E-Commerce, News

3 Ways Final Mile Shipping Can Relieve the Supply Chain Strain

The business news cycle is focusing on a volatile economic recovery and its effects on the consumer market – everything from a 5% consumer price increase, the fastest since 2008 (NBC News), a “bump” recovery of ups and downs in goods spending (New York Times), and labor shortages that are pushing wages higher and higher (Forbes).

One area where businesses can alleviate the strain of this economic volatility is in the supply chain, where another set of macroeconomic issues have developed since 2020.  Now is the time to work with a final mile logistics partner to optimize your supply chain.

1. Labor sourcing advantages – win the battle for talent

Final mile logistics companies such as USPack have entire driver sourcing departments dedicated to creating the fastest on-boarding process possible. Our average on-boarding timeline for qualified drivers is 8 days. ICON 2.0, our proprietary onboarding workflow platform, automates the process: ad placement and response tracking, digital contracts, and full integration with our screening partners.  Whenever a customer needs additional delivery capacity, our driver sourcing team can solicit, vet/test, and integrate those new drivers ASAP into a specific customer delivery profile. USPack is an industry leader in scaling capacity. Our driver sourcing team can scale delivery capacity quickly to meet your demand.

2. Optimizing delivery times – keep product moving

It seems intuitive, but the utility of having a specialized, dedicated company to execute the final stage of the supply chain cannot be overlooked. In these market conditions, it’s time to re-evaluate conventional wisdom on delivery execution, with an eye for optimizing the balance of spend and efficiency.   Examples include mode shifting (looking at different vehicle sizes to maximize spend per pound or per order) and commingled networks instead of dedicated service. A frequently overlooked opportunity is the benefits that a later product release time has on your warehouse labor spend. Compared to UPS and FedEx, our tender order cutoff times are typically 3-4 hours later. By shifting volume to USPack, shippers can use that extra time either to smooth the throughput on existing volume and get more productivity out of existing labor; or introduce more volume into a next day delivery model. Our final mile services are inherently flexible.

3. Customer Satisfaction – meeting expectations, winning new business

Getting product into the hands of your customer ASAP also cuts down on the strain the supply chain can place on other administrative areas of your business. For example, customer service representatives can keep their focus on product satisfaction rather than fighting a losing battle of failing to manage delivery expectations – “guessing” when the dissatisfied customer on the other end of the phone might receive their order is not good for business. And in the broader discussion about your business and sales, public perception of trying to meet pre-2020 delivery goals gives consumers confidence to buy your product and trust your brand. Right now, when every business is struggling with multi-month delivery projections to the end customer, simply removing a few days or weeks from your estimated delivery timeframe can produce more sales. If the decision to buy or source one product over another comes down to a coin flip, the fastest shipper will always win.

Articles Cited:

NBC News: Consumer prices surged 5 percent in May, fastest pace since 2008

Forbes: Labor Shortage Will Push Wages Higher, According To Bank Of America

NYT: Retail Sales Fell in May, in Latest Sign of a Bumpy Recovery