By Maggie Stem
CRST Expedited Inc.
has a long history of delivering "large and bulky" commodities; it also has a nationwide LTL network that it uses in the home solutions area.
During the pandemic, changes in consumer purchasing habits intensified drastically. E-commerce sales increased by as much as 40% in 2020 and are predicted to account for 16% of all retail sales in the United States by 2022. Between now and 2025, the last mile market is expected to rise by nearly $60 billion.
CRST continues to position itself to meet those needs.
The last mile is the distance between a transportation hub and the package's final delivery destination, usually a home or private residence. Fast shipping, precise order tracking, security, and convenience are all qualities of the last mile customers come to expect and CRST aims to deliver.
On the traditional specialized side of trucking, CRST learned what it needed to thrive in the the fast-growing home solutions market. Clearly, this is not a newcomer to the final mile sector; it has grown into one of the market's most important players.
Customers have high expectations for a flawless experience, which makes the home solutions industry hard. This implies they will receive adequate — but not excessive — communication about the status of their order. To match these client expectations, CRST aims to be as smooth as possible.
Because there may be many hand-offs of the requested products, the final mile can be difficult for a trucking business. With real final mile delivery, a provider simply delivers from the retailer's or e-commerce site's local store, local cross-dock, or local distribution center.
The final mile delivery trucking business may not have visibility into the order's status before picking it up, thus it can only advise the customer about delivery time once the item is on its truck. Customers have grown to expect that things would be delivered on time, in addition to having visibility into shipments.
As a result, these customers place great importance on on-time delivery, which CRST recognizes and works to meet each time.
Among home solution providers, CRST is unique in that it is one of the major trucking corporations in the United States that used to manage independent trucking companies.
CRST has brought separate enterprises under one framework over the previous 18 months, enabling it to approach larger shippers and provide all the logistics skills and requirements. It has one of the largest accelerated fleets, a sizable dedicated division — growing as more shippers switch from private fleets — flatbed capacity, and an integrated solutions offering, which is effectively a brokerage business.
This comprehensive offering enables CRST to fulfill the needs of larger shippers and interact with them as a single entity with a variety of capabilities while keeping the specific expertise of the individual operational businesses.