News Article

Are third parties the biggest reason delivery costs keep going up?

What retailers can do about rising delivery costs in the last mile

A survey of 237 retail supply chain executives finds delivery speed isn’t the end game anymore as cost concerns rise. One of the major hurdles to controlling costs, however, was found to be the need to partner with third-party providers such as carriers.

Sucharita Kodali, VP and principal analyst at Forrester Research, who was interviewed as part of the study, said retailers need to rely on third parties for the information necessary to control costs as well as to improve the customer experience (CX), but the related sources of data and their handoffs so far are found to be effectively black holes.

“To get the costs down and get your items to customers, you usually put together a patched together solution of lots of different carriers,” said Ms. Kodali. “The reality today is that most retailers don’t own their own delivery network and they’re still dependent on other companies and carriers to execute the last mile, and maybe there’s a sense that it’s difficult to reduce costs, and there’s a sense of not knowing what you can cut in an experience that you don’t control anyway.”

The survey from eft Supply Chain and Logistics Business Intelligence on behalf of Convey, a logistics software provider, found supply chain leaders greatly concerned about delivery costs. Eighty-one percent indicated they don’t feel confident that they can balance CX initiatives and expectations in the face of rising transportation costs.

To read the full article on and its corresponding comments on controlling rising delivery costs, click here.
This article by Tom Ryan was originally published on RetailWire on 4/1/19.