Last-mile logistics are complex. Managing multiple carriers, meeting increased customer delivery expectations, and controlling costs take planning and optimization that goes beyond simple business rules. And it takes a last-mile TMS that can handle the complexity and speed of today’s shippers.

Even with the recent surge in e-commerce sales, online purchasing still represents a little more than 19% of total annual retail sales, leaving plenty of headroom for growth.

Experts expect the current US parcel volume of 21.5 billion to almost double by 2027. Meanwhile, carrier rates continue to rise, reflecting constrained capacity, driver shortages, and higher fuel prices.

Through it all, consumer demands for fast, free, and sustainable shipping continue to escalate.

In response to evolving consumer demands, shippers are implementing omnichannel delivery strategies, shipping from inventory locations closer to their customers using a more diversified mix of national, regional, and local carriers. In addition, crowdsourced delivery services are quickly gaining traction to accommodate same-day delivery, ship-from-store, and final-mile shipping.

But carrier diversification and omnichannel delivery require more extensive planning and decision support throughout the order-to-delivery cycle.

A recent study by Bringg showed that managing an increasing number of carries ranked as a top pain point for 41% of respondents — 18% globally claim it is the leading obstacle to more profitable last-mile delivery, which jumps to 25% for North American companies.

And until recently, technology to manage the complexity wasn’t up to the task. Sure, business rules could be set, but unlike the more robust freight TMS many shippers had experience with, parcel TMS was not up to the new challenges.

Final-mile TMS platforms represent a new transportation management technology category built to conquer the complexity of today’s B2C shipping environment.

Final-mile TMSs feature all the elements to control costs, capacity, carbon, and customer delivery experiences without compromising productivity and shipping speed... or what is known as the five final mile TMS value pillars.

The Five Final-Mile TMS Value Pillars

Control: Simplify final-mile administration business rules, and onboarding

Cost: Reduce labor, shipping, and unexpected fees and surcharges

Capacity: Overcome carrier capacity constraints

Carbon: Minimize environmental impact by packing efficiently, reducing transit mileage, and partnering with green carriers

Customers: Deliver an overall experience that builds brand loyalty

The needs of shippers continue to evolve under the pressure of consumer demand for a delivery experience that rivals the shopping experience. Along with it, the technology used must continue to grow, allowing shippers to plan and optimize their shipments to improve productivity and profitability.

Mark Picarello is Managing Director, Pierbridge, WiseTech Global US. Pierbridge was founded in 2004 by an experienced executive team with a proven track record of success in the transportation software industry. Pierbridge started with a vision that we could fundamentally transform the way businesses deliver goods to their clients. Our innovations have made that vision a reality through our leading-edge final-mile management solution, Transtream. In 2018, Pierbridge became a part of the WiseTech Global group. Learn more about final-mile TMS by clicking here.