A lot of responsibility rests on the shoulders of your final mile carrier. They can be the only face-to-face interaction your customer has with your brand ; they’re ensuring legal compliance for specialized deliveries; and they’re carrying your precious products.
Finding a final mile carrier you trust to do all the above can be stressful. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure you’re selecting the right final mile carrier for your company.
Do they have the technology you need?
Sending orders and receiving updates electronically should be done seamlessly. This requires the carrier to have technology that is compatible with your system, allowing you visibility during the final mile of your supply chain. There are dozens of operational systems that carriers can use, and some carriers do not use a system at all.
It is also important to ensure the carrier has a complete system. For example, even if the carrier is using a dispatching software, their driver may not be using a delivery mobile application. Both are needed to ensure you are able to monitor your delivery.
In addition to a delivery confirmation, you will likely also need the driver to obtain items for your records such as a delivery signature or information on any package damage. Their system needs to be capable of capturing this and sending it back to you.
Do they represent your brand well?
Final mile carriers are typically perceived as an extension of your company. In primarily eCommerce businesses, they can be one of the few face-to-face interactions your customer has with your brand.
As such, you must ensure that the carrier will be courteous to customers, and make deliveries at the time promised consistently.
Can they fill your delivery requirements?
Every carrier has access to different vehicles, possibly different amounts of space for warehousing, and different equipment and skills for specialized deliveries. Your products are unique, and sometimes your product selection has varying shipping requirements.
Are you going to search for a company that can accommodate all the different shipping requirements, or select several carriers to handle the load? Do you want a single carrier in an area, or multiple carriers for flexibility?
Do they cover the areas you need?
Final mile carriers cover areas as small as a zip code to the whole United States. Make sure you understand each carrier’s service area, and determine if you need multiple carriers covering the same areas to meet your capacity needs. It may also be important to you to know where the carrier has resources in an area as opposed to subcontracting your work to a partner carrier.
eTrac is your key to the final mile.
Navigating the final mile can be stressful, but we’re here to make it easier. eTrac has a network of over 2,000 final mile carriers nationwide that are seamlessly accessed through eTrac’s single point of integration. If you’re searching for carriers in new areas or looking to completely build your final mile program, our team can help you find carriers that fit your needs.
With eTrac’s business intelligence tool and reporting dashboard, you can monitor the effectiveness and compliance of each carrier to ensure your brand is being represented well and your product is making it to its destination smoothly.
Give our team a call today: 833-463-8722.