J.B. Hunt Final Mile Services® Trend Forecast for 2024
Safety and Security in the Home Still Matters
It still matters who rings your doorbell. Continued focus on safety and security – specifically in the home - will remain a top priority again this year. The last mile industry is largely unregulated – meaning it is easy for other carriers to ignore safety and security – but at J.B. Hunt we take great pride in our strict protocols in an effort to push the industry to change. We’ve created counterfeit-resistant badges by using holographic images. These credentials make it harder to change or fabricate details and without correct badges, carriers won’t be allowed on our docks, much less make deliveries.
We’re also one of the first in the business to use enhanced background checks and drug screenings for the carriers we work with. If J.B. Hunt arranged the home delivery, you know you will be as safe as possible.
Insurance Continues to Impact the Industry
Cost is already at the top of everyone’s mind. With the fluctuating economy, we believe more delivery companies will monitor costs and watch where they spend – including accident coverage. Given that many motor carriers in the industry carry only the minimum required levels of insurance, shippers and freight brokers are often brought into these matters of litigation. Insurance companies have continued to see deteriorating loss ratios, forcing many insurers to limit the coverage they will offer and requiring their insureds to take on more exposure themselves.
We hold random audits of our own accounts to ensure we’re getting fair and competitive rates from our insurance company. We strive to use the best safety practices and build a culture around safety while investing in the right equipment and safety technologies.
Carrier selection is more important than ever for protecting your business and J.B. Hunt. We have heard from both customers and insurance companies about the costly impact of poor carrier selection, such as unsafe or underinsured carriers, exposing shippers to liability and litigation. Don’t be blindsided by catastrophic and unplanned costs if you are left exposed to risk.
Stability of Supply Chains Remains Critical
Do you trust your supply chain? Many providers in the industry have struggled in the current market, causing them to be unstable. Some have even closed.
J.B. Hunt’s Final Mile Services team has been growing since 2009 – so we know a thing or two about stability. Our size and market reach, along with being in business for more than 60 years, has allowed us to have the best people and best processes in place. We continue to grow, and we want our customers to grow with us.
Customizable Solutions Help Contain Costs
Many manufacturers’ and retailers' biggest concern for 2024 is staying in business. Concerns about rate increases, wage pressures and more remain high. Our customers can count on customizable and cost-effective solutions that we tailor to their needs and supply chain.
Our acquisition of Zenith Global Logistics® allowed us to expand our middle-mile capabilities and scale our operations to fit businesses of any size. We can convert shipments to our intermodal service, which can be a more cost-effective or sustainable option.
Last Mile Grows into New Business Segments
While J.B. Hunt’s Final Mile Services business unit might specialize in heavy and bulky goods, we are capable of so much more. Specialized LTL freight services typically are reserved for any cargo that can’t be packaged and placed inside a basic truck trailer. Examples include floor-loaded items like windows, cabinets, doors and other items in addition to the traditional focus of furniture, fitness equipment and appliances.
Specialized LTL provides efficient and safety-conscious solutions for companies that require specialized handling and packaging of their shipments. These solutions include white glove service, expedited freight shipping, freight-hub facilities that specialize in hub-and-spoke distribution and more.
We always want to get customers the right price and even greater value with every shipment.