Last-mile Carrier Tracking: A Competitive Edge for Your Ecommerce Business7 min read

Last-mile carrier tracking can be the most expensive and time-consuming part of your ecommerce business’ shipping and delivery process. 

Adding fuel to the fire is your customers’ growing demands of wanting complete visibility into the last-mile process. However, meeting these demands is not as easy as it looks. This is primarily because ecommerce businesses hand over the reins of the last-mile and post-purchase to the shipping carrier. 

Your shipping carrier on the other hand is already overwhelmed by their delivery volumes and has no interest nor commitment to your customer experiences (CX). 

But before we take a look at how to get the best out of last-mile carriers and grow your business, let’s start from the basics.

What is a Last-mile Carrier?

A last-mile carrier is a shipping service provider that caters to your needs, particularly in the final leg of the delivery cycle.

The last-mile carrier can also constitute the other parts of the post-purchase customer journey, based on your requirements and their capacity. 

The primary expectation of the last-mile carrier is to provide quicker delivery options such as same-day delivery and be cost-efficient. As an ecommerce business owner, you need to choose a carrier that brings out both. Here are some different last-mile carrier options to give you an idea.

Last-mile carrier options

There are multiple last-mile carrier options each with its pros and cons. You can pick one that best suits your business’ needs.

  • Single carrier method – Make use of major last-mile carrier providers such as FedEx, UPS, or DHL to fulfill your customers from end to end. Their experience and skill-sets can provide a guarantee for your packages to reach your customers’ doorsteps both quickly and safely. If your business is smaller, you can make use of smaller local or regional carriers. 
  • Third-party logistics or 3PL – Make use of Third-party logistics (3PL) providers for complete solutions such as assembly, packaging, warehousing, and distribution. A reliable 3PL logistics process provider can maximize your profitability through their knowledge, expertise and resources.

Now that we’ve understood the basics of last-mile and carriers, it’s time to move on to how you can provide your customers with a great post-purchase experience, especially on the last mile. 

For that, you’ll need to understand the challenges that arise due to the current state of last-mile delivery.

Challenges of last-mile deliveries

  1. Increased costs – Last-mile deliveries aren’t always successful. 1-in-3 deliveries face issues such as shipping delays, delivery exceptions, failed deliveries, porch pirates, etc. This can lead to increased shipping costs in the form of unwanted returns, customer acquisition, and more.
  2. Negative impact on your customer loyalty metrics – Over 55% of the customers won’t return to a brand after just one instance of a bad delivery experience. This can impact your customer loyalty metrics such as CRR (customer retention rate) and CLTV (customer lifetime value).