The last eighteen months have been full of supply chain challenges. However, container haulage issues may be some of the most difficult as many disruptions continue to occur after a container leaves the port that can dramatically impact when a shipper either sends or receives their shipments.
Nevertheless, last mile delivery for e-commerce is also subject to many potential disruptions that can and have occurred over the past few years. The World Economic Forum (WEF) is projecting that global demand for e-commerce affiliated last mile delivery to increase by 78% between now and 2030. Like it or not, last-mile delivery has become a necessary step when it comes to fulfilling every single order—and collecting every single dollar in potential revenue.
“Much of the importance of last mile delivery has to do with an explosion in the e-commerce sector during COVID-19 that has shown little signs of slowing down,” explained Anthony Fullbrook, President of OEC Group’s Northeast Region. “This is a major market shift. Retailers and other organizations looking to accommodate this explosion in e-commerce and capitalize on their supply chain will not reach their full potential if they do not have a handle on their last mile logistical strategy.”
Despite the public’s clamoring for faster delivery, many retailers have not yet mastered the last mile and its subtleties. Whether it’s managing the cost of rapid delivery services, organizing a distribution network that gels with both their inbound shipping strategy and outbound order fulfillment, or simply developing relationships with last mile truckers, the final leg of a shipment has proven to be difficult—especially for international clients trying to import goods and bypass their DCs into the United States.
Importers should also look to partner with companies, like OEC, who are well-versed in integrating with last mile providers and offer round-the-clock technical services because if there is a problem with a shipment while it is in the final stages of transit, having a team of technical experts that is always available to fix the issue can significantly limit delays.
“Understanding how to navigate last mile delivery, especially for internationally based importers, is arguably the most crucial element of helping businesses remain competitive in the world of ecommerce,” said John Ogilvy, Station Manager of OEC Group’s St. Louis office. “Partnering with international logistics experts that understand the last mile and have a proven track record of successfully integrating with providers to ensure that your business does not miss out on all the potential profits out there for the taking.”