Final Mile Carriers: Diversifying Your Fleet for Less

by | Jul 2, 2024 | Blog, Delivery Network

The rise of online eCommerce stores has seen the delivery service industry grow to an exponential rate of 8.2% annually, with a projection of up to $326.32 billion by 2035. While the rising demand for delivery services enhances job security for drivers, it also intensifies competition among companies already grappling with driver shortages. Given the projected growth in the industry, there’s no better time to find a reliable final-mile carrier for your deliveries and explore ways to diversify your fleet to mitigate the impact of potential driver shortages.

Elite EXTRA’s Delivery Network could be the solution you’re looking for. Our platform gives you access to diverse final-mile carriers, offering your customers options to suit their preferences and unique needs. This eliminates the risks from depending on a sole provider and ensures you can always meet customer demands.

Before we get ahead of ourselves though, let’s examine advantages associated with fleet diversification:

Top 7 Advantages of a Diversified Final-Mile Carrier Fleet

While the surge in delivery services has presented many positive opportunities for businesses, it has also created a set of operational and logistics challenges. Driven by increased consumer demands for faster and free delivery, businesses are working harder than ever to keep their logistics organized. However, hurdles like capacity shortages, operational issues, and even strikes continue linger as a threat.

Even the biggest carriers aren’t immune to these challenges. Rather than putting all your eggs in one basket, let’s explore the benefits of diversifying your final-mile carriers. Here are the top 7 advantages:

Enhance Resilience During Disruptions

Disruptions are an inherent part of the supply chain, often stemming from geopolitical events, natural disasters, and other unforeseen challenges. By diversifying your final-mile carriers, you can swiftly adapt to such disruptions, having alternative carriers to rely on. This strategy ensures smooth deliveries, minimizing delays and maintaining consistent service for your customers.

Choose The Best and Most Cost Effective Carrier Every Time

Having diverse carriers gives you access to different carriers with distinct advantages and specialized expertise. You can choose the most suitable carrier for your delivery, guaranteeing timely delivery and competitive pricing, while ensuring your goods remain in perfect condition. You also get the opportunity to monitor and access each carrier’s performance and hold them accountable at every service level.

Meet Your Evolving Customer Expectations

In today’s market, customers expect reliability, speed, and transparency in delivery services. Diversifying your last-mile carriers not only provides more options but also ensures faster delivery times, helping you meet and exceed customer expectations while maintaining a competitive edge.

Additionally, customers can choose carriers with real-time tracking capabilities and promptly address delivery-related issues based on reviews and reputations. This approach also allows you to offer add-on services, such as white-glove delivery or installations, enhancing the overall customer experience.

Increase Your Negotiation Power

Another significant advantage of diversifying last-mile carriers is having greater negotiation power. Every last-mile carrier competes for business and uses different means to incentivize businesses to choose them. Having multiple carriers at your disposal puts you in a better position to negotiate better services and rate terms. You’re also best suited to table terms and conditions of services depending on your expectations and customers’ demands.

Expand Coverage

As your business grows, it’s crucial to expand your coverage accordingly. Diversifying your final-mile carriers allows you to reach customers wherever they are, offering a wide range of products or services across extensive geographical areas, including regions beyond your competitors’ reach. This strategy provides the flexibility to choose carriers that fit your budget and handle your products effectively.

Conversely, if you plan to downsize, you can select final-mile carriers that align with your current needs, avoiding the logistical and financial challenges associated with downsizing an in-house fleet.

Cost Optimization

Having various final-mile carriers reduces your costs rather than increasing them. It presents a close view of each carrier’s competitive landscape, allowing you to compare their rates closely. Since each carrier offers unique pricing structures and discounts, this sparks competition among them, which gives you the power to negotiate reasonable rates and unparalleled services.

Focus on Your Core Business

Partnering with multiple last-mile carriers enables you to concentrate on enhancing service delivery and product development. With a diverse set of carriers managing your deliveries, you can be confident that customer demands are being met efficiently and effectively.

What is Delivery Network?

Elite EXTRA’s Delivery Network offers a comprehensive solution that connects businesses to multiple final-mile carriers through a single platform. This allows businesses to easily compare and contrast delivery options, ensuring they always have a driver available. By consolidating all providers into one platform, Elite EXTRA simplifies delivery management and helps prevent driver shortages.

Dive deeper into the world of third-party delivery by downloading our latest white papers!

Case Study: Power Players of Delivery Network
Case Study: Power Players of Delivery Network

In this case study, we examined the impacts of diligent use of our Delivery Network product among our power users. Check it out!

Third Party Delivery Reimagined
Third-Party Delivery Reimagined: The Delivery Network Model

In this white paper, we discuss the Delivery Network model that reimagines third party delivery and modernizes delivery operations.

Exploring Delivery Network for Fleet Diversification: Is It Right for You?

While the benefits of diversification are compelling, it’s essential to consider various factors to ensure you select the right mix of delivery services for your business and stay within budget. Additionally, you must be able to effectively manage these services. Developing a clear process is crucial for creating a successful diversification strategy. The following steps will help you assess your need for diversification, identify the most suitable delivery services, and evaluate the success of your choices. Is Elite EXTRA’s Delivery Network right for you?

Step 1: Need Assessment

Your choice of using our Delivery Network greatly relies on your needs. Analyze your current delivery operations, identify any gaps or inefficiencies, and determine how diversification could address these issues. Specifically, you should consider your current:

  • Driver Availability
  • Average Fulfillment Time
  • Accuracy of Delivery ETAs
  • Cost Per Delivery
  • And More!

How are your final-mile carriers contributing to the success or failure of these factors? Do you have the resources to achieve your future goals? Could you benefit from having a larger driver pool available? Let all these questions drive your needs assessment.

Step 2: Exploring Your Delivery Provider Options

After conducting a needs assessment, if you find that Elite EXTRA’s Delivery Network could be a suitable solution, it’s time to choose the providers to include in your network. Generally, having more providers is beneficial, but you should only include those that meet your specific criteria.

To narrow down your options, start by assessing whether your preferred providers have the unique capacity to handle your products and meet your customers’ needs and expectations. Then, evaluate these providers based on their service speed, customer reviews, coverage areas, and customer service quality. This thorough evaluation will help you build an efficient and reliable Delivery Network.

Step 3: Measure the Success of Your Delivery Network

Once you’ve decided and implemented your mix of final-mile carriers, allow it to run for a few weeks and evaluate its level of success. Continuously monitor the performance of your chosen carriers, gather customer feedback, and make adjustments as necessary to ensure ongoing efficiency and satisfaction. Some of the key metrics that you should consider include:

  • On-Time Delivery: What percentage of your deliveries are fulfilled successfully and accurately?
  • Delivery Accuracy: This refers to the percentage of orders executed without errors compared to the total number of delivered orders. It identifies inaccuracies during delivery, such as mistaken orders, failed deliveries, damaged goods, or returned orders.
  • Delivery Cost: What is the total cost of delivering products to your customers? Consider cost per mile, driver wages, maintenance fees, and more.
  • Vehicle Capacity: This refers to the maximum number of products that your final-mile carrier vehicles can carry. It’s crucial to look into this metric since it helps determine the number of deliveries you can make in a single trip and how it impacts your delivery cost and efficiency.

How Does Elite EXTRA’s Delivery Network Help Diversify Your Final-Mile Carriers?

Consolidating various final-mile carriers can be daunting, involving the search for different carriers, assessing their capabilities, and integrating them seamlessly into your business operations. This adds complexity to your delivery processes and can be time-consuming, often requiring additional administrative resources to manage different booking systems, track multiple stakeholders, and handle numerous claims, increasing the risk of delays or errors.

Elite EXTRA aims to eliminate these challenges by streamlining your final-mile carrier diversification. Our platform allows businesses to choose and manage their last-mile carriers from a single interface. Our partner network includes third-party delivery platforms such as Uber, Roadie, DoorDash, and more. With these options, you can compare delivery costs and real-time availability, automating your delivery process to ensure a smooth and efficient operation.

How Delivery Network Works

Now that you understand how Delivery Network can help you diversify your final-mile carriers, here is a detailed look at how we make it happen:

Comprehensive Integration

We’ve put into work to ensure our platform seamlessly integrates with various carriers. This simplifies your diversification, allowing customers to effortlessly access a wide range of delivery services.

Data-Driven Decision-Making

Data is the cornerstone of any delivery service. That’s why we’ve integrated Delivery Network with advanced analytics and reporting tools to provide insights into your carrier performance, cost-effectiveness, delivery times, and other variables that determine its success. With these insights, you can make informed decisions when selecting and optimizing your carrier partnership.

Automated Routing and Dispatch

Our automated Routing and Dispatch product goes hand in hand with Delivery Network to simplify your logistics and ensure efficiency in your delivery services. Not only are you accessing the best provider for your delivery, you are also accessing the best route.

Real-Time Visibility & Tracking

Transparency is crucial, especially when dealing with multiple final-mile carriers. That’s why real-time customer notifications and driver tracking are available through Delivery Network. Maintaining transparency with real-time visibility builds trust and increases customer communication, which is a win-win for everyone involved.

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Diversify Your Last-Mile Delivery with Elite EXTRA

In conclusion, diversifying your fleets through Elite EXTRA’s Delivery Network offers a strategic solution to enhance efficiency, flexibility, and reliability in your delivery operations. By leveraging a network of multiple final-mile carriers seamlessly integrated into one platform, businesses can optimize their logistics, mitigate risks associated with driver shortages or disruptions, and meet evolving customer demands with ease. With Elite EXTRA’s comprehensive suite of tools, including real-time driver tracking, automated routing and dispatch, and integration with fleet telematics, businesses can confidently navigate the complexities of modern delivery services while maintaining a competitive edge in the market.

Learn more about Delivery Network in our latest case study: Power Players of Delivery Network or contact us today to get started!

Sources 1174434/ couriers-and-local-delivery-services-market-size-worldwide articles/ 37689-supply-chain-and-labor-disruptions-increased-through-first-half-of-2023

Mallorie Barabas

Mallorie Barabas


Mallorie is the Marketing Strategist at Elite EXTRA; if you ask her about her job, she will immediately tell you to follow @EliteEXTRA on LinkedIn (that is your cue;) When she isn't at the office, you can catch her teaching aerial yoga, swimming, or just generally enjoying the outdoors.

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