Utilizing 3PL Technology to Coordinate Final Mile Logistics
Final mile (also known as last mile) logistics refers to the last leg of transportation that brings a shipment to its final destination. Because of the wide range of receiving and storage infrastructure situations that exist for different destinations, final mile logistics has become an important way for shippers to ensure locations with limited access, minimal storage, no loading dock, or other logistical challenges that make normal LTL delivery difficult are able to receive shipments efficiently and in a way that caters to their specific requirements. Final mile solutions, while solving many of the problems and alleviating the additional charges that come with utilizing an LTL-only approach to the last leg of a shipment’s journey, can be challenging to navigate. Shippers must coordinate LTL linehaul carriers with local final mile providers, managing the timing, logistics, and paperwork for every shipment. An experienced and technologically capable 3PL can help mitigate many of the complicated logistical issues that come along with implementing final mile solutions.
Tech-enabled 3PLs that have access to top-of-the-line transportation management systems (TMS) are capable of optimizing and automating the process of coordinating final mile shipping. TMS technology can maximize supply chain efficiency by ensuring every LTL shipment is matched with an optimal linehaul LTL carrier as well as a final mile carrier equipped to handle the needs of the destination location. A quality TMS can book, manage, and track a shipment within one system, combine multiple BOLs, PODs, and invoices into a single document, and integrate all legs of the shipment’s journey into one platform. This multimodal approach is critical to final mile functionality.
Final mile logistics was once a standalone mode due to its complexity, but today 3PLs are beginning to incorporate final mile into their shipping models in a bid to meet the increasing demand of shippers for faster delivery times and provide scalability for future growth. Partnering with a 3PL that has the technological capabilities to tackle the complexities of final mile logistics will ensure your business can grow and expand without being hampered by trying to handle final mile logistics in-house.