CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
March 22, 2019
Forward Thinking

Last mile? So 2017. Bring on the "last yard!"

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The well-known phrase "last mile" in logistics and supply chain management has given way to a new term: last yard.

As described in the 23rd annual "Third Party Logistics" study, released today at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals' annual meeting in Nashville, the last yard refers to the status of a shipment once it is delivered to a customer or consumer, and how the shipment, once in the end user's possession, is routed to the specific location where it may be needed or used. Most shippers and third-party logistics (3PL) providers surveyed for the report agreed on the importance of last-yard logistics services. However, while about 53 percent of shipper respondents reported that they effectively manage last-yard logistics needs, only 34 percent of 3PLs said their customers do good a job of it, according to the report.

There are several last-yard logistics issues that may occur at delivery or drop-off locations, such as delayed, damaged, misplaced, and lost deliveries, according to the report. Shippers can help matters by improving their internal processes to ensure that delivered items are transferred efficiently and effectively to point of use, or relying on 3PLs to take greater responsibility for facilitating and executing shippers' last-yard services.

The report is created and supported by Infosys Consulting, Penn State University, 3PL Penske Logistics, and recruitment firm Korn Ferry.

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