LTLs Offer Storage to Speed Up E-Commerce Deliveries
Ty Wright/Bloomberg News
Less-than-truckload companies hoping to capitalize on e-commerce are offering shippers short-term storage in terminals and shifting more business from Class 8 trucks to Class 5 and Class 6 straight trucks, according to industry executives.
As consumers become more comfortable purchasing larger items online such as flooring, appliances and electronics, LTL carriers and shippers are working together to shorten the duration between order and final delivery.
In 2016, e-commerce sales increased 15% to $394.9 billion in the United States and accounted for 8.3% of total sales versus 7.3% in 2015, according to the Department of Commerce. In addition, investment bank Jeffries identified expedited last-mile logistics as one of the top 10 internet themes of 2017. Wal-Mart started offering free two-day shipping in January in an effort to take on Amazon in the e-commerce market.
“LTLs are starting to take interest in handling e-commerce deliveries of large shipments. For example, delivery of exercise equipment and furniture in a box. LTLs used to ignore it because it often meant residential deliveries, but they’re starting to realize that it’s an area that is growing and if they ignore it, they miss out on a growth opportunity,” Satish Jindel, founder of SJ Consulting Group.
As a result, demand is rising for expedited services at carriers such as A. Duie Pyle Inc. Last year, the carrier began offering expedited deliveries using Hino medium-duty straight trucks.
A. Duie Pyle ranks No. 73 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.
“Over the last three years, shippers trying to find a specific window for delivery has increased 20% to 25% per year. In fact, last year it was 27%,” said Randy Swart, A. Duie Pyle chief operating officer.
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|By Ari Ashe|
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