Vaccine Distribution Highlights Cleveland Last-Mile Delivery Challenges
As a long-time 3PL firm and provider of Cleveland last-mile delivery services, we understand the important role logistics plays in getting products where they need to go – intact and on time. When logistics aren’t effectively coordinated, communication and visibility suffer and bottlenecks and delays become inevitable. This was illustrated recently in early efforts to distribute newly-available COVID-19 vaccines.
We should start by saying this was never going to be a perfect process because of the scale, limited supply, outsized demand and sheer number of stakeholders. But it was largely presumed the rollout wouldn’t be overly-taxing on U.S. transportation capacity. So why the many roadblocks? And what can businesses learn from it?
It’s possible supply chain inefficiencies in some states could be partially addressed with expanded trucking capacity. But complex storage, handling and administration requirements were an undeniable part of the equation. Beyond that though, it does seem the trouble broadly has been less in getting available vaccines from manufacturers to the states and more with logistical struggles in facilitating last-mile deliveries.
This is unsurprising because, as any 3PL service provider knows, last-mile deliveries are often the trickiest. This is true whether we’re talking about airplane parts or toilet paper or medicine. It didn’t help that this was essentially a massive, brand new supply chain with untested routes and logistics coordination.
The takeaway for businesses is that no matter what your industry, it’s imperative that your Cleveland last-mile delivery 3PL service be one with extensive experience, established routes, top-tier technology and trusted supply chain partners.
Why Last-Mile Delivery Can Be So Challenging
Last-mile deliveries are the movement of products or freight from a distribution center to the end destination. That could be a carrier-designated pickup station, a Post Office Box or a doctor’s office. It’s the point a which the customer receives the product, and you want that to be a positive experience. There are several reasons why last-mile delivery for many industries has always been the most complex, costly – and critical – leg of the journey.
To start, it’s often highly customized with many stakeholders. Last-mile deliveries connect – and rely upon – numerous points of contact in the supply chain. Many companies don’t have the proper delivery infrastructure in place, so routes aren’t as efficient as they could be. Beyond that, the technology some companies use for these deliveries is outdated.
Another factor is that with Cleveland last-mile delivery, you’re dealing more with business-to-consumer (B2C) as opposed to business-to-business (B2B) deliveries. Shipping has its expenses no matter what, but when you’re transporting to another business, you’re more likely delivering bulk-order, high-value shipments. Delivering to consumers can be thornier because you’ve got numerous addresses, relatively low-value shipments, more rural locations, constantly-changing routes, etc. This is basically what we’re seeing with the vaccine distribution, but on a huge scale and with additional complications.
How Partnering With a Cleveland 3PL Can Help
Demand for final-mile deliveries has only grown with the expansion of e-commerce. Fulfillment timelines have tightened considerably. As a 3PL, we’ve made perfecting all aspects of warehousing, distribution and delivery a top priority.
Partnering with a 3PL for same-day and last-mile delivery means you have the benefit of the technology systems and established partnerships that can help improve routing efficiency, supply chain visibility and end-customer satisfaction. The seamless flow of real-time intelligence across the supply chain helps us better manage peak times, routes and costs.
By partnering with a well-regarded 3PL, you get:
- Distributed inventory. If you’re located on the East Coast but a significant portion of your orders are destined for the Midwest, that’s going to cut into your revenue. Our 3PL can help connect you to numerous fulfillment centers across the U.S. to help you save on the time, mileage and cost necessary to have your product delivered.
- Lower overhead costs. If you get a sudden surge in sales, meeting that demand in short order can be tough. As logistics providers, we have the necessary workers and technology advantage to help you scale up and help you meet those demands.
- Optimized routes. Your route plan is going to significantly influence the speed of Cleveland last-mile delivery. We have the resources to help you optimize your delivery routes and better utilize your resources.
- Faster shipping. Increasingly, B2B and B2C supply chains expect expedited shipping. Outsourcing shipping, warehousing and distribution to a 3Pl helps you offer things like multiple shipping options, greater accuracy and even discounts that you wouldn’t likely be able to if you handled all of it in house. Ultimately, this can help improve your sales.
- Improved customer satisfaction. Nothing is more important than making your customers happy. When you can deliver product packaging, faster delivery and quick pickups, your customer satisfaction gets a boost. Working with a 3PL can help ensure you can deliver as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.
If you have questions about how our warehousing and transportation services can be tailored to your business needs, we offer easy quotes and competitive rates.
Contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or sending us an email.
Logistics, not transport problems, slow vaccine distribution, Jan. 6, 2020, By William B. Cassidy, JOC.com
More Blog Entries:
Challenges of Same-Day Delivery – and How a Cleveland 3PL Can Help, Oct. 15, 2020, Cleveland 3PL Blog