The results of a recent survey of 95 supply chain professionals by on-demand delivery platform Frayt reinforced the notion that providing seamless last-mile service helps shippers stand out in a competitive marketplace.
Related article: Frayt raises $7M to expand Midwest last-mile services
“Seventy-nine percent of respondents considered last-mile services very or extremely important to providing a competitive edge. Even if consumer spending is dropping, these last-mile needs will not go away,” said Jim Waters, vice president of marketing for Frayt.
One particularly interesting finding from the survey is that not everyone agrees on the definition of last mile. Forty-one percent of respondents defined last mile as order placement to delivery; 33% said it was from dispatching the driver to delivery; and 22% said it was pickup to the end delivery.
Thus, “offering flexible and customizable last-mile delivery services, such as specific delivery windows or locations, will stand out in a competitive marketplace,” the report said.
When it comes to merchants providing competitive advantages over their peers, 42% of respondents said they plan to increase their technology integration to keep up with demand, enhance delivery speed and improve overall customer satisfaction.
An area of technology that could improve the customer experience is real-time tracking. Sixty-five percent of the supply chain professionals surveyed said they believe tracking services provide a more premium service for customers.
Tracking tools also help avoid customer delivery issues. Seventy-three percent of respondents said having delivery drivers’ live locations helps them stay ahead of inconsistencies in delivery.
While the right technology can help bring visibility to last-mile operations, 69% of Frayt’s survey respondents said choosing a reliable carrier partner helps ensure a positive delivery experience.
Waters said this was one of the most important statistics Frayt pulled from study and something it will focus on while building its on-demand network.
He described Frayt’s carrier onboarding process, which involves routine background checks, training and commitment to only servicing Frayt’s customers. This differs from many large last-mile providers that often have drivers working on multiple platforms, which Waters said can lead to inconsistent service.
“Other providers grade their drivers on how many packages they get out. We care about that, but we don’t want drivers throwing packages out a window,” Waters told FreightWaves.
The survey also found the need for reliable capacity becomes more important as urban areas continue to grow.
“[Merchants] may also need to partner with local businesses to provide pick up points and lockers, which can reduce delivery times and increase convenience for customers,” the report stated.
Waters said the survey also highlighted the growing need for last-mile services; 37% of respondents said 50% of their logistics operations fell into the last-mile category.
“This shows how important last mile is becoming. The last-mile experience means the delivery person is the one interacting with the customer, whether it’s pulling up to a dock or ringing their doorbell. If we can establish the same experience, even the same driver, every time it makes consumers feel like they are buying from a smaller company and that the driver is dedicated to them.”
Watch now: Survey from Frayt reveals importance of last mile
NOVEMBER 7-9, 2023 • CHATTANOOGA, TN • IN-PERSON EVENT
The second annual F3: Future of Freight Festival will be held in Chattanooga, “The Scenic City,” this November. F3 combines innovation and entertainment — featuring live demos, industry experts discussing freight market trends for 2024, afternoon networking events, and Grammy Award-winning musicians performing in the evenings amidst the cool Appalachian fall weather.