Recently, we sat down with a few of our J.B. Hunt Final Mile Services® experts – Norman Clark, Josh Delay, Jenni Kimpel and Brian Webb – to talk about points of importance within the industry. We asked for an inside view on topics within the last mile segment. From that discussion, we curated a list of the five standout topics that we anticipate will help create a quality last mile delivery program in 2022 and beyond.
1. Safety and Security Stays at the Forefront
It can be expensive and time consuming to maintain a quality safety and security program for last mile delivery. And while it may be tempting for companies to cut corners on safety and security measures, handling your deliveries safely and securely is truly essential to providing an overall quality delivery experience. It is important to set base standards that employees, independent contractors and providers must adhere to. Once standards are set and recognized, they then need to be validated. Your provider should be upholding the safety and security standards you set and be held accountable if there is a lapse — this will ultimately benefit you, the delivery team and your customer.
2. Work with a Provider of Choice
A provider of choice is a reliable carrier who will expertly handle your delivery needs while simultaneously focusing on you and your customers' experiences. Dedication to focus areas like innovation, technology and people must be in equal measures. A provider of choice should also possess the capital and resources necessary to offer stability of solutions for the long term. Each of these areas should come together to create a cohesive mix that results in the best overall experience possible for everyone involved in the delivery process and positioning the carrier as a provider of choice.
3. Make Your Business a Shipper of Choice
Being a shipper of choice is just as critical as carriers being a provider of choice. You must set precedents and standards concerning delivery for your business, or you will not be able to find consistent and reliable carriers. Precedents such as collaboratively forecasting demand, building flexibility into the delivery plan and creating a culture of positivity that stresses the importance of fair team treatment, especially within delivery, are some factors that help make your business a shipper of choice.
4. Strong Focus on Employee and Carrier Retention
Today’s job market is as volatile as it has ever been. Labor is tight. The need for quality drivers and delivery teams is higher than ever — this is exactly why it is so important to find a professional carrier to work with that has invested in hiring quality employees or has created close working relationships with independent contractors. Once you have found and selected a carrier, it’s also important to create your own working relationship with them. By creating a close relationship with your carrier, you gain access to their qualified delivery teams along with the peace of mind that comes with having reliable employees on your side, resulting in confidence that your deliveries are in capable hands.
5. Tightened Capacity in Home Deliveries
Even if you find quality drivers, delivery teams and equipment, you haven't reached the end of the line — you must also find a balance between demand and capacity. Currently, delivery spend is not going as far as it has in years past as capacity issues impact last mile rates. Shippers can be left scrambling to find the capacity necessary to meet demand. To combat the crunch, you’ll want to select a carrier that can offer a variety of solutions to aid in completing timely deliveries even when capacity gets tight.
Take the Future Guesswork Out of Last Mile Delivery
J.B. Hunt is constantly working to adapt to changes or challenges within the Final Mile Services segment to provide solutions that focus on adding value to our customers' business while saving them time and worry. We strive to employ the top logistics experts in the industry to give our customers confidence in our abilities. J.B. Hunt Final Mile Services not only provides you with last mile deliveries but provides excellent service as well. We put in these efforts to continue establishing ourselves as a real provider of choice.
It's true that we cannot see the future. But with our expert insight and dedication to providing an overall amazing delivery experience, you'll feel like we can. Let J.B. Hunt Final Mile Services take the guesswork out of your last mile delivery program - contact us today!
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