The Last Mile: How E-Commerce Has Changed Shipping Logistics Forever
As e-commerce continues to grow in popularity, fast fulfillment is becoming an industry expectation. Same-day delivery is, for many online shoppers, an assumed convenience offered by online platforms like Amazon, eBay, or Google. As fewer people visit brick-and-mortar stores in favor of the ease and simplicity of online shopping, 3PL shippers are having to address last mile delivery concerns with sophisticated supply chain management solutions. As a result, the appropriately named “Amazon effect” has created a cumbersome demand for efficient shipping and transportation services.
What Is The Amazon Effect?
Following the success of e-commerce giant Amazon, a notable trend has occurred where customers are visiting fewer brick-and-mortar retailers in favor of the convenience offered by online shopping platforms. This shift in consumer expectations is categorized by increased demand for faster fulfillment in the form of same-day delivery. Furthermore, customers now expect accurate real-time tracking services and streamlined delivery information, a concern that was previously overlooked by retail consumers.
Notably, the Amazon effect has created a bit of a disruption for B2B carriers and 3PL companies. In the past, it was common knowledge that B2B carriers preferred to make multiple-package deliveries to appease economical and logistical shipping concerns so as to provide the most optimal service. The Amazon effect has changed this, and now retailers feel a greater demand from consumers to meet fast fulfillment expectations at the expense of optimal delivery services. This means that shippers are experiencing higher volumes of package delivery and a greater demand for costly single-package delivery. Furthermore, there is no sign of these demands slowing down. By current estimates, the projected growth of freight volume is expected to increase by 43 percent by 2040.
Last Mile Delivery And The Amazon Effect
There are no two ways about it: last mile delivery is the most expensive step in the supply chain, contributing to 53% of total costs on average. It has been proven that conventional approaches to last-mile delivery services are no longer sustainable in the age of e-commerce, and 3PL companies are having to look towards innovative supply chain management solutions to address the demand for same-day delivery.
Some promising futuristic solutions include the use of automated drone technology to address single-delivery issues, and the use of autonomous vehicles to efficiently stock freight in localized warehouses. However, while autonomous shipping technology is promising, it is also still in its infancy and needs time to grow before it can be properly utilized for high volume day-to-day shipping.
Companies hoping to reliably address this issue now are looking towards simpler solutions such as crowdsourcing drivers or contracting logistics services. Dupré Logistics’ Power Only Trucking service is an example of the value provided by outsourcing 3PL services to meet the growing demands for efficient last mile delivery. By providing a larger workforce of owner-operators to B2B carriers, 3PL companies like Dupré are able to reliably ship freight in narrow time-frames to help reduce overhead.
To learn more about how other technologies are influencing the world of supply chain management, please visit our blog here.
Dupré Logistics is a privately held, asset-based provider of transportation and logistics services that include energy and chemical transport, dedicated truck transportation, site logistics, and freight brokerage. We specialize in tanker, hazmat, and petrochemical transportation and complex supply chain solutions in industrial and consumer products. Visit www.duprelogistics.com for more information.