The last mile is improving, but its on-time performance is still below pre-pandemic performance. This is one of the key takeaways from project44’s State of Parcel report for April.
The monthly report also revealed that turnaround, transit and click-to-deliver times remained flat and still below peak season benchmarks, and that shippers are increasing the number of carriers in their networks as they seek to diversify.
“Punctuality has improved [year-over-year]noted the report, authored by Josh Brazil, director of supply chain data insights for project44. “It has not returned to pre-COVID levels, but we continue to see improvements with a 2% increase in April compared to April 2021 and a 1% increase compared to March 2022.”
Trends in on-time carriers on the rise
Carrier performance has improved for three consecutive months, reaching 83.94% in April from 72.62% in February. In three of the past four months, on-time performance has been better than the previous year.
In a separate webinar earlier this month on the state of the last mile, Jenny Bebout, global leader in last mile solutions at project44, said on-time performance was around 90% before the pandemic, “but we don’t we still haven’t recovered. ”
The Southwest and Midwest saw the greatest improvements in on-time performance, going from less than 70% in February to nearly matching other regions in April.
Measuring punctuality is important for retailers, explained Bart De Muynck, industry director for project44.
“Retailers focus on Net Promoter Scores and Customer Satisfaction Scores because these are direct [impacts on consumer satisfaction]he said during the webinar, noting the challenges the last mile has faced recently.
“We have seen incredible growth over the last few years in the last mile movement accelerated by the pandemic,” added De Muynck before highlighting the headwinds facing the industry, in particular the increase in tariffs and the fuel surcharges.
Transit time decreases
Parcel transit time has also remained stable since hitting 3.23 days in December. It fell to 2.91 in the last days of 2021 and has fallen steadily on a weekly basis, except for a week-long rise in mid-February, to hit 2.46 currently as of April 27. . During the week of February 9, transit times dropped to a low of 2.25 before surging the following week to 2.59. They have remained between 2.43 and 2.53 ever since.
Of note for e-commerce customers is click-to-deliver time, which measures the time from when the customer clicks the buy button to when the item is delivered and includes the ‘execution. It’s been stable since mid-January. After peaking at 4.92 days the week of December 22, it fell slightly to 4.22 the week of April 27.
Bebout said port congestion and worker shortages have contributed to turnaround time negatively impacting transit times, but the data suggests those issues are starting to resolve.
Looking at execution time alone, the data shows a range of 1.69 days in early January to a peak of 1.95 in late February. The turnaround time was 1.8 days to April 24. It was 1.94 the week of December 29.
The other interesting data is the continued diversification of carriers used by shippers. Compared to April 2019, the number of carriers within the network increased by 14%, with an average of 4.96 carriers today, compared to 4.34 in 2019.
During the webinar, Bebout said project44 has seen growing interest from retailers looking to diversify their carrier base.
“It can take months to onboard a new carrier…so that data is usually behind schedule. I think there is still work to be done here,” she said.
Click for more articles from Brian Straight.
You might also like:
Drones fly in deserts of weather data. Can they be stopped?
Navigating the Chaos of COVID-19 Shipping: Finding Capacity and Serving the Customer
Need a warehouse? You may have to wait 9 months