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Last-mile delivery trends worth knowing about in 2018

04.25.2018 | By Chris Pickett | 3 min. read

How shippers like you are meeting customer expectations with last-mile delivery

With the rise of Amazon and Walmart, online shopping has become ingrained in our way of life. To deliver goods to end users, logistics companies have had to learn how to provide transportation services within rural and urban areas alike. E-commerce is here to stay, and freight companies must pay attention to supply chain management to meet consumer demands, lower delivery costs, and avoid inefficiency.

Well-established delivery routes and processes allow you to move items throughout your supply chain consistently and provide a smooth delivery experience. However, additional factors that pose unique obstacles come into play during last-mile delivery.

For example, home delivery creates obstacles for shippers of all sizes. Logistics companies might have to deal with remote destinations, prohibitively expensive shipping options, or lengthy timeframes that jeopardize the customer experience, just to name a few. Luckily, there are ways to overcome these challenges and boost last-mile logistics.

Keep reading to learn about 2018 delivery trends that will help you provide better e-commerce fulfillment processes and achieve transportation optimization.

Expanded postal service delivery

Bulk shipments are cheap; it’s delivering individual items to residential customers that gets expensive. Luckily, the United States Postal Service has expanded its services and is in the process of establishing more routes to remote locations. Remote customers didn’t always have a variety of logistics providers to choose from. But with a mail carrier visiting remote properties on a daily basis, e-commerce shippers can offer better delivery times and options for remote places. In some areas, they can even offer next-day and Sunday delivery.

Co-op deliveries

Small businesses may compete for sales, but more and more are working together to save money on deliveries. As consumer shipping demands increase, many companies are taking the initiative to share vehicles and assets with one another to make the last-mile delivery process more efficient. For example, if two retailers that deliver to the same geographical area share one truck, they both enjoy faster delivery times, better logistics, and reduced costs.

Looking for freight savings? Check out LTL shipping options.

On-demand delivery services

Crowdsourcing allows companies to find workers who can provide final-mile delivery services on a short-term basis. That’s why many shippers are turning to gig-economy apps to find drivers and bike messengers who can help provide last-mile support. While this isn’t the most reliable delivery option (it’s based on the availability of individual drivers), it serves as a resource that can help companies that frequently require fast deliveries.

Increased tracking abilities

One of the most significant advances in delivery technology involves more traceability for customers. SMS tools, smartphone apps, and GPS technology allow businesses to automatically send real-time updates to their customers. Meanwhile, those expecting a package can see where their package is at all times, and in some cases, can track the delivery driver who’s en-route to their home! These tools not only give consumers peace of mind, they also reduce missed deliveries.

As technology and customer demand grow at a rapid pace, shippers will continue to use cost-effective delivery methods to make the last-mile delivery push. Though rising consumer expectations and limited carrier capacity are two challenges of last-mile delivery, shippers that embrace new solutions will increase customer satisfaction and reach final destinations everywhere. These delivery trends will continue to evolve as shippers discover opportunities to cut costs, enhance order fulfillment, and increase customer support throughout 2018 and for years to come.


Work with an experienced logistics provider like Flock Freight to ensure your deliveries arrive on time — every time.