Final-Mile Delivery Seen As Growth Area

At the Home Delivery World trade show on April 4-5, industry leaders said that along with the continued rise of eCommerce, companies are embracing a variety of final-mile strategies including the installation of heavy appliances and in-store pickup of fresh groceries ordered online.

President of XPO’s last-mile business, Dan Walsh, said, “Consumers are getting more and more comfortable with buying everything online, including items they were hesitant about before.”

Walsh also cited a recent study conducted by XPO that showed consumers are much more likely to purchase bulky goods online. “That wasn’t always the case,” he added.

According to Walsh, XPO facilitates around 40,000 deliveries a day to homes, businesses and new construction sites.

Jennifer Bartashus, a senior equity research analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, stated at the trade show how easy it is to lose sight of how much eCommerce has already evolved.

Bartashus, said “Consumer preferences continue to evolve at an unprecedented pace. Expectations on breadth of assortment, speed of order fulfillment, delivery options, white-glove service, and customer support are all shifting, testing the flexibility and capacity of supply chains and last-mile delivery solutions.”

Head of Shipping, Listing Management, and Payment Operations at Etsy, Roman Sobieri, said online shoppers expect speedy delivery at little-to-no cost, visibility into shipment status, and the ability to easily return products, but ‘at the end of the day, they don’t care about the complex logistics planning and execution needed to make that possible.’

“They’ve seen the magic happen,” he said. “They don’t care how it works, but they expect it now.”