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The LTL Final Mile Hybrid

Case Study: The LTL Final Mile Hybrid

This case study features two examples that illustrate how Atlas® blends value-added final mile service and LTL transportation for a practical solution to differing customer expectations. 

I. Shipping Medical Diagnostic Equipment
Problem Analysis. A longtime Atlas® customer for specialized transportation services, a manufacturer of high-tech medical equipment, shows a gradual decline in shipments consigned to the Atlas® fleet. The agent consults with the customer and finds no issues with service or pricing. Rather, the customer reveals a crucial need for shorter transit times. 

Proposed Solution. The agent and managers at Atlas Logistics® confer on how best to address the customer’s situation. Given no concerns with service or pricing, they ask: “How might we reduce the time between origin and destination?” They propose a “hybrid” service model that combines the immediacy of a nationwide LTL network and the traditional, high-touch final mile service for which Atlas® is well known.
Application. The customer agrees to let Atlas Logistics® demonstrate the efficiency of the hybrid model and books a shipment. Atlas Logistics® immediately locates the best available carrier for the interstate transportation. At the same time, the Atlas® agent picks up the shipment at the customer’s dock and transports it to the agent’s facility. The crew then loads the item onto the common carrier’s truck. The carrier delivers to the destination agent, who transfers the equipment onto an agency van and delivers it to the installation site as scheduled. The Atlas® crew places the item where requested by the installation technicians, unpacks it, and removes and disposes of packing materials. 

Results. This hybrid model proves to be a viable means for bringing Atlas® high-touch service with swift transit. It reduces the time from pickup to final delivery by as much as 70 percent. Rising customer satisfaction leads to a significant increase in the number and frequency of shipments booked through Atlas Logistics®—and a more productive relationship between agent and customer.

II. Transporting Construction Tools 
Problem Analysis. A construction firm that specializes in retail spaces relies on the timely delivery of the project toolbox, also known as the “gang box.” This item is key to productivity on every project; work cannot proceed without the tools it contains. It typically weighs between 500 and 1000 pounds and is situated far from truck access, requiring a long carry by dolly before loading or after unloading. LTL carriers do not provide this service. 

Proposed Solution. Assessing this scenario, managers at Atlas Logistics® recognize the need for high-touch final mile service at origin and destination, as well as the value of timely transportation. As with the example above for medical equipment, they choose to apply the hybrid model. 
Application. When the customer sends notice, the Atlas® agency crew takes a van to the job site. Using special jacks and dolly equipment, the crew navigates the box to the van, loads it via lift gate, and transports it to the agency warehouse. There, they load it onto an LTL carrier, which delivers it to an authorized Atlas® agent at the destination city. The destination agent then schedules delivery to the job site, providing the long carry and placement where the construction manager specifies.
Results. Atlas Logistics® is providing consistent, timely service for placing the customer’s tool boxes at job sites throughout the U.S. Competitive pricing for this service supports the construction crew’s efficiency and the cost-effective completion of projects.