How rural roads affect deliveries (and tips for a solution)
E-commerce is making lives easier for many who can have items of all shapes, sizes, and types delivered to their doorstep. Customers living in rural areas can especially benefit as they can have products delivered to their door instead of driving anywhere from thirty minutes to a couple of hours to get to their brick and mortar stores that they need.
According to The World Bank, an estimated 58 million Americans live in rural areas and each year, the number of rural customers using delivery services rises. While this is a great solution for many, rural deliveries also present their own challenges. Longer drive times for delivery services is just one consideration, but what we at On Time Logistics experience, like other last mile delivery services, is struggling to make deliveries on rural roads.
Why rural roads are a challenge for deliveries
Many rural roads are lined with potholes, an inadequate draining solution, and a good amount of them are not even paved. This causes a problem for delivery drivers, especially if they are carrying heavy or delicate freight.
Another problem arises when there is bad weather. There could be fallen branches and flooding, making these roads impassable. This makes it very hard, and not to mention dangerous for drivers attempting to make a delivery.
Our delivery solutions
At On Time Logistics our goal is for the driver to make a safe and timely delivery to the customer. We want to ensure that our delivery vehicles, whether it be a straight truck, a cargo van or a car, are in good working condition and can make deliveries without any mechanical failures or size limitations.
In preparation for each last mile residential delivery, we try to make sure we have as much information as possible prior to scheduling a delivery and sending out the delivery team. Here are the guidelines we like to follow:
First, we review the address on Google Maps or another online map to determine whether the road is passable for the vehicle we are sending.
We then call the customer to determine the best date and time to deliver, if they have not already scheduled in advance. We also ask them if there are possible hindrances to making the delivery including any obstructions due to low hanging limbs, muddy or impassable roads due to weather, steep descent of road or driveway, gated/limited access community, etc.
If we determine that the current conditions would endanger the driver, vehicle or customers property, we ask to delay the delivery until the conditions are more favorable and safer. If the customer does not want to wait until a later date, we offer them the option to come, sign for it and take their freight from the terminal where it was received. This Will Call option is not used very often but it provides a timely and sometimes necessary solution for the customer.
On Time Logistics wants to accommodate to all customers and ensure on time and safe deliveries. Contact us today for any of your delivery needs in the Northwest Arkansas, Little Rock, and Tulsa areas!