Global freight transportation and logistics services provider Werner Enterprises is the latest company to get on board in the e-commerce-driven last, or final, mile sector, with the introduction of Werner Final Mile.
Company officials said that this service will provide nationwide delivery and related services to residential and business locations and leverage its large network of delivery teams with operations in nearly 200 locations. And they added that through this service Werner will mainly deliver large or heavy goods and items with two uniformed associates operating a 24- or 26-foot lift gate straight truck. Types of deliveries this service will provide include: curb or porch delivery; a threshold delivery, where an item is delivered to the first dry area, or a white glove delivery to a room of choice, dunnage is removed, and where light assembly may be provided.
Werner Vice President of Global Logistics Craig Stoffel told LM there were a few big drivers behind Werner’s decision to enter this market.
“It’s a changing marketplace when it comes to the buying habits in the U.S. and the global population,” said Stoffel. “Nearly half of our revenue is touching retail and affecting a large amount of our customer base and volume. And, for us to continue to add value to our customers, it was a natural step for Werner to expand into this part of the supply chain.”
Stoffel added that entering the market later provided Werner a sense of what technology is necessary in the market, which led Werner to focus on the customer experience from a visibility and technology perspective, adding that with large items being delivered in a white glove service environment, there is a lot of opportunity to improve the efficiency of delivery for Werner’s customers and its customer’s customers, too.
“If you are receiving delivery of a product and there is a problem, whether it was the wrong item or there was a scratch or dent, that sort of disrupted delivery in today’s environment for a lot of service providers can result in myriad phone calls, drivers calling dispatch who calls the coordinator of freight, who, in turn, calls the shipper of the product, with that same call sequence happening in the other direction,” he said. “Werner's technology is geared toward a real-time resolution. It puts the delivery crew and all other participants in the process into direct and real-time conversation about how to solve it and avoid re-work and extra costs associated with re-deliveries, second attempts, and returns.”
In terms of benefits this new service offers, Stoffel cited the scope of the Werner network and the resources it can bring to its clients with its fleet for moving big and heavy items out of a fulfillment center, as opposed to doing it one-by-one via LTL, with advantages coming from aggregating and consolidating volume, which is where a large fleet comes into play, with Stoffel noting that with more locations comes more options.
Werner Final Mile services all 42,000 five-digit zip codes in the continental U.S., resulting in cargo landing closer to the customer for reduced transit times and more same-day and next-day deliveries, which has become the norm for consumer expectations for e-commerce deliveries.
The Werner Final Mile network fleet is comprised of its own truckload fleet for the right model and the right density, as well as LTL partners, and contracted delivery crews that are trained in household goods delivery and white glove delivery processes, Stoffel noted, adding that Werner has equipped its outsourced partners with its technology and integrated their operations into Werner’s systemically.
While last, or final mile, is often associated with consumers, Stoffel said it also serves B2B customers for things like office and restaurant equipment, in addition to specialized skills for getting things inside and up or down stairs.
“With our customers' rapid growth in the E-commerce market, we continue to adapt our services and technology to meet and exceed their expectations,” said Chief Operating Officer Marty Nordlund in a statement. “Our significant investment in technology and network development make Werner Final Mile services another key element in our comprehensive logistics portfolio.”
The last, or final, mile, service news has been steady of late, with last week’s news that Amazon is entering the last mile delivery market for furniture and appliances, and XPO Logistics last week is growing its last mile network in the Chicago area.