How 3PLs Can Grow Revenue Serving the Last-Mile

By: Lance Healy

Last-mile delivery is getting a lot of attention these days and it’s not just because of the growth in ecommerce and business-to-consumer (B2C) parcel delivery. Business-to-business (B2B) shippers are now also demanding more time-definite and higher-touch service in local markets.

Unfortunately, providing last-mile delivery in a B2B freight environment is not as simple as handing off a package to UPS, FedEx, or the USPS. Last-mile delivery in this market is a lot harder and requires a level of service most 3PLs struggle to provide. This is a frustrating fact given the amount of opportunity available for any 3PL who can get the work done.

The challenge for 3PLs starts with the need to work with smaller-size, local carriers who have the specialized delivery capabilities needed in the last-mile. And are, themselves, difficult to find and connect with.

Another challenge is simply that the last-mile is complicated – and expensive. Most carriers’ operations are designed to move freight at scale and are really built for the first-mile. They are good at picking up products in quantity and delivering them in similar, large quantities. But the carrier who is best at moving a truck-full of pallets across the country is rarely going to be the best equipped to make a high number of small, local deliveries with the same efficiency.

Where’s the Opportunity?

Local deliveries in the last-mile are harder to make and often will require additional effort and equipment – lift gate, inside delivery, etc. This is the market need and the value local carriers provide.

For obvious reasons, the model of a 3PL relying on a national or large regional LTL carrier doesn’t work well. 3PLs and their shipper customers need to create a network of the right types of local carriers to do the work that needs to be done without losing the connectivity and flow of data that the process and customers require.

At its core, creating this process requires connectivity so data and information can move through EVERY-MILE, including the last. A connected network of local carriers creates opportunities for new delivery models in new markets.

Overcoming Limitations?

With the market need obvious, what’s preventing 3PLs from creating more efficient last-mile networks and opening new markets for their services? It usually comes down to finding the right local carrier partners and building the right partner connections.

For many 3PLs, the inability to find new local carrier partners is why they’re missing out on new opportunities. These local carriers are smaller and harder to find. Many don’t even have websites and may simply be happy to service their small area successfully as they’ve done for a long time. They’re busy enough and don’t feel a need to market themselves.

Even if a 3PL has some established local relationships, it’s possible their current carrier partners are just not performing. And, lacking electronic connections can be a big reason why. Relying on paperwork and phone calls to run a delivery network will result in unnecessary errors and other problems – like outdated or missing track and trace information, slow or inaccurate billing, and poor customer service.

3PLs are experts at bringing resources together. And, creating an efficient last-mile is a real challenge. But, 3PLs who create the best connections create the best end-to-end solutions for their customers, and the best EVERY-MILE.


Banyan Technology’s Local Carrier Connectivity helps 3PLs build a better last-mile. It works by connecting your end-to-end delivery operation. First- and last-mile carrier partners are integrated seamlessly with your current network, so data and shipments move faster. Finding and adding new carriers as your needs change is simple, too. CLICK HERE to LEARN MORE.


Want to learn more?


For more information on how your 3PL operation can take advantage of Banyan Technology’s live connectivity solutions to reach local carriers, click here to contact us.



Subscribe to the Banyan Blog to stay up-to-date with the latest in shipping technology: