It’s not uncommon for living rooms to double as an entertainment space and office these days. As the pandemic continues to keep many Americans at home, their willingness to shop online for large and bulky items, products that typically wouldn’t fit into traditional courier distribution networks like exercise equipment, has emerged as a significant shopping trend. In short, the shop-from-home method is looking to be the norm for a growing number of bigger products.
Meghan Meurer, executive vice president of sales at UniGroup Logistics, believes the e-commerce surge to be a lasting trend and that the growth in the final-mile segment will be strong moving forward. She shared what to look for in a final-mile provider with Timothy Dooner and Michael Vincent on the FreightWavesTV show WHAT THE TRUCK?!?
“We’re seeing a ton of growth with exercise equipment and other big and bulky items, from rugs to furniture to mattresses,” Meurer said. “Trends are showing people buying all sorts of goods for their homes right now, and we expect that that’s going to continue for quite some time as companies try to adjust.”
As a greater emphasis is placed on the final mile, Meurer said it’s important to find the right provider, a trucking company that you can trust will do the job properly and responsibly.
“Sometimes trucking companies have the only face-to-face interaction with the end user, so it’s most important to make sure that you’re comfortable with the trucking company you’ve chosen to truly be an extension of your brand and carry out the customer experience that your clientele has come to expect,” Meurer said.
It’s also important to select a transportation provider with a network that provides scalability. As the final mile continues to grow, a trucking company’s ability to service more and more locations over time will become incredibly more important, Meurer said.
With moving household goods at the core of its business, UniGroup Logistics can be a partner for final-mile needs, she said. UniGroup is the parent company of United Van Lines and Mayflower, which have a 500-plus nationwide agent network, UniGroup Logistics is primed to take on any and all at-home or office delivery challenges.
Meurer described UniGroup Logistics’s approach to tailor its final-mile solution design to the unique needs of each of its clients, making sure to perform according to their expectations and standards. It’s all about the details, as Meurer said that UniGroup Logistics can address specific processes and uniform protocols on the job.
“We’re already very familiar with the inside of our customers’ homes, having our drivers carry out installation services as well,” Meurer said. “For UniGroup, we were already uniquely positioned where we had the network in place, unlike our competitors, where the struggle has been to gain a foothold to grow and expand in the final-mile sector.
“Final mile has been a new line of business and has provided us a revenue stream for a few years now; we think it’s going to continue to grow for years to come.”