Sustainability that scales: 5 minutes with last mile expert Dean Maciuba


Sustainability that scales: 5 minutes with last mile expert Dean Maciuba

September 4, 2018


For 40 years Dean Maciuba has worked in the logistics and delivery sector. After having served UPS and FedEx for 37 of those years, he recently changed gears, putting his deep industry expertise to work designing distribution solutions at Last Mile Experts. We sat down with Maciuba to learn more about the challenges preventing scalability - and how brands can overcome them…

PostTag (PT): What is it that continues to motivate you about working in the logistics and delivery sector?  

Dean Maciuba (DM): I retired at age 57 and took a position as a transportation consultant with one of my former customers. That is when I realised that there is a need for supply chain professionals that can design and support implementation of specialty distribution solutions, including across the last mile.

The challenge of designing different solutions for each of my clients makes this job very interesting and rewarding. And the fact that I reinvented my professional career at age 57 shows it’s never too late!

PT: As a last mile expert, how do you think brands and suppliers can improve delivery efficiency?

DM: It all boils down to scale with any transportation company to include the last mile segment. I suggest to my clients that they layer additional delivery services onto the last mile component and support a mix of both dense B2B and less dense, e-commerce based, B2C deliveries. Scaling the stand-alone residential delivery and making it efficient is the single largest barrier to success in the space.

Dean Photo.jpg

PT: Which brands or cities can the world look to as best practice delivery examples?

DM: Seattle and Irving Texas are both forward thinking municipalities that want to fix congestion before it turns into grid-lock. For instance, I am seeing the local city government in Seattle forcing the various delivery companies to discuss ways to reduce congestion within their city. It is my understanding that one solution being considered is the universal parcel locker where various carriers would deliver to a single automated parcel locker.

From a mega-carrier standpoint, UPS and DHL have been open to testing and implementing less impactful delivery solutions like cargo bikes. FedEx comes up short in this category and they actually have separate parcel companies, FedEx Ground and FedEx Express, that deliver Express and Ground parcels in separate vehicles.

PT: What are the biggest opportunities and challenges facing the last mile in the year ahead?

DM: Urban congestion and overcrowded interstate highways servicing our largest cities are the biggest two challenges facing the last mile. The solution to both of these challenges is the placement of forward-stocking terminals and fulfillment centers on the fringes of these dense urban centers, then utilising smaller and less impactful vehicle solutions to make last mile deliveries.

We should see some traction in this area in the next 12 months and who knows, maybe even some level of consolidated last mile delivery via a third-party service provider - although that is a long shot.

Want to join the last mile conversation? Become a member of The Last Mile Consortium Group on LinkedIn today.

Nicole Lyons