Avoid These Common Final Mile Mistakes and Plan Ahead For eCommerce Shipping Success
Peak season for shippers is in full swing. Your eCommerce sales are surging and the ports are backlogged. Last mile carriers are in high demand and labor shortages across the board continue to challenge the supply chain. We get it, you’re feeling a little swamped! And yet your customers continue to demand more, and you want to step up to serve their needs.
If your final mile challenges can’t wait, there’s no better time to start planning ahead than today. Learn from these common final mile mistakes and set yourself up for scalable shipping success in the future.
Three Common Final Mile Mistakes For eCommerce Shippers:
Failure to Diversify Large national last mile carriers have thrown a spotlight on the need for a diversified carrier strategy in 2021. If you’ve run into shipping caps and reduced service quality this season you’re not alone.
With a diversified carrier strategy, you maintain more control over costs, your supply chain is stronger and you can more easily avoid those surprise surcharges. Start researching new regional carrier partners now to complement your national strategy next year. Many last mile carriers are already contracting for Q1 2022 and beyond today.
Seeking Quick Carrier Coverage It’s natural to want to solve for your needs today, but with limited capacity and volume overload, carriers can be selective about the new business they accept. Keep in mind that a bad final mile experience can quickly unravel your customer’s loyalty.
Think beyond peak season and approach new carriers with an eye toward long-term success as a team. Take the time to ask important questions (Does this carrier complement your geographic location or specialize in your commodity? Do they offer the visibility or integration solution you need?) and communicate your roadmap for the future.
Not Defining Needs Making the decision to diversify is a great first step toward mitigating risk or reducing last mile costs, but with it comes added complexity and difficult decisions. The evaluation process requires prep work. Coming prepared can have a real impact on your bottom line, and decisive action often starts with having the right data points available.
Be ready by understanding all the characteristics of your shipments including commodity type, weight, package type and dimensions. Be sure to list your service needs as well! By bringing together your requirements and your current shipping pain points you can have a strong game plan in place as you start to evaluate future carrier partners.
Need more guidance to get your planning process started?
We’ve recently published an in-depth guide that will help you set your eCommerce business up for success in the new year. Whether you’re ready to look back and evaluate where you’ve been, diversify your options and prep for near-term success, or want big picture ideas for the future, we have something for you.
Learn more or download the guide here:
Dean Mills is the Vice President, Sales and Marketing for TForce Logistics, and has been engaged with transportation, logistics and supply chain solutions for the past 20+ years, combined with over 25 years of sales and marketing leadership experience. He currently splits his time between our Dallas and Toronto offices. Learn more or meet the rest of our leadership team here.