Balancing Efficiency and Cost
April 2, 2024

Balancing Efficiency and Cost in a World Where Customers Think Last Mile Delivery is Free


Customers don’t appreciate the complexity of last mile delivery. They just want their shipments to arrive on time and inexpensively. That leaves shippers to strike the delicate balance between efficiency and operational costs while also securing the vehicles and drivers they need for last mile success.

It’s tough.

This week’s newsletter examines the latest headlines on last mile efficiency, operational costs, fleets, and drivers. Continue reading to learn more about what’s going on across the last mile landscape right now, and start shipping with FRAYT if you need a partner who can help you master the last mile.

Newsflash for Consumers: Last Mile Delivery Isn’t Free

Last mile delivery is always complex, but there’s one unique aspect that makes it even harder in the modern age (according to Forbes): Uber and Amazon have “led consumers to believe the final mile is free.”

It’s not, of course, as any business that relies on last mile delivery knows. In fact, last mile delivery accounts for a disproportionate amount of supply chain costs — 53% according to one study. How can shippers balance efficiency and operational costs in a world where customers think last mile delivery is free? As the story states: Most shippers simply haven’t mastered the art of last mile delivery, making partnerships their best path to last mile success.

Uber and Amazon are companies with vast resources and the ability to “obscure” the real cost of the last mile by including fees in purchase and membership prices. Small- and mid-size businesses don’t have that luxury. Successful last mile partnerships are the best path to meeting customer expectations while achieving the ROI needed.

A New Addition to Delivery Fleets?

The universe of vehicles available to build out last mile delivery fleets is ever-growing. In fact, with delivery vehicles clogging city streets (especially during peak seasons), e-bikes are becoming an attractive alternative for last mile shippers.

This development highlights another reason why it’s so difficult to self-manage a last mile delivery program. It’s challenging for an organization to acquire and maintain the diverse fleet of vehicles needed for different types of deliveries, like industrial supply products, construction materials, manufacturing materials, retail parcels, etc.

E-bikes may not be an essential addition to last mile delivery fleets right now. But you do need a diverse fleet so that you can pair each delivery with an appropriate vehicle.

The Industrial Space is Booming

Industrial real estate is experiencing both strong supply and demand in 2024, though smaller industrial spaces are currently difficult to come by. This is a good indicator that the overall industrial market in the United States is building momentum. As this momentum grows, there will be an increasing need for last mile delivery providers that specialize in industrial supply.

At FRAYT, industrial supply is one of our specialties. We offer a fleet of vehicles, experienced drivers, and a presence in key markets across the country to help our customers meet this growing demand with effective last mile delivery.

The 3PL Market is Growing, Too

Demand for 3PL services is also growing right now, which is leading to a burst of warehouse development. As demand for 3PL services increases, those 3PLs will need strategic partners to help them keep deliveries on schedule.

3PLs often need rescue and recovery services for pallets that are forgotten or otherwise left behind. Given the fast-paced nature of running a 3PL operation, it’s essential to have partners that can step in when these rescue and recovery situations emerge — so that they can keep deliveries on schedule. At FRAYT, we work with 3PLs in markets around the country to help in these scenarios.

Finding Drivers is Tough Right Now

Where can you find quality drivers right now? There’s a widespread shortage of drivers for everything from trucks to farm equipment to school buses. It’s difficult to find drivers, and it’s even more difficult to find drivers who can work with the sense of customer service that’s required for last mile success today.

This is just one of the many areas where we offer value to our customers. We maintain a team of high-quality drivers who are adept at keeping last mile deliveries on schedule while also creating customer experiences that lead to repeat purchases and greater loyalty.

Solve Last Mile Delivery Problems With the Right Partner

No, last mile delivery isn’t free. But the right partner can help you balance efficiency and operational costs in a way that allows you to meet customer expectations without breaking the bank. At FRAYT, we can be your last mile partner, offering expertise and operational know-how along with vehicles and drivers needed to execute ambitious last mile plans.

If you need a partner that can help you solve last mile problems, start shipping with us.

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