Amazon’s Shipping Push Deepens Last-Mile Battle

Amazon’s Shipping Push Deepens Last-Mile Battle

The majority of retail and logistics analysts and reporters continue to focus on last mile delivery in their reports and articles. For example, Amazon has relaunched Amazon Shipping, a program which competes with UPS and FedEx. I understand the interest in the program. However, adding Amazon into the mix of delivery providers doesn’t fundamentally change the last mile delivery industry.

Many analysts and reporters recently wrote articles related to the collapse of the oldest Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) carrier, Yellow. Yellow going out of business wasn’t a surprise to me and most people familiar with the LTL industry. In fact, nothing will change in the LTL industry with Yellow out business.

Two industries – last mile delivery and LTL – continue to operate with few changes and minimal disruption. Most people consider this a good thing. I don’t. I believe the last mile delivery industry is missing an incredible opportunity to increase market share, revenue and profits by setting their sights on one goal – breaking the LTL industry.

At a high level, LTL is a method of shipping products that are too big to be shipped through a parcel network, but light enough or small enough that the products don’t require a full 53’ trailer for shipping. Hence the term ‘Less-Than-Truckload.’

Last mile delivery companies like OneRail, DoorDash, Shipt, Uber, AxleHire, Capstone Logistics, LLC, Bringg, and so on, remain focused on delivering parcel packages to customers. With a few exceptions, most last mile delivery providers avoid all freight that is palletized as they don’t have the equipment to manage the deliveries. LTL carriers ship and deliver palletized freight.

Several leading last mile delivery companies, however, manage deliveries for large retailers that also have significant LTL volumes; Lowe’s Companies, Inc. which is serviced by OneRail and The Home Depot, which has partnered with Walmart GoLocal, for example. OneRail and Walmart GoLocal focus on last mile deliveries. Lowe’s and Home Depot manage their LTL needs. Nothing changes.

I strongly advise the CEOs of last mile delivery companies to answer these questions:

1. How do we disrupt the LTL industry?

2. How do we become a strategic partner to our customers that have LTL freight by providing a better and cheaper alternative to LTL?

3. How do we engineer a better shipping and delivery strategy for all of our customers freight?

Last mile delivery has become a commodity business. It’s a race to the bottom as no one is doing anything innovative, no one is trying to rip apart the status quo. Imagine if OneRail created an alternative to LTL at Lowe’s and Home Depot? That would be innovative and valuable.

What I recommend in this post offers last mile delivery companies exceptional possibilities if they’re willing to disrupt themselves to break the LTL industry.

This link provides more information about LTL. The link is for the company Flock Freight which I believe is one of the more interesting carriers operating today: What is LTL Freight.

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