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Hidden consequences of e-commerce and last mile deliveries

pile of cardboard boxes

Hidden consequences of e-commerce and last mile deliveries

Last mile delivery services and the overall expansion of e-commerce has made it possible for consumers to experience almost instant gratification by having items delivered to their door, often within just a day or two of ordering. While this phenomenon has brought many new jobs and made life easier for millions, there are also some unconsidered consequences to the rise of e-commerce and last mile deliver.   

Trash/pallet build up

When you make purchases online, verses in a brick and mortar store, you get the item you bought, but you also get the box it came in. If you choose to keep or recycle the box, no problem. But what happens to them when the homeowners don’t want the box and the delivery driver must bring it back?

The trash and pallets build up and there is no place to put them. This becomes an issue, especially when delivering large furniture or other large items. We recycle what we can, but often have to pay for extra trash removal because our bins start to overflow. We also often advertise the pallets for people who want them for DIY projects.

Unintended time consequences

As we mentioned in last week’s blog, sometimes clients ask for extra services not outlined in the contract. Or, sometimes rural roads or traffic delays can disrupt our delivery schedule. As much as you can try to plan a delivery, there can be unexpected things that happen while in or on the way to a home. We try to allow a little “wiggle room” in our schedule, but sometimes deliveries are delayed.

Increased chances for damage

Although e-commerce growth is constantly rising, the supply chain infrastructure has not necessarily caught up yet. Most packages must travel half-way across the country to get to their final destination. This means many hands are touching each delivery. More hands mean more chances for there to be damage to a package. Sometimes, damage even occurs during the packaging process and it’s not discovered until the end customer opens their delivery.

No matter the precautions you may take, accidents happen, and damage is sometimes inevitable. Keep in mind though that ordering larger/multiple items increases the likelihood of damage occurring.

Freight driver shortage

We have discussed in several previous blogs how the driver shortage is growing each year, especially as more and more seasoned drivers are retiring and younger drivers are not filling in behind them. As the demand for last mile deliveries and truck drivers gets higher, the number of drivers continues to decrease, thus widening the supply and demand gap.

Some of our drivers are now working six days a week to ensure that deliveries are getting made. This is putting a huge strain on the industry and can only be solved if we can acquire more drivers.

Here at OTL we do our best to give the best quality deliveries and help all our customers get their items as fast as possible and in the desired condition. Contact us today if you need delivery services in the Little Rock, Tulsa, or Northwest Arkansas area, or if you would like to join our driver team!

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