In recent years, consumer demand for same-day, next-day, and on-demand delivery has skyrocketed, driving the need for more effective and more efficient last-mile delivery. As a result, established delivery service providers have introduced new methods and new offerings, and startups have also emerged to meet this demand.
Several companies and organizations have emerged as leaders in this space, and many more are increasingly recognized as innovative and effective last-mile delivery partners. In addition, some major eCommerce retailers have built in-house last-mile delivery operations. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the biggest companies in last-mile delivery, including:
- The United States Postal Service (USPS)
- United Parcel Service (UPS)
- Other Big Companies in Last-Mile Delivery
The United States Postal Service (USPS)
While it’s not a company but an independent entity operating within the U.S. government’s executive branch, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has long had the required infrastructure in place to provide last-mile delivery services.
In fact, it’s capable of accessing all 158 million delivery points in the United States, including both business and residential addresses, even in the most rural areas. Given that about 60% of U.S. zip codes are in rural areas, this capability is vital. The USPS also offers delivery services seven days per week.
Today, USPS is the largest last-mile delivery carrier in the U.S., delivering 20 million pieces of mail every day and 47% of the world’s total mail. Other companies, such as UPS and FedEx, often partner with USPS in an effort to keep delivery costs down, as it’s one of the least expensive last-mile delivery services available.
Founded in 1973, FedEx offers a number of services that accommodate the growing need for effective last-mile delivery services. Some of FedEx’s services include:
- FedEx Ground: A low-cost service that delivers to businesses.
- FedEx Freight Direct: Offering residential and business freight delivery.
- FedEx Delivery Manager: Allows customers to choose their delivery date and location at no extra cost.
- FedEx Hold for Pickup: Allows customers to redirect a package to a convenient FedEx pickup location and pick it up at the specified location within 5 business days.
While some FedEx shipping services come at a higher cost, its primary focus is offering the fastest delivery possible (including same-day delivery in the U.S.), so it’s ideal for companies in which delivery speed is the top priority.
United Parcel Service (UPS)
UPS started as a messaging service started by two teenagers with a $100 loan in 1907. In 2022, the company earned $83.9 billion in revenue and delivered an average daily volume of 24.3 million packages and documents. Today, UPS services more than 200 countries and territories, delivering to an estimated 11.1 million recipients each day.
UPS Supply Chain Solutions is another arm of the company that offers global freight forwarding, global logistics and distribution, truckload brokerage, and more. UPS has ventured into several innovative areas in logistics and last-mile delivery, including artificial intelligence (AI) and drone delivery services.
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A leading eCommerce giant, Amazon created its own last-mile delivery operation to ensure fast and cost-effective delivery to consumers. One of Amazon’s standout approaches to last-mile delivery is its Delivery Service Partner (DSP) program, which enables enterprising individuals to build and operate delivery businesses.
Today, there are more than 3,000 DSPs spanning 14 countries that have delivered more than one billion packages to customers worldwide. Amazon has also ventured into innovations such as drone delivery and robotic delivery.
Walmart is a big-box retailer that has successfully entered the eCommerce space and has become one of the major players in last-mile delivery. In its fiscal year 2023, which ended on January 31, 2023, Walmart made 248 million last-mile deliveries from 3,990 stores.
Walmart’s largest local delivery service provider is its Spark Delivery platform, enabling individuals to shop and/or deliver for Walmart customers and customers of other businesses. The Spark Delivery platform’s GoLocal option, the service that offers shopping and delivery services for other retailers, provided delivery services from more than 10,000 retail locations, surpassing a total of 3.5 million completed deliveries, during the 2023 fiscal year. As of 2022, Walmart’s Spark app covers 84% of U.S. households through 15,000 pickup points.
Other Big Companies in Last-Mile Delivery
The companies discussed above are some of the biggest players in the last-mile delivery space, but there are many other companies that have made a mark and continue to grow in the industry, including (but not limited to):
- XPO Logistics
As these and other companies continue to innovate, the race is on to provide the fastest and most cost-effective last-mile delivery services for businesses.
And it’s not just delivery service providers that are making names for themselves, but also innovative technology providers that offer the capabilities companies need to provide more efficient, optimized last-mile delivery services.
The Wise Systems delivery automation platform, for example, offers a suite of solutions designed to optimize every stage of last-mile delivery, from route planning, dispatching, and strategic planning to performance management and communication. Request a demo today to learn how Wise Systems can help your company reduce last-mile delivery costs and keep pace with the competition.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are last mile companies?
Last-mile companies, or last-mile delivery companies, are businesses that transport packages on the final leg of their journey to the end customer. These companies operate vehicle fleets that pick up packages from a distribution center and transport and deliver them to the customer’s residential or business address.
Who is the last mile provider in the U.S.?
There are several last mile providers in the U.S. The most prominent last-mile delivery providers include the United States Postal Service (USPS), FedEx, and United Parcel Service (UPS), while other companies like DoorDash and Roadie also provide last-mile delivery services. Major retailers and eCommerce companies such as Amazon and Walmart are also building their own in-house last-mile delivery capabilities.
Who delivers the most packages in the U.S.?
The United States Postal Service, an independent entity within the executive branch of the U.S. government, delivers the most packages in the U.S. The USPS is capable of delivering to every address in the U.S.—more than 158 million delivery points—and delivers more than 20 million packages and documents every day.
What are the top 3 delivery companies?
The largest delivery companies and entities include the United States Postal Service (USPS), United Parcel Service (UPS), and FedEx. Other companies, such as Amazon and Walmart, offer last-mile delivery services as an adjunct to their primary retail and eCommerce operations.