Parcel - October 2008 - (Page 20)

trends LAST (MILE), BUT NOT LEAST Despite naysayers, the last-mile delivery segment is still going strong By Amanda Cook Armendariz has never been more promising — and what he thinks companies are still getting wrong. PARCEL: When you started 3PD in 2001, dot com fever was going strong, and last-mile delivery was at the top of many supply chain agendas. Given all the changes in the marketplace, if you had to do it all again . . . . Meyer: We’d do it in a heartbeat. The e-tailing boom may have come and gone. But the need for strategic last-mile delivery is as critical as ever, especially with heavy goods. Any way you look at it, it’s still an $8 billion to $10 billion industry with a steady supply of customers and a wide range of revenue streams ranging from the Internet and catalogue sales to instore orders. Earlier this decade, word went out that last-mile delivery was a tough genre to master. Karl Meyer apparently didn’t get the memo. In 2001 — at a time when “e-tail” enthusiasm was beginning to wane and many aspiring last-mile providers were throwing in the towel — he decided to start 3PD Inc., a company that specializes in providing last-mile delivery services for heavy goods. Today, his $300 million venture has close to 500 locations, makes nearly five million deliveries per year and routinely works with most of the biggest names in retail. “A lot of people may have gotten off the last-mile bandwagon,” says Meyer. “But it’s still an exciting business proposition with a lot of opportunity.” In this exclusive interview, PARCEL caught up with Meyer to discuss why he thinks the prognosis for last-mile excellence 20 October 2008 PARCEL: The big challenge at the beginning of this decade seemed to be finding a way to avoid shipping dollars out the door with each individual order. Do you think that’s still the case? Meyer: It is — but not necessarily for all of the same reasons. Today’s consumers are more knowledgeable about the fact that their orders will include a delivery cost. But they still don’t have a firm grasp of exactly what’s involved with getting purchases to their doorsteps, so they continue to be prone to delivery sticker shock, especially if they’ve purchased a bigticket item. Their feeling is, “I’ve just spent $1,500 on a new refrigerator or couch, so surely you can give me a break on the shipping,”

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Parcel - October 2008

Parcel - October 2008
Editor's Note
What Would Augello Say?
Best Practices Survey Results
Going with the Flow
Is Your Parcel Network Optimized?
Last (Mile), but Not Least
Moving From Manual to Automated Fulfillment
A Race for Excellence
Making Ends Meet
Is Your Job Killing You?
Software Selection Demystified
Controlling Costs
On the Mark
Product Profile
New Products & Services
Advertiser Index
Wrap Up

Parcel - October 2008