(Mark B. Solomon – DC Velocity)
Less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers, struggling with weak demand for industrial traffic and perhaps facing another round of price wars, have turned to the so-called final mile of delivery services, a competitive and specialized discipline, in an effort to build a sustainable revenue channel.
It will likely take LTL carriers out of their comfort zone. Working the “final mile,” defined in today’s marketplace as deliveries to a consumer’s residence from a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer, means serving a segment largely unfamiliar to LTL carriers. It means dealing with more hyper-connected and demanding end customers than LTL carriers, in their relatively limited forays into residential deliveries, are accustomed to encounter.
It means entering a crowded and fragmented field of providers. About 7,000 carriers nationwide—many of them undercapitalized, mom-and-pop type businesses—provide some form of last-mile delivery service, according to FM2 Logistics Solutions, an Austin, Texas-based firm that connects shippers and LTL carriers with a national network of final and “first”-mile carriers through its IT platform. Click here to read more.