfaction is an on-time delivery. Even in business to business (B2B) transactions, smooth shipping makes a huge difference.  

In order for on-time shipments to happen, business owners and operators need to create headache-free last mile delivery systems. 

Obviously, every step of the supply chain matters, but your customers notice flaws in the final link the most. We’re here to tell you about how a good last mile delivery system can help your business and how you can achieve it. 

But first things first: let’s talk about what we mean when we say “last mile.”

What is Last Mile Delivery?

Last mile delivery, also called final mile delivery, is the ultimate step in the entire shipping process. Simply put, last mile is the step in the supply chain that gets the package to the customer. 

Generally, the logistics process can be broken up into three steps:

  1. First mile delivery—the products are shipped from the manufacturer to the warehouse or distribution center
  2. Middle mile delivery—the products are shipped from the warehouse or distribution center to a fulfillment center
  3. Last mile delivery—the products are shipped from the fulfillment center to the customer

The final destination customer can be either a person or another business. Usually when a company provides a service rather than a product, they’ll be the customer in last mile logistics—for example, construction companies and roofers.

Want a more in-depth look at the logistics process? Read our full guides on last mile delivery and middle mile delivery.

final mile delivery is the most crucial step in the supply chain process

The Last-Mile Problem

It’s important that we quickly talk about the notorious last mile logistics problem. Essentially, last mile delivery is the most expensive step in shipping. 53% of shipping costs come from last mile delivery, even though it’s usually the shortest leg of the logistics journey. 

It’s also where the most obvious failures in delivery occur because a lot of hands have touched the cargo at this point. Sometimes, deliveries fail due to damaged packaging and item misplacement. 

However you can take some control to fix the last mile problem. Streamlined shipping protocols and systems can reduce costs and failed deliveries. Let’s get into how an efficient shipping system counters the last mile problem.

Benefits of Final-Mile Delivery

Whether you’re the final destination for a product or you’re shipping to your customer, you can reap the benefits of optimized last mile logistics. Here's a few benefits of a well-planned final mile.

benefits of last mile delivery

Convenience and Efficiency

Last mile delivery has the most opportunities for convenient and efficient transportation than any other part of the supply chain. It’s where a full truckload (FTL) of cargo is divided into smaller LTL shipments and sent straight to their final destination.

At the distribution center or warehouse, a semi has to wait for multiple LTL loads to fill its trailer before it can head to the fulfillment center. Sometimes, this wait slows down deliveries. Luckily, once the products hit the fulfillment center for last mile delivery, you no longer have to worry about these delays. 

A good last mile delivery system can make up for lost time, and creates opportunities to increase customer satisfaction.

Speed

Final mile delivery is known for being the quickest delivery method in the logistics process. Once a product is ready to leave the fulfillment center, the only limiting factor is having enough delivery drivers to ship the cargo where it needs to go. 

While last mile delivery does make up a lot of time in the LTL freight process, it can be even faster and simpler using hotshot trucking. Hotshot truckers are like independent contractors with their own trucks and trailers. Businesses can hire them to save even more time. As long as inventory is properly tracked, hotshot truckers can ship straight from the manufacturer, eliminating middle mile logistics in some cases.

Related article: How Does LTL Trucking Work? 

Revenue

Companies with efficient last mile delivery systems delivery are going to see an increase in revenue. A business that delivers last-mile can offer premium accounts, same-day or next-day delivery, and other related services. Customers who have their products delivered to them will pay for these extra benefits.

Competition

Efficient last mile delivery also gives you the leg up on the competition. If a roofing company is able to finish jobs faster than another place in town because they’re able to get materials faster, they’re going to have more business. 

Afterall, a successful business is one that outperforms its competitors, right? Even if you have superior customer service and quality, you can propel your business further above the rest with fast shipping and hauling.

Open Road as a Last-Mile Solution

The benefits of last mile logistics can outweigh the issues if you streamline your shipping processes. Whether you’re shipping to another business or hauling products you need for your business, last mile delivery doesn’t have to be a logistics bottleneck. 

Open Road is working to help businesses improve last mile delivery. We’re connecting small businesses to hotshot drivers to make sure LTL cargo gets where it needs to be when it needs to be there. 

Track your shipments, communicate with the driver, and manage current and future shipments with one easy to use platform. 

We specialize in offering the most efficient LTL shipping solutions for small businesses. Contact us today to start shipping!

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