May 15, 2017

Werner enters the "last mile" delivery fray

Company latest truckload carrier to take the e-commerce delivery plunge.

By DC Velocity Staff

Truckload and logistics carrier Werner Enterprises Inc. jumped into the so-called final-mile segment today by launching a delivery service designed to carry outsized or heavy goods the last part of their journey to a residence or a business.

The service, called "Werner Final Mile," will utilize a fleet of "straight" trucks, vehicles with trailers 22 to 26 feet long, 8 to 8.5 feet wide, and 12.5 to 13.5 feet high. Each vehicle will have lift-gate capabilities to raise and lower items between ground level and the level of a tractor trailer, with each manned by two uniformed employees who provide deliveries and installations—known in the home-delivery trade as "white glove" service—of large and heavy products that cannot be moved via a conveyable system. Werner will also handle returns and exchanges through the service.

Werner will use a mix of its own fleet, less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier partners, and a network of delivery contractors that specialize in white-glove delivery services, the company said.

Omaha-based Werner is the latest carrier entrant in the last-mile delivery segment, which, with the surge in e-commerce transactions, has seen a dramatic increase in demand. Truckload and less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers are eyeing the segment because of the growth of online orders of heavy goods not designed for a carrier's conveyor system. More large and heavy orders are being processed online as manufacturers and retailers broaden their product offerings that are available for web-based purchases. Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc., the world's largest e-tailer, said last week it would dramatically expand its furniture and appliances with the building of at least four massive warehouses to handle such big items, according to reports.

The current market for deliveries of heavy goods ordered online stands at about $7.6 billion, according to data from SJ Consulting. The market has grown by nearly 9 percent, compounded annually, since 2012, SJ said.

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