Dropoff logo alongside ups, fedex, and usps.

The demand for greater convenience grows as technology progresses and seeks to make our lives easier. Customers now have higher expectations for their package delivery experience which has resulted in an increase in the number of startups providing last-mile delivery services. Essentially, customers nowadays want free and fast delivery.

In this article, we will discuss some of the top last-mile delivery companies and why they stand out from the rest. 

What Is Last-Mile Delivery and Why Is It So Important?

A global map featuring Dropoff couriers driving from place to place.
Last-mile delivery is the most critical stage of the delivery process, as it ensures customers receive orders on time, and with reliability.

Last-mile delivery is the final step in the delivery process when a package is sent from a transport hub to its final destination, which is generally a person’s home or a retail business. Businesses want to make this stage as convenient and efficient as possible. In order to stay competitive, companies must find a means to improve efficiency and minimize costs to fund their shipping logistics.

Why are last-mile delivery services important, you ask?

Consumer purchasing habits have shifted, particularly in the realm of internet shopping. They expect not only a low-cost delivery but also one that is quick. According to a study done by Capgemini (2019), for the average American small business, its net profit could drop by as much as 26% in the next three years if they don’t offer last-mile delivery services. 

Learn more here: Ultimate Guide to Last-Mile Delivery Tracking

Top Last-Mile Delivery Companies and Startups

The following companies are in no particular order.

1. UPS 

UPS (United Parcel Service) is a package transport company that also delivers supply chain management solutions. It was founded in 1907. It provides a lot more than just last-mile delivery services, with features like simple return services, API integration, longer hours and weekend delivery coverage, and more. UPS has also ventured into several cutting-edge areas, such as drone delivery and artificial intelligence.

However, before you decide to work with them, think about the weight of the packages you’ll be sending. UPS tacks on a slew of charges to bigger parcels, particularly when shipping overseas. On top of that, UPS does not provide free Saturday delivery services.

Perfect for: Enterprise companies in the e-commerce and consumer items industries that often send out packages in bulks of fragile things so they reach their destination safely.

2. FedEx

FedEx, an American international delivery corporation founded in 1973, is one of the leading players in the shipping sector, serving practically every country on the planet. It has evolved in response to industry needs by integrating cutting-edge technologies such as computer-assisted transportation and artificial intelligence. These advantages are complemented by their ability to provide same-day delivery, as well as enhanced tracking of essential and high-value items.

Working with FedEx has the disadvantage of higher shipping charges. If you want to deliver things to your customers quickly, the additional charges may be worth it. Furthermore, FedEx does not provide free package pickup, which can be inconvenient.

Perfect for: Businesses in the e-commerce and consumer products industries that focus primarily on efficiency and seek to provide their customers with the fastest shipping possible.

Learn more about the difference between same-day delivery and next-day delivery

3. USPS

Since 1971, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has provided competitive postal services in the United States, notably delivery services. Through its Last-Mile Technologies experience, USPS provides more comprehensive same-day delivery to companies. With automated scanning and verification, real-time monitoring, and delivery performance analytics, this set of last-mile delivery services enables shipping transparency and efficiency for consumers. For years, USPS has delivered mail and parcels six days a week, unlike FedEx and UPS. On Saturday, there are no fees associated with receiving a package.

Because the USPS delivers across the country on a regular basis, it excels at getting things to those remote locations. One of the most significant disadvantages of the USPS is that it is not meant to send large things or bulk shipments; contents must not exceed 70 pounds.

Perfect for: Businesses in the e-commerce and consumer goods sectors that cater to customers living in remote locations.

Related: 10 Most Common Problems in the Logistics Industry, and How to Overcome Them

4. DHL 

DHL was started in San Francisco and bought out by Deutsche Post in 2002. The delivery business, which is headquartered in Bonn, now serves over 220 nations. DHL gives you a lot of options when it comes to shipping bulky items. You can ship things weighing up to 30 kg for delivery. Each high-value parcel item is covered by insurance. Furthermore, you will have access to very competent global damage coverage choices.

DHL has a few innovation centers as an industry leader where it develops and implements practical solutions such as the Resilience 360 risk management tool and SmartSensor monitoring for extremely sensitive freight. They not only provide air and sea delivery but also provide free pick up and refunds for service failures. It has less footprint in the United States now that its headquarters are located outside of the country.

Perfect for: Businesses in the e-commerce and consumer goods industries that seek faster and comparable delivery times.

5. Dropoff

A group of Dropoff team members.
Dropoff’s exceptional team of couriers is responsible for over 1 million deliveries every year.

Dropoff, based in Austin, Texas, was formed in 2014 and has since dominated the same-day delivery area in a variety of industries, including healthcare, industrial, food and grocery, retail, and business services. Because of the high demand for our premium service, our company is constantly growing into new markets, currently operating in 23 states and adding more every month.

Dropoff is one of the leading last-mile delivery companies, with a transparent seven-day vetting procedure for our couriers to guarantee they meet customers’ high standards and the opportunity to develop a unique logistics program to match customers’ individual needs. Talk to our team of experts to learn more about how we can help your business succeed in giving your customers the ultimate product delivery experience. 

Perfect for: Businesses in the e-commerce, healthcare, industrial, food and grocery, retail, and business services industries that want to extend the logistical capabilities of their businesses without investing more money in resources. 

Learn more about how hiring a national courier service can help your business significantly

6. Onfleet 

The company Onfleet was launched in 2015 and is based in San Francisco. This organization recommends optimal delivery routes by intelligently factoring in time, location, truck capacity, and traffic. If anything changes, drivers will receive real-time alerts via SMS. Businesses can track crucial indicators like success rates, on-time rates, and service times with Onfleet.

Perfect for: Businesses in the e-commerce industry that are looking to connect with as many online marketplaces, inventory management systems, websites, and carriers in a hyperlocal manner. 

7. Postmates

A Dropoff courier dropping of a food delivery.
Postmates’ food delivery service feeds thousands of happy customers every day all across the US.

At Postmates’ the mission is to deliver almost anything on-demand to consumers anywhere in the US. The service is accessible in 2,490 cities throughout all 50 states and allows you to order and arrange delivery of take-out meals, booze, and groceries. The San Francisco-based urban logistics platform, which was founded in 2011, allows clients to place orders from local retailers and restaurants by connecting them with companies and nearby couriers.

Through its open API, the company claims to be able to enable communities to purchase locally without waiting and businesses to better compete with major corporations by offering delivery or pickup. One of its biggest drawbacks would probably be its high delivery fees. 

Perfect for: The most convenient platform for busy consumers who need easy access to take-out or grocery items. 

8. Darkstore

Darkstore – founded in 2016 – is an urban fulfillment technology startup based in San Francisco that operates in 40 US locations. Its main selling point is the Hosted Shopping Cart, which enables businesses to offer one-hour delivery, same-day delivery, or normal shipping with just one line of code added to their online checkout process.

Darkstore relies on robotic automation, artificial intelligence, and its own API to automatically route deliveries to the nearest carrier. This company stands out from the rest since it often works directly with some of the top last-mile delivery companies, including UPS, FedEx, and USPS.

Perfect for: Businesses in the e-commerce and consumer goods industries that mostly prioritize accessibility of their products by consumers globally. 

Working with Last-Mile Delivery Companies VS Last-Mile Delivery Startups

A Dropoff courier parked outside a corporate building and a startup.
When considering startups and larger companies, it’s important to weigh the balance between scalability & innovation.

One of the most prominent distinctions between collaborating with a last-mile delivery company and partnering with a startup is the latter’s inability to transport items from their warehouses to the last mile as quickly as startups. Initially, startups arose as a result of innovators recognizing an opportunity in the absence of logistical capabilities offered by large last-mile delivery companies.

If you’re looking to partner with a leading last-mile delivery company, talk to a Dropoff expert, and we’ll make a custom solution for your needs.