The Last Mile

March 2, 2022

We’ve all seen the headlines. The pandemic, inflation, chaotic financial markets, geopolitical tensions. Along with a great deal of human grief and suffering, the snarled global supply chain is wreaking havoc on the world economy. Much of our inflation problem can, in fact, be traced back to the logistics difficulties created as the industrialized economies creak back to life after COVID.

The State of the Supply Chain

Thanks to the pandemic, international trade is in disarray. This begins with the manufacturers, who often cannot get the parts and materials they need. Many, especially in developing countries like China, are low on electric power and low on cash as well.

Moreover, with the cost of transportation roughly four times what it was in 2020, shipping containers can sit on the dock for two weeks or more. Ports and harbor facilities have trouble attracting workers, and many workers have had to be furloughed due to COVID.

Finally, though the lockdowns have mercifully for the most part passed, there has been a seismic shift away from brick and mortar retailers (who had been suffering anyway) and toward ecommerce and direct delivery, transmitting all this strain to the “final mile.”


Couriers are the runners on this last mile. They take the baton of world trade and hand it directly to the end consumer. The problem is, all of these problems are transmitted from the manufacturers to the retailers to the courier services.

It can take a long time for goods to be produced and given to couriers, and so there is a huge backlog. Even when the shipments in question are medical samples, specialized technologies, or legal documents – the complex kinds of delivery that only an expert team like Reliable Couriers can successfully handle – the companies that couriers work with often have their own supply chain problems.

To make matters worse, couriers themselves must deal with COVID-related regulations and staffing problems. The fact that courier services are so crucial to the economy makes it difficult to find the seasoned professionals needed for sensitive shipments.

Solutions for Clients

Courier clients must make sure they are dealing with experienced, certified professional courier services. The couriers must have the most advanced equipment and up-to-date software, enabling couriers to manage transactions easily and clients to track packages every step of the way.

By choosing and working with an experienced, professional team, clients can build close relationships with their courier services. Bonds of trust built on a foundation of clear communication will enable couriers to understand their clients’ needs and routine operations.

Clients can inform couriers of the logistical difficulties they have encountered, and couriers in turn can communicate with clients about supply chain conditions. Both parties can plan accordingly, adjusting their operations and schedules as need be.


Couriers have always, of course, played a crucial role in the supply chain. That role is now both more important than ever and more challenging than ever. The obstacles that services like Reliable Couriers face are formidable, but ours is an industry built on resilience. We literally go the last mile!