15 billion — that’s how many eCommerce orders were delivered last year to customers in the US. Not only are the costs of these shipments increasing, but many of those deliveries are inefficient and generate negative externalities for communities (think clogged roads, for starters). For my new research, “The US Last-Mile Landscape Today,” we interviewed 28 retailers and industry professionals on the current state of eCommerce delivery in the US. This report is the first in a series that analyzes the opportunities, challenges, and innovations related to eCommerce delivery.

Some of our key findings:

  • Delivery is one of the greatest challenges and costs for merchants. The average US household receives one package every three days. As online retail sales rise, so will package shipments, resulting in an array of challenges and higher costs for retailers, carriers, and even consumers.
  • Most US deliveries are unattended. They are convenient and often the preferred option among consumers, but unattended deliveries can be expensive if the shipper has to redeliver packages if they deem the location not secure enough (and delays customer receipt). To the rescue: innovations such as lockers and smart-lock solutions at retailers, train stations, and even in your car or garage.
  • Click-and-collect is a win-win solution. Alternatives to home delivery such as click-and-collect are not only more convenient for consumers but also eliminate the potential costs of redelivery or misplaced orders for retailers and carriers.

Find more details about the changing landscape of eCommerce delivery in the US in the full report. Where do you see package delivery in the US heading?